5

Llama Drama

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Lizzy Llama was standing outside school one day with her friends. They had been back for a couple of weeks, so there was a lot to talk about.

Elsa: Pickles! I hate this phone!

Rosa: What’s wrong with your phone? I thought your parents just got you a new one.

Elsa: It is a new phone. It’s the latest Elkheart.

Tiffany: Ooh! Those are really expensive. What’s wrong with it?

Elsa: The stupid thing keeps saying it doesn’t understand what I’m saying. I mean, seriously? Do you guys think I talk funny?

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The other girls look at her in disbelief.

Lizzy: Uh. Yeah. You talk so fast with that weird alpaca accent, that we can’t understand you half the time.

Elsa: It’s not a weird accent. I just spent a lot of time with alpacas when I was little, and some of it stuck.

Tiffany: OK, it’s not a weird accent. You could talk a little slower and see if that helps.

Rose: You know those phones default to camel, right? Did you check the language setting?

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Elsa: Why does it default to camel?

Rosa: That’s their biggest customer base. Let me see it.

Rosa spoke a few phrases into the phone and handed it back to Elsa.

Rosa: That should fix your problem.

Elsa: Thanks. Stupid phone.

The bell rang, and they didn’t see each other until lunch.

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Tiffany: Did you hear that Jeremy asked Shelley to the Homecoming Dance?

Lizzy: No!

Tiffany: Yep. She told me herself.

Lizzy: Does Rosa know? She has a crush on him.

Rosa stomped up and sat down.

Rosa: Can you believe that idiot Jeremy? Shelley? Seriously? She never says two words. What does he see in her?

Tiffany: Don’t worry, Rosa. Someone better will ask you out. There’s plenty of time.

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Rosa: Easy for you to say. You’ve got a boyfriend. Stewart is such a sweetheart.

Tiffany: Yeah. He’s really a great guy.

Lizzy: Elsa, who do you want to go with?

Elsa: I really like Brian. He talked to me in Biology. He’s really smart.

Lizzy (whispering): He’s looking over here.

Elsa: Don’t look! He’ll think we’re talking about him.

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Rosa: You are talking about him.

Elsa: That’s not the point. What about you, Lizzy?

Lizzy: I can’t think of anyone who might ask me. I think I might just go with some of the other girls.

Rosa: Ooh. If you do that, I’ll go with you. It sounds like fun.

Lizzy: Deal.

A few days later, Elsa came to lunch excited.

Elsa: Guess what? I found out that Brian doesn’t have a girlfriend.

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Tiffany: How’d you do that?

Elsa: I asked him if he was taking his girlfriend to the dance.

Tiffany: Smooth. Very subtle.

Elsa: So what? I don’t want to waste my time on someone who’s not available.

Tiffany: Good point.

Elsa: Maybe I should ask him to hang out with us after school.

Lizzy: I guess. That sounds a little weird.

Elsa: Maybe you’re right. How about inviting him to the soccer game?

Tiffany: That sounds more normal. That way there’ll be a lot of people around.

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Next week: Does the soccer game bring Elsa and Brian closer?

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

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10

The Hedgehogs’ Smart Home – Part 3

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Where we are: Harry and Vivian Hedgehog’s smart home is becoming a nightmare with merchandise arriving without being ordered. Vivian has been working with Euphrates to fix the problem, but it has continued.

Harry and Vivian were extremely disappointed. As much as they liked Venus, they couldn’t keep using her. It was irritating to keep getting things they hadn’t ordered. Besides, it was tying up their credit while the return was processed. They didn’t want to have any problems with their HedgeAccess card. What would happen if something got lost, and they had to pay Euphrates for something they had never wanted in the first place?

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Harry contacted Euphrates to see if they could use Venus but disable her ability to order from Euphrates. The representative told him that Venus had to communicate with Euphrates. It was part of her basic programming. There was no way to separate the ordering function from the rest of the communications sent to Euphrates.

Harry disconnected his chat and thought about what the representative had said. What type of information would Venus need to send to Euphrates except sales information? He looked at the paperwork they had received from Euphrates when they bought Venus. Reading through it, Harry found what he was looking for:

“All conversations recorded by Venus are the property of Euphrates. This information may be used for marketing purposes or for the solicitation of new customers.”

Hogs! He knew he should have found a hedgehog vendor rather than using the Cobras.

