Off the Couch
Lindsey, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

It was a hot summer morning. The bright orange and yellow sun was hovering over me, my aunt, my mom, my brother, and my two cousins as we walked around the Philadelphia Zoo, making us feel like we couldn’t take one more step without collapsing to the ground.
At the time I was ten. So was my brother, Justin. My cousin Emily was thirteen, and my cousin Angus was nine. This was the first time I ever stepped foot out of my house since my family reunion when I broke both of my arms. I broke both of my arms by jumping off a swing at the park. I tried to break my fall by using my hands, but I snapped and displaced both of my wrists instead and wasn’t able to break my fall.

My family and I walked around the zoo looking at other exhibits. We were also allowed to ride on the back of a camel with golden fur. There was a maroon blanket for us to sit on and metal bars around us so we won’t fall. We felt like we were riding a horse, only there was a big bump between me and Emily, my older cousin, and it smelt like cow manure. This made me feel like I wasn’t that limited after all, even though I had casts on my arms, and I couldn’t do much on my own. When the ride was over, we got off the camel and we went to a water fountain pouring with perfectly clear water giving us the urge to jump in.

Angus and Justin were digging through their wallets trying to find some loose change to toss into the fountain to make a wish. The coins splashed loudly as they viciously tossed them into the fountain. There were a plethora of people in the zoo; this made me feel claustrophobic because I had too big casts on my arms, we were baking under the sun, and there were people all around us. I felt annoyed when people came by to ask me what happened to my wrists because I felt like I was a celebrity being chased by paparazzi and I couldn’t hide my arms to prevent people from talking to me. We were all in the mood for food, but we couldn’t decide where to eat. We walked around incessantly for about twenty minutes. When dusk arrived, we made our way to the exit of the park. Everyone agreed that we would get ice cream instead of dinner. We stopped at a Dairy Queen on the way home. I ordered vanilla ice cream drenched with rainbow sprinkles in a crunchy waffle cone. The cold dessert sunk into my teeth and cooled me down from all that walking we did that day. This made me feel refreshed because it had been so hot and humid all day and night. The only thing that could have made this moment better would have been if my mom didn’t have to lean across my chest to feed me because I couldn’t do it by myself!

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