AP NEWS

Column: Kiddie Park, like the zoo, is a local icon

April 16, 2019 GMT

The little bus at Kiddie Park was overjoyed last week when it heard, late on a weeknight, that it would be moving to the San Antonio Zoo.

“I’ve always felt,” she said excitedly as she circled around in excitement, “that we were part of the zoo anyway, being part of the Brackenridge Park family.”

The ferris wheel nodded; a couple of the little speedboats dinged their bells in agreement. But, one of the horses on the ferris wheel disagreed.

“You do know that things won’t be the same as they have been here,” the old horse said, looking alarmed. “Just because we are in the Brackenridge Park area, we aren’t part of the same family. Sure, we rides are going to be moved over there, y las picnic tables tambien, maybe even all these little rocks that have been getting into little chanclitas for decades, they might go, too but —”

“¡Ay!” cried a metal flying disc as she swooped in for a landing. “Don’t ruin the happy. Of course it’s not going to be exactly the same.”

The horse rose.

“The zoo is in the park. And the people who love the park are worried about how all of you are going to change the landscape,” he said.

One of the old timey cars agreed.

“Kiddie Park means kids. Kids mean birthday parties, which mean balloons, gift wrap, goody bags, piñatas, confetti, cupcake wrappers, pizza boxes, popcorn boxes …” the car said, running out of breath.

“I heard,” a helicopter whispered to the disc, “that some people are worried about the traffic we’ll bring to the park, and how our fans are going to take up all the parking.”

“And” said one of the little speedboats, looking into the water beneath it, “they’re afraid of all that birthday party drama finding its way into the San Antonio River.”

“But we can’t stay here,” the school bus said sadly as she looked toward Broadway. “I thought people liked us.” She drove around a little slower.

“That horse is almost 100 years old,” the ferris wheel said, trying to comfort the bus. “He’s been around a long time, because people made sure he’s still running. People feel the same way about Brackenridge Park, because it’s a very special piece of nature in the middle of the growing city. They just want to make sure that, if we go, we don’t ruin that. But they’ll work it out, because they love us.”

Comforted, the small bus smiled and drifted off to sleep, just as Broadway was seeing it’s 2 a.m. surge.

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