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Harry: It looks like there’s no way around it. It’s either get rid of Venus or live with the unwanted items.

Vivian: We can’t just turn off the ordering?

Harry: No. It’s tied into Euphrates’ ability to listen in on what we say.

Vivian: I knew it was too good to be true. We’ll have to pack everything up and send it back tomorrow.

Harry: Why can’t we do it right now?

Vivian: Don’t you remember? Pete and Stella are coming over for dinner. We have to get ready.

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Pete and Stella were Harry and Vivian’s best friends. Harry and Vivian had moved into the burrow next to their friends. The burrows were so close that sometimes they could head each other scratching the ground or running on the treadmill.

Dinner went well. The grub-avocado salad was delicious. And they enjoyed the dandelion wine, although it did come from a human recipe.

Pete: How’s it going with your smart home?

Harry: Not so well. We keep getting stuff we didn’t order. You’re supposed to get her attention, by saying “Venus” before you ask her to do anything. Apparently, if it’s something they sell, the rules don’t apply.

Vivian: Or something. We can’t figure it out. All we know is that we’re not using the “official” words, and we keep getting stuff.

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Stella: What kind of stuff?

Vivian: The first thing was a television.

Stella looked at Pete.

Pete: Was it a Katsu 4K streaming model?

Vivian: As a matter of fact, it was. Then we got some Badger-b-Gone. The most recent thing was a vacuum cleaner.

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Stella: Oh, my hogs! I am so sorry, but we know what happened.

Harry: You do? How?

Pete: After you got Venus, we thought it would be fun to pretend to order things online with our own Venus.

Stella: So, we told “our” Venus to order a few things. We never thought it would interfere with your real Venus.

Harry: It shouldn’t have. That’s ridiculous.

Pete: I agree. But it’s the only possible explanation.

Harry: You’re probably right. Well, it’s a good thing that we decided to get rid of Venus. It’s bad enough that she was listening in on what we say. But she was spying on you too.

Stella (laughing): It’s a good thing Pete and I weren’t very imaginative when we were playing around. You might have ended up with a 4-foot pink armadillo pillow.

Vivian: I guess it’s back to Prickles and Quills for us.

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12

The Hedgehogs’ Smart Home – Part 2

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Where we are: Harry and Vivian Hedgehog have decided to invest in a smart home. They are extremely happy with Venus, their personal assistant from Euphrates, until merchandise starts arriving at their house that they haven’t ordered. They think that Venus must be ordering things on her own.

In the morning, Vivian called Euphrates about Venus. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, Vivian finally reached a representative who spoke hedgehog. She was pretty sure the work was outsourced; the hedgehog was heavily accented with meerkat. Hopefully, they could understand each other.

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Voice: Thank you for calling Euphrates. My name is Eugenia. How may I help you?

Vivian: We purchased a Venus a few weeks ago, and we think she’s ordering things on her own.

Eugenia: That’s not possible. Our technology has been extensively tested to prevent that problem. Perhaps someone in your family ordered the items and didn’t tell you.

Vivian: The only other hedgehog around is my husband.

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Eugenia: He probably ordered the items and didn’t tell you.

Vivian: No, he did not.

Eugenia: Perhaps one of you just forgot what you ordered.

Vivian: We did not forget. Are you going to help me or not?

Eugenia: I am trying to help you. There’s no need to get angry. What is your customer ID?

Vivian: 100-672-437-925-107-688-04692

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Eugenia: Am I speaking with Vivian or Harry Hedgehog?

Vivian: I’m Vivian Hedgehog.

Eugenia: Please give me your mother’s maiden name to verify your identity.

Vivian: We’re hedgehogs! We all have the same last name.

Eugenia: And what is that name?

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Vivian: Hedgehog! This is ridiculous!

Eugenia: Please calm down Mrs. Hedgehog. You’re not helping the situation. It shows that you ordered a Katsu television and 4 boxes of Comco Badger-be-Gone in the last month.

Vivian: That’s what I’m trying to tell you. We didn’t order those things. I’m returning them both.

Eugenia: I see that there is a refund in process for the television. I’m sorry it didn’t meet your expectations.

Vivian: I didn’t have expectations. I. Did. Not. Order. A. Television.

Eugenia: I don’t see anything here about a return on the Badger-b-Gone.

