Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | May 7, 2012

Watching for Rhinoceroses

Journal entry #10 from the Rehab Facility

Cloverdale Manor is both a Rehab Center and a place where people come who have decided to live out their years in surroundings where their needs can be professionally tended on any day, at any hour: a nursing home.

The person who signs in as a rehab patient becomes, necessarily, something like prisoner in a jail without walls. An activities director, on the staff, tries earnestly to fill the calendar with enough possibilities  to keep residents from either staring incessantly at the flat screen TV, or holding a thousand -yard gaze aimed at a blank wall.

My copy of the schedule  is taped to the wall, about ten feet from the foot of my bed.  I took it down this afternoon to read. The title says  “May 2012 Daily Activity Calendar.” The next line grabbed my attention; “ Safari time.” Accompanying those words are cartoon pictures of an elephant and a rhinoceros.

Hot Dog! I scanned the post for errors. Surely in one of the 2” X 2” blocks there’d be specific information; telling me when I could look out into the courtyard and see immense gray forms; hear them trumpet and watch the handler’s skill and daring.

No Elephants? What about the rhinoceroses?
Just as well. The schedule on my wall calls for “ Pet Day” most of the month. Familiar dogs and cats sitting in laps, nuzzling or purring are therapy, sharing unconditional love and affection.

Still, I’d love to have seen a rhinoceros today…


  1. wow May 2010? guess that is why you couldn’t see the animals I suppose they are gone after 2 years!!

  2. I sent you a rhino, since they didn’t have any there for you to meet and greet. I wish you many more reasons to smiles as you progress in recovery! 😉

    • I checked the courtyard several times today. Alas, no rhinos…

  3. But should there be an actual safari (which would be impressive for a modest-sized care facility, we’ll come over with our pith helmets!

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