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Behind the Scenes

5 Writers. 5 New Jobs. 5 Adventures.

If you could choose any job for a single day, what would it be? Maître d'? Zookeeper? Saleswoman? Party Planner? Fundraiser?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

In the Lion House 
Leah Gebber
February. It’s freezing. It’s way before dawn. Get uuuup. I haul myself out of bed, look at the pile of clothing I prepared for myself: an ancient, black, hooded sweater; extra-thick socks to wear under a pair of boots. Somewhat different from my usual work wardrobe. But then, writing demands something a little different from zookeeper. I’m secretly hoping that I’ll be presented with one of those khaki shirts, reading “Keeper.” For the meantime, I’m opting for practical apparel. I take the back route fromBeitShemesh to Jerusalem. The green is painted silver by frost, mist rises from the valleys, and the newborn sun kisses the tops of the hills a pearly pink. It’s just after seven when I arrive at the staff entrance of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. I’m met byBenjamin, keeper of the predators. He’s already been in the kitchen, he tells me, and holds a stack of neat Tupperware containers. I peer into the meat kitchen: no pretty tiles, just a huge steel counter and some nasty-looking butchers’ knives. And then, in the corner, I see a whole goat. I take a few steps back. “Dead?” I askBenjamin. He nods. “Food for the vultures.” Ooooh. Good thing I haven’t had breakfast. I was going to ask what was in the Tupperware containers, but decide to forgo the question. Instead, I trot behind him as we head to the upper level of the zoo. Home to the predators. 

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