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Vivian: That’s because we just got it yesterday.

Eugenia: You don’t have to be ashamed about wanting to keep the badgers away. I hear they are quite dangerous to hedgehogs. In fact, I’ve read…

Vivian didn’t get to hear what Eugenia had read because she hung up the phone before Eugenia had a chance to tell her.

Vivian was so upset that she needed to spend 45 minutes on the treadmill to calm down. She made herself a cup of marsh-grass tea and tried to decide on her next step.

She went to the contact information on the Euphrates website and discovered that she could chat online with a technical support representative. At least she wouldn’t have to worry about anyone telling her to calm down.

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“Thank you for contacting Euphrates. My name is Tim. How may I help you?

Vivian: We bought a Venus and she is ordering things on Euphrates that we didn’t tell her to.

Tim: That’s extremely unusual. Let me check your account.

Vivian: Thank you.

She waited while he accessing her information.

Tim: Thank you for waiting. Your account shows that you purchased a television and some Badger-b-Gone. Are these the items in question?

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Vivian: Yes. We didn’t order them. Venus ordered them.

Tim: It also shows that you ordered a Venus Ultra X62957. Is that correct?

Vivian: Yes.

Tim: And that is the machine that is giving you trouble?

Vivian: Yes.

Tim: Normally we don’t see a problem with that model. It is possible that the memory was holding data from testing.

Vivian: Can you fix that?

Tim: I have removed everything from the memory between the date of manufacture and the date of purchase. You should be all set.

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Vivian: Thank you very much!

Tim: Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Vivian: No. That was the only problem.

Vivian told Harry about her conversation with Tim. They were both excited that they would be able to enjoy Venus without monitoring everything they said for fear that Venus would might pick up something to order.

It seemed that everything was well for a few days. Then they received a vacuum cleaner from Euphrates.

What was going on?

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Next week – Do the hedgehogs finally get to the real reason Venus keeps ordering things?

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

11

The Hedgehogs’ Smart Home

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Harry and Vivian Hedgehog had just moved into a new home and were excited to start decorating.

Vivian: I’d like to do something a little different. It seems like everyone we know is doing rustic. If I see one more pinecone, I swear I’ll scream.

Harry: One of the guys at work says he has a smart house, and he loves it.

Vivian: What’s a smart house? I don’t want anything that orders me around.

Harry: Bob said he has this thing he talks to, and it does what he wants.

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Vivian: Bob the Squirrel? The one who tried to get everyone to sign up for satellite TV so he’d earn money?

Harry: Yeah. That didn’t work out so well, did it?

Vivian: You would think the goofball would have known that trees interfere with satellites. He lives in a tree.

Harry: He said that was the problem. The squirrels put their dishes on the top of their trees, so it worked great for them.

Vivian: OK. Tell me what a smart home is.

Harry: You buy this speaker thing from Euphrates. Then you get stuff that connects to it.

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Vivian: You mean the house is going to be full of wires and cords? That’s not an improvement over pinecones.

Harry: No. That’s the great part. The speaker is the brains of the whole thing. Her name is Venus, and she talks to the other smart stuff and tells them what we want.

Vivian: Does Venus speak hedgehog, or are we supposed to learn squirrel?

Harry: She speaks a lot of languages: hedgehog, squirrel, rabbit, badger, horse. She even speaks water buffalo.

Vivian:  What kinds of things does she control?

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Harry: There are a lot of things. She works with lights, thermostats, security cameras, doorbells, TVs. She even order things from Euphrates if you tell her to.

Vivian: That sounds pretty good. Let’s do it. Too bad she doesn’t cook or clean.

They went to the Euphrates website and ordered Venus and her accessories. A few days later, everything arrived.

Vivian: This is so exciting! I’m the first one of my friends to try all of this. I can’t wait to tell Eve and Judy how this works.

They hooked everything up and started talking to Venus to see how she worked.

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“Venus, turn on the bedroom lights.”

“Venus, turn the heat up to 70 degrees.”

“Venus, turn on ‘Hector Hedgehog and the Lost Treasure’”

“Venus, let us see outside the burrow.”

“Venus, change the bedroom lights to blue.”

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Venus did everything they told her to do without a glitch. They looked around the outside of the burrow before they went to bed, and everything was calm.

