November Free First Saturday was another stunner as the crowds packed in for Random Ruckus, a theme taking inspiration from the current exhibition House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective. Family activities were informed by the use of chance and animals, like the work of Huang Yong Ping.
I wasn’t a mere spectator this time around. I was put to work in the Lecture Room presenting a storytime reading of The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac, adapted by Monica Chang. It’s an incredibly beautiful book. It was a popular event – in addition to the three scheduled readings, I ended up presenting FOUR encore readings! I just couldn’t say, No.
I absolutely loved the animal short films. Free First Saturday screened Schweinchen Fliegt (Little Pig is Flying) and The Ride of the Mergansers. So adorable! But the Mergansers had me laughing so hard! The director made a short documentary about newborn Hooded Merganser ducks as they struggle to leave the nest 24 HOURS AFTER THEY ARE BORN! No time like the present, it seems. But what was really funny was hearing the whole thing set to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries as we see little ducklings bouncing around like popcorn, and then scrambling through the hole in the duck box just to fling themselves 25 feet to the water below.
The director told us that they aren’t always lucky enough to be born right above the water, but he assured us that they could jump 80 feet and still bounce.