June 9, 2010

Lazy 5 Ranch

When I first heard that there was a "drive-through zoo on some guy's farm in rural Mooresville, North Carolina" I wasn't expecting much. I was thinking there may be some ducks, goats, pigs, and a couple of pregnant dogs. One trip to the ranch and several zebra chomps later, I realized I couldn't have been more wrong.

My parents had driven up from Florida for a visit and I thought that a trip to the "Lazy 5 Ranch" would be a nice way to spend the afternoon. As we pulled up to the front gates in my mother's newly cleaned SUV, the sight of a giant camel laying on the front lawn should have tipped me off that this was not going to be a rinky dink farm animal operation.

We pulled up to a small shed with a window where a tired looking country gal barely made eye contact with us as she held out two buckets of feed and said "Hi Y'all. Welcuum to the Lay-zee fahve raynch. It's teeyun dollars fower the car and tew dollars fower the feed buckets. Don't exit yer veehikle under inny circumstances. Please drahve forwerd." This was all the instruction we received for the whole thing. My dad paid the woman and off we went.

It was like the quiet before the storm as we drove forward with our windows down. In the distance we saw a zebra spot the car and begin heading in our direction. "Oh! Look at the zebra! Wow!" I naively exclaimed. "It's coming closer!" The zebra moved onto the path in front of the car and waited.
If you've ever seen Jurassic Park, you'll remember the scene in which the one raptor waits in front of the hunter as a distraction so that another can flank the guy and begin devouring his insides. This was just like that. From nowhere, another Zebra and about five million sharp-beaked emus swarmed the car. Before we knew it, they were aggressively ramming their heads inside the vehicle chomping at our buckets of food. I heard my parents screaming in the front seats as I desperately tried to dodge emu pecks. I actually had to push them out of the way with my bare hands while yelling "They're everywhere! Omygosh I'm touching it's neck! Roll up the windows! Roll up the windows! Auuggghhh!"

Finally, a zebra bit down on the food bucket, pulled it out of the window, and began violently thrashing it in the air as food pellets rained down. All the emus hissed and went for the scraps.

Well, this didn't sit well with my dad. He had paid one whole dollar for that bucket and was not about to lose it to a zebra. "Darn it! Try to hold onto the bucket, Susan!" he huffed as he opened his door and ignored the only rule we had been given. As soon as his foot hit the ground, all the animals took off in a stampede. Pigs, emus, zebras, and the like started running in a frenzy. My dad scooped up what was left of the food and got back in. Instantly, the beasts were back, and this time they were even more riled up. "You've angered them, dad," I said in a low voice as they circled the car. Suddenly we heard my mom yelp. "Aaah! He did it again!" The zebra had once again bested her and taken the bucket, this time bringing a chunk of her finger nail with it.
"I told you to hold on to the thing!" my dad complained. She looked at him in all seriousness, shook her head from side to side, and somberly declared, "He was too strong." We tried to collect ourselves as we cautiously drove on. A bit further ahead, we saw a pair of giraffes. We pulled up to them and my dad opened the sun roof. "Stand on the seat and hold the bucket up. See if he puts his face in it." I was hesitant, but it was a pretty good idea. To my delight, the giraffe bent his giant neck down and began eating. I looked up at its majestic face, and as I did, he removed is head, looked down and me, and drooled. Giant giraffe drool all over my face.

I slowly sat back down and requested that we continue on. Next we found a rhinoceros pit, which is pretty much a huge pit with a rhinoceros in it. My dad kept driving the car extremely close to the edge, causing my mom to scream in terror "George! George! Stop! Stoooop! That's not funny! We're going to fall in! Stoooooop!"

Then we spotted a water buffalo. I was taking pictures when I noticed it was walking toward me. It's giant head just kept getting bigger and bigger with each photo I took:

Note: These are actual pictures, not MS Paint drawings. I wanted to clarify in case you thought I suddenly became frighteningly talented at this.

I was alarmed, to say the least, when it began wedging its giant face right into my dad's window. I was even more alarmed when it stuck out 's giant arm sized tongue and began waving it around, as if it were searching for something. "Aaaah! What does it want?" My dad yelped, trying to dodge the wet, gray tongue.

As calm as a cucumber, my mom suggested that we "dump the rest of the food bucket in the buffalo's mouth." There was buffalo drool with bits of food and grass oozing down the inside of the car door. It was amazing.

By this time, we decided we had had enough. (Well, this was after my dad tried to run down a few wild pigs with his front tire.) We left pretty frazzled. We agreed it had been an exceptionally successful afternoon. I later learned that a couple of college students had driven through the ranch. They tried to roll up with window as a horned-bison-type-thing stuck its head in. As soon as the glass touched its neck, the creature went bonkers, violently thrashing its horns around until it shattered the window, dented the car, and ripped off the rear view mirror. Apparently the thing "donkey kicked" the side of the car before stomping off. Moral of the story: Go to the Lazy 5 Ranch if you're ever in Mooresville, NC.

1 comment:

Laura Grimes said...

This made me laugh so hard, I think I peed myself. I live 30 minutes from the Lazy 5, and yet have never been there. I'm going to fix that!