Over the next few days, Harry and Vivian discovered that they really liked having Venus around. There were a few small issues, but nothing that they couldn’t work out.

One day, Harry came home from work to a huge television. He stomped into the burrow.

Harry: Vivian! Why on earth did you order that TV? I thought we’d agreed to no more big purchases.

Vivian: What are you talking about? I didn’t order it; you must have. You’re always talking about how much you want a new TV.

Harry: Venus, who ordered the new television?

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Venus: I ordered the television exactly one week ago. Is there a problem?

Harry (sighing): That wasn’t helpful. I wonder if we did it by mistake. I’ve heard that Venus picks up everything we say.

Vivian: We’ll have to be more careful when we’re talking. And return the TV.

Vivian returned the TV.

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They wanted to show off Venus to their friends, and decided to have a dinner party. Each time there was a knock at the door, Harry would ask Venus “Who is at the door?” The friend and Harry greeted each other before the guest entered the burrow.

Harry and Vivian demonstrated Venus interacting with the other smart products. Their friends agreed that Venus was fantastic. Harry and Vivian were glad they had invested in a smart home.

A few days later, Harry came home to a package. He and Vivian accused each other of ordering whatever it was.

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Vivian: Fine. Open it. We can probably tell who ordered it by what it is.

Harry opened the box and pulled out the contents. They both looked at it, confused.

Harry: Badger-b-Gone? We don’t have badgers here.

Vivian: This is very odd. What’s going on?

They both looked at Venus.

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Next week: Why is Venus ordering things on her own?

10

Felines and Friends Academy Elections – Part 4

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Where we are: Bella Bear is running for student government President at Cats & Friends Academy. She would be the first non-cat to hold elective office at the school.

The election was only a few days away. Each of the candidates had a particular area of interest. The platforms were:

Ellie Calico: Improve Academic Competitiveness

Bella Bear: More Activities for Non-Cat Students

Terry Tabby: More Sports

Geri Ginger: Clean Up the Environment

Marvin Manx: More Community Involvement

Walt Weasel: Weasel Power

Bella and Daphne were discussing any last-minute changes they might need to make.

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Bella: What do you think of the competition?

Daphne: The cats all have good ideas. I really think that the environment is on everyone’s mind.

Bella: So you think Geri is the one to beat?

Daphne: Not necessarily. She has a reputation for being a snob. A lot of the girls don’t like her. Of course, the guys don’t seem to mind.

Bella: She’s gorgeous.

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Daphne: Moving on. Terry probably has the idea that would be easiest for us to pull into your platform. More sports could be read as sports for more types of animals.

Bella: That’s true. As long as it doesn’t look like we’re stealing.

Daphne: You’re right. Our folks should just mention it in passing when they’re out talking to the animals.

Bella: Who’s next?

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Daphne: Ellie. She’s the one who wants us to compete in those “bowls” against other schools on TV.

Bella: I guess we’d be better known.

Daphne: She thinks that if a school is really good, the colleges will notice. Then it might be easier for Academy grads to get in.

Bella: I wonder if she’s right.

Daphne: I don’t know. But it wouldn’t hurt for some animals to study more.

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Bella: So that leaves Marvin.

Daphne: He has a great idea. Setting up programs to get the animals working with the elderly and people in need doesn’t really have a bad side.

Bella: Besides, it really looks good on a college application.

Daphne: Definitely.

Bella: I nearly forgot, what about Walt?

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Daphne: His slogan is, “Cats are weird. Is that what you want?”

Bella: That explains “Leash the Cats” on his posters.

Daphne: I really don’t see him as much of a threat.

Bella: I certainly hope not. That would be awful for all of us. What do you think of my chances?

Daphne: Assuming there aren’t to many haters out there, and that Phoebe and Phyllis have been giving us good advice, I think you’ll give the cats a good run.

Bella: I hope so.

The bears decided that Bella should stay with her message. There wasn’t anything obvious to change.

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On the way home, Bella ran into Walt Weasel.

Bella: Hello, Walt.

Walt: Ready for the big day?

Bella: I guess so. Why did you have to run against me?

Walt: You know everyone doesn’t agree with your hearts-and-flowers view of the world, don’t you?

Bella: I suppose.

Walt: Did you know that orange cat is trying to stir up anti-bear attitudes?

Bella: I didn’t know.

Walt: I’m just trying to fight fire with fire.

