On New Year’s Day, Ndume received gifts to ring in the new year of 2017. When I brought a small wrapped present into his room, Ndume came right over to see what I had. I told him he had a gift sent to him by a friend of his. Ndume kissed and sat close, obviously interested in the gift. When I suggested we open it together Ndume was very enthusiastic.
I sat close and unwrapped part of the present with Ndume watching vigilantly. I showed him that there was a box inside of the wrapping, and he kissed and knocked urging me to continue opening the present. Once I got the wrapping paper off, I showed him the box and said that there were items inside. He was very interested in seeing what was in the box. After opening it, I showed him the little toy Zebra and book from in the box. Ndume wanted to check to make sure I had retrieved all of the goodies from inside, so I showed him the empty box. He was interested in the little book and zebra, but walked away when I started reading the book.
Ndume’s Zebra Gift Set
A moment later, he returned with a small stuffed deer toy from his nest and started tossing it around gleefully. I tossed his new little zebra around to match, and Ndume was very engaging with both toys as we played together. After a bit of playing, I read the cute story of the Zebra to him, which he enjoyed very much. I placed the book where he could see it. His new zebra friend joined him that evening for some continued playtime before bedtime.
Both gorillas — Ndume and Koko — love to play with stuffed animals and puppets, and to have stories read to them that feature other animals (in Koko’s case, she does some of the reading too). And we enjoy enriching their lives in this way, not just during the holidays, but whenever there’s an opportunity!