When a friend’s unsettling stories inadvertently crush her daughter’s wildlife care dreams, a frustrated mother questions her role in the ordeal, struggling with guilt and anger.
A user asked the forum, “Am I a jerk for ruining Steve Irwin for my friend’s daughter?”. Let’s see what people on the forum think about this?
The original poster (OP) visited her friend recently and spent the night. One of OP’s friend’s daughters [13f] spent a couple of hours watching old TV episodes of The Crocodile Hunter.
INTEREST IN ANIMALS
OP’s friend said that her daughter’s been pretty interested in animals, wildlife, and nature, so they got her some of those to watch since she remembers enjoying those shows as a kid, and the modern versions don’t seem as good.
OP GREW UP NEAR AUSTRALIA ZOO
OP thought this was great as she grew up near Beerwah, Australia (where the Australia Zoo is), and they went a lot – even into my young adulthood before moving to the US for work.
OP also got to see Steve a couple of times, and later Bindi when she got older, at a couple of talks / small group settings. OP’s friend said, “Wow, you should tell my daughter about that!”
OP STARTED SHARING HER EXPERIENCE
So a while later, OP went into the living room where the daughter was watching the shows, and OP told her friend’s daughter that she got to see Steve a couple of times before he died. Later Bindi got excited and started asking OP a lot of questions.
OP told her he seemed like a great guy and as much as she could remember about the animals.
OP Told Her The Details
Then OP told her a detail about the first “talk”/small-ish group she saw him at, where he warned them that he had to help cover for a keeper who called in sick and cleaned out the primate houses right before this talk and hadn’t showered yet, so they really might not want a front row seat.
OP didn’t listen and got one anyways, and regretted it.
SHE WAS HORRIFIED
OP said it was a great talk and a treasured memory looking back, but at the time, all OP could think about was how not to gag!
This horrified OP’s friend’s daughter more than OP thought as she went, “Ewww, he smelled bad?”
OP WAS HONEST
OP was sorta taken aback and said, “Well, what do you think, being around animals all day, every day!
That day was worse than others for OP, but come to think of it; he stunk pretty bad the other time OP got close enough to smell him too…so did Bindi, for that matter.”
OP’S FRIEND’S DAUGHTER IS MORE INTO SPAS
OP’s friend’s daughter was also very into spas and perfumes and smelling nice, which has put a great damper on her thoughts of working with wildlife and even her enthusiasm for seeing it through a screen.
OP’S FRIEND GOT OFFENDED
OP’S friend called her the next day and said, “Of all the things to share with her, did you have to bring up how Steve Irwin smelled like monkey waste when you met him and distracted you from the talk?”
She said that seemed like an inappropriate thing to bring up to a young girl and also disrespectful to Steve’s memory.
OP THINKS IT IS REALISTIC
But OP doesn’t think it was inappropriate to bring up; OP thinks it’s a realistic part of Steve’s work and was certainly something stuck in OP’s memory. If anything, it made OP respect the work he did more!
OP asks if she is a jerk.
HER WORLD ISN’T GOING TO END
“Not a jerk; she’s 13, for crying out loud. This isn’t Santa Claus. Her world isn’t gonna end now that she knows animals can smell.”
SHE MUST MATURELY HANDLE IT
“Not a jerk. It wasn’t inappropriate to say a zookeeper smelled. And it’s the reality of the job. She’s 13 and should be able to handle knowing that. If she’s put off by knowing animals stink, she shouldn’t be working with wildlife anyway.”
IT IS JUST YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
“Not a jerk. You are sharing a personal experience. The obvious Silver Lining of this cloud is that she realized animals smell before she spent a lot of time and money pursuing working with them as a career.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.