Bella: Thanks, I guess.

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Bella walked home in a gloomy mood. There were so many cats. What if Geri got most of them to vote against Bella. There was no way she was going to win without a lot of cats voting for her.

Election Day arrived. The students voted during lunch so the results could be announced before the end of the day. Bella felt like the day lasted forever. She was too nervous to concentrate on anything. Finally, during the last class of the day, the results were announced:

Bella Bear: 29%

Ellie Calico: 24%

Geri Ginger: 5%

Marvin Manx: 31%

Terry Tabby: 10%

Walt Weasel: 1%

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Bella was in a fog, and didn’t understand the numbers. The non-cats in the room erupted into cheers and ran up to hug her and congratulate her. Bella was confused.

Daphne: What’s wrong, Bella?

Bella: What just happened?

Daphne: You just beat out three cats and a weasel to finish second in the race!

Bella: Oh my cats! I’m Vice President.

Daphne: Yes! We have a voice in what happens thanks to you.

Ellie, Terry, and Walt came up to congratulate here. Geri sat in a corner and sulked. Marvin went up to the microphone.

Marvin: Thank you all for voting for me. I am honored that I will be serving with the first non-cat in the history of Academy politics. Bella, would you please come up and join me?

The room exploded in applause as Bella moved toward the front of the room.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

 

14

Felines and Friends Academy Elections – Part 3

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Where we are: Bella Bear has decided to run for student government to represent the various types of non-feline animals at the academy. She has been promised the support of many of those animals. To read the first two parts, click on the links to the right.

Several days passed. As promised, the other animals volunteered to do anything they could. The night before her first rally, Bella was nervous.

Bella: I don’t know why I said I’d do this. I’m never going to win. All I’m doing is wasting everyone’s time.

Daphne: You don’t have to win.

Bella: I know, I know. Just running is an important first step for us.

Daphne: No. I mnean you don’t have to get the most votes to win.

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Bella: What do you mean?

Daphne: What office did you register to run for?

Bella: I don’t remember. That’s kind of embarrassing. I am going to look like an idiot tomorrow.

Daphne: No, you won’t. You didn’t need to sign up, except to run for a leadership spot. The animal who gets the most votes is President, the runner-up is Vice-President, and third place becomes Treasurer.

Bella: How could I have missed that?

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Daphne: You were pretty upset about the cats running everything. You weren’t really focusing on much else.

Bella: Has it always been this way?

Daphne: As far as I know. You campaign for President, but as long as you’re in the top three, you’re elected to an office.

Bella: That’s why those cats were always in a herd. That makes sense.

Daphne: I told you the were nice kitties.

Bella: I better get going on my speech.

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When Bella was waiting to go on the stage, she was surprised to see that there were a lot of animals waiting to hear what she had to say. There were even a few cats.

Becky Squirrel: Look. The cats sent spies to see what you’re saying.

Bella: Oh, no! That’s awful.

Daphne: No, it isn’t. If they didn’t think you were a threat, they would ignore you. Besides, some of them may just want to hear what you have to say.

Ollie Otter: I agree. I always go to all the speeches just to hear what they are saying. Maybe they don’t really care if they vote for a cat.

Bella: Well, it’s too late to back out, so let’s do this.

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As she walked onto the stage, Bella heard the cheering and clapping. She hadn’t realized how many animals were ready for a change.

Bella: Thank you all for coming. I’m honored that so many of you wanted to hear me speak.

From the back: It’s about time someone showed those cats the we can’t be pushed around anymore. We’re gonna fight back. Watch out kitties, it’s our turn to roar.

The other animals began cheering the speaker. Bella was appalled. She didn’t want to fight the cats. She wanted to work with them.

Bella: No. That’s not the message at all. The cats haven’t hurt us. We just want them to understand what we want, too. We want to have a say in what activities and classes are offered. We want to be a team.

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The crowd quieted down as Bella talked about her plans and what she hoped to do, starting with afterschool and lunchtime clubs and programs more oriented toward some of the other animals. The audience listened quietly and cheered at the end.

Bella was thrilled. They seemed to really appreciate what she was saying. When she left the stage, she was surrounded by supporters. She noticed a couple of cats standing to the side and went over.

Bella: Hi, I’m Bella Bear. I’m so glad you could make it to my rally.

