A Day in the Life of a Noah’s Ark Strawberry

strawberry close-upStrawberries (not real ones, but very real-looking ones) are a hot commodity on board Noah’s Ark at the Skirball. I watch them travel all over—getting shared, hoarded, lost, or found, eventually finding a home somewhere among all the other inhabitants. I have even found them in my own pocket, and then they must endure a brief respite in my office before they are returned to the gallery.

Most strawberries, though, begin and end their day on the Ark. They wait patiently, nestled among other food. (We talk a lot on the Ark about being patient. Imagine how difficult that would be on a long journey!)

But suddenly, one strawberry might get scooped away from the food table and into a basket with other strawberries, which gets carried across the room to a bear who awaits some strawberry snacks.hands-at-the-table

After whetting the bear’s appetite, the strawberry then gets swept up in the palm of a toddler. This is where it stays for a while, because it’s such a natural fit in her palm and, well, she likes to eat strawberries, too.

cutefaceandpalmcombinedEventually, however, the toddler soon moves onto the next activity, and the strawberry is tossed across the floor, where it rests out of sight for a while …

Skirball_strawberry-in-corn Skirball_turtle-and-strawbe… until a kind grandma picks it up and feeds it to the resident turtle.

Skirball_strawberry-down-chThis doesn’t last long. The strawberry soon rejoins the other fruit that gets sorted and cleaned between the upper and lower deck of the Ark.Skirball_collecting-strawbeThis part of the Ark story is all about community and collaboration, and three young boys team up to get the job done.

Skirball_storm-wall-noah's-But one strawberry gets away …It’s weathering a different kind of storm now, the kind that has thunder, lightning, and wind! This is the flood part of the story—right at the beginning—and this is not where this strawberry belongs.

Skirball_camelIt hovers underneath the belly of a camel, hoping to get out of the storm and back on board the Ark. How about it, camel?

Skirball_rainbow-parachute While it waits, the strawberry hears other Ark inhabitants celebrating on dry land and it feels very far away from the other strawberries.

Skirball_noah's-ark-owlSo it musters all its strength and makes its way back on the Ark, where a snow leopard and an owl are meeting for the first time. On this Ark, they will have to learn to get along.

Skirball_lonely-strawberryThis strawberry, too, will have to make friends to survive the long journey.Skirball_strawberry-and-fri

Soon, it happens. The strawberry finds a comfortable place to relax.

Skirball_strawberry-soupAnd before long, it returns to the bustling Ark community and is part of the kitchen again. (It knows where it is because the smell of Noah’s Ark fruit soup is like no other.)

Skirball_gorillas-and-strawThis is a flourishing community. There’s even a new family of mountain gorillas that have made a nest with some butterflies and birds, and the strawberries are welcome in that home as well.

Skirball_rainbow-galleryFinally, after this long adventure, the flood waters are receding and there is a rainbow shining brightly ahead. The inhabitants have found land, and there are second chances and a brighter world. Even for this little strawberry …

Skirball_strawberry-in-bask… and for all those who cared about it along the way.

Posted in Museum, Noah's Ark.

About Kate Reed

Kate Reed is Gallery Manager of Noah’s Ark at the Skirball, the Skirball’s interactive destination for children and families. She works with a stellar team of gallery staff who keep the ark afloat Tuesday through Sunday. On her days off, she is happily land-locked, exploring the greater city of Los Angeles two-by-two with her boyfriend, Sean. Kate grew up in North Carolina, where as a preschooler she built homes for squirrels out of leaves and twigs in her school yard. She was unaware that this was not common practice.

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