December launched the quest to find reindeer.  Not necessarily Santa’s reindeer.  Any reindeer would do.  But I’m open to thinking big. How fun would it be to say hello and maybe even pet Prancer, Blitzen or a distant cousin?  Wow.  Again, I’ll make do with whatever my quest produces.  It might end up being a regular deer.  That could be ok as I’m learning photoshop. I could just tack a huge reindeer rack on her and be happy.

Attempt #1

I saw an ad on tv for live reindeer at a historic village that was going big on the Christmas festivities.  I thought I would wait until Monday when the crowds were gone.

I made my move and drove 45 minutes to the park.  The strategy proved solid as there was not another person on the grounds.  Slightly eerie, but worth it as I would have one on one time with the reindeer.

I made my way to the gift shop to buy my entrance ticket.  A young woman greeted me.

“Are you open?” I asked.

“Yes,” she answered.

I reached into my pocket for my credit card.  “You have reindeer, right?”

The girl shook her head.  “No.”

“But I saw on tv….”

She explained. “They were here last weekend.”

“Are they coming back? It’s still early…”


I put my credit card back into my pocket.  “Maybe they’re too expensive to rent for the whole season.”


I could tell this gal was ready for the reindeer convo to end, so I backed off.

I checked out the gift shop and ended up purchasing an inexpensive, sign that I may use for my “It’s A Dog’s World” video in progress.  Thank God for that little gold nugget amidst the no Donner downer.

Guard Puppy sign

Attempt 1 – Failed with One Gold Nugget.

Attempt #2

My research showed that our local zoo was doing a special Christmas event called Zoo Lights and had reindeer brought in especially for the occasion.  This seemed like a no-brainer.

I waited until Wednesday to take advantage of the new “free Wednesdays” deal I had heard about.   I got there at about 3:30 pm, saw that no one was manning the gate, and beelined towards the entrance.

I noticed a gal inside the ticket booth watching me suspiciously.  She leaned forward and hollered through the glass, “It’s not free.”

“But it’s Wednesday.”

“It’s only free the last Wednesday of the month.”

I paid full price and entered the zoo.  I walked around looking for the reindeer.  I figured they would be front and center for the Christmas season.  Nope. I covered the entire zoo grounds.  Nothing.   Not one handsome deer with a killer rack & a jingle bell collar to be found.

I spotted a zoo employee.

“Excuse me.  Where can I find the reindeer?”

“You can’t.  They come out at 5:30 pm.”

That was an an hour away.  I was getting tired, but maybe I could muster up the juice.   ” Since I’m here and already bought a ticket, can I just hang around til 5:30 pm and see the reindeer?  I’ll be quick.”

“No.  You have to be off the grounds by 5 pm and then purchase a special Zoo Lights ticket to come back in and see the reindeer.”

Rules. Politics. Restrictions.  This was exhausting.  I then decided that I’d already had plenty of zoo time and was not willing to wait.   Buh, bye.

The good news is that while tromping through the zoo grounds, I lucked out and captured some amazing animal kingdom action scenes that will be great for my short film projects.

  • Snow leopard climbing a tree.
  • Lion carrying a drum.
  • Two lions wrestling.
  • Two elephants with synchronized, vertical trunks snacking.
  • Baby/Teen elephant too big to feed off Mom, so she got on her belly and crawled under Mom to get the milk.
  • Sea lions mating.  I felt a bit uncomfortable filming with intent to someday place the footage on the internet to support money making activities, but I suspected the creatures were not worried about their reputations.  So, I filmed away.

Attempt 2 – Failed with Multiple Gold Nuggets 

Attemps 3, 4 & 5 – Failed with Zero Gold Nuggets.  These attempts were too boring to discuss.  

My hopes to meet a reindeer and get photos and video to enhance my messages of Christmas cheer went sour.  However, I am thrilled with the gold nuggets the quest produced.

Is it time to just say ‘F… the reindeer,’  it’s never going to happen?  No way.  I shall continue the reindeer quest next holiday season.  Stay tuned.

Happy New Year 🙂 !!