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Phoebe: We were just wondering if you meant what you said to those mockingbirds.

Bella: Sorry? We don’t have birds at the academy.

Phoebe: I meant the weasels who wanted to fight with us cats. Did you really mean what you said about wanted to work together? Or is that just a cover for the election?

Bella: Not at all. I don’t want to be excluded anymore, but the cats are a huge part of this school. After talking with some of you, I understand that we need to participate to get our ideas heard. I’m trying to be that voice.

Phyllis: We were hoping you’d say that. Quite a few cats are in favor non-cats having a bigger say in things. But we want to make sure it’s someone who won’t make things worse by turning the school into pro-cat and anti-cat enemies.

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Bella: Oh, yes! I completely agree.

Phyllis: Then we’d like to work with you on the best way to reach the cats.

Phoebe: And your team can work it into your message. What do you think?

Bella: I love the idea! Let me introduce you to my best friend, Daphne. She’s the one who keeps all of us on track.

Next week: Will Bella cooperative strategy work?

Image result for two bears

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

11

Felines and Friends Academy Elections – Part 2

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Where we are: Bella Bear is frustrated that cats run everything at the Academy. She talks to the cats about it, and they recommend that she run for student government office. Her friend Daphne agrees, but Bella isn’t too sure.

Bella couldn’t decide what to do. She knew that the cats ad Daphne were right. Someone had to represent the other animals, but why did it have to be her? Maybe she could get someone else to run. But who?

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Bella: Ollie, don’t you think the rest of the animals deserve representation in the student government?

Ollie: That’s a great idea, Bella! We otters have almost nothing in common with the cats. Sometimes it’s hard to get them to understand what we’re saying.

Bella: Exactly. That’s why I thought you would be the perfect animal for us to get behind. The rest of us could help with signs, social media, —

Ollie: Wait a minute, Bella. I said it was a great idea. I don’t have time to do it. I’m captain of the swim team, do gymnastics, and still need to study.

Bella: I understand. Do you have any ideas?

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Ollie: I would ask one of the squirrels. They always seem to have extra time to run around.

Bella: Good idea. Thanks.

Bella finally found the squirrels racing around the courtyard. She asked them to stop so she could explain her idea.

Joe: That’s a wonderful idea. We’re all behind you. Just tell us what you need us to do.

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The other squirrels nodded.

Becky: We could make signs and hold rallies.

Bella: Actually, I was thinking that one of you could run for office.

Becky: I don’t think that’s a good idea. If we have two non-cats running, it would probably split our votes. You should definitely be our candidate.

Bella: I meant someone to run instead of me.

Joe: No, you’d stand a better chance of winning. Everyone takes bears more seriously than squirrels. They think we’re cute and brainless.

The other squirrels agreed. Bella thanked them and left. She talked to the sheep and goats. Everyone was enthusiastic about the idea, but no one wanted to be the first non-cat to run for office. She went through all the species in the school with no luck.

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The only one she hadn’t talked to was Greta, the red fox who was at the school as an exchange student. Bella decided to talk to her. Foxes were like dogs with fluffy tails, weren’t they? Surely a dog would want to run against a bunch of cats.

Bella: Hi, Greta. How are you?

Greta: I am well. How are you?

Bella: I’m fine. I was just wondering if you’d heard that we’re having student government elections in a few weeks?

Greta: Yes, I have. It sounds very exciting. I am looking forward to watching the whole process.

Bella: You might have noticed that all of our leaders are cats. We were thinking that it might be nice to have a non-cat run to offer a different viewpoint.

Greta: Yes. That does sound like a good idea. Other perspectives are always helpful to a group as a whole.

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Bella: I was hoping that you would be our candidate. I’m sure you have fresh ideas.

Greta: I am honored that you would think of me as a good candidate. But I really don’t understand how a student government works. Besides, I think that some students would have trouble understanding me. Not only is my native language fox, I have a rather thick accent when I speak cat.

Bella had to agree. Greta would probably need a translator at her rallies and speeches. She thanked Greta and walked away, dejected. Bella went to find Daphne.

Bella: I can’t believe it. No one wants to run for student government.

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Daphne: Why can’t you believe it? You don’t want to run. You had a great idea, and you won’t do anything to make it happen.

Bella: That’s not true. I’d do anything that was needed to get them elected.

Daphne: OK. Since no one will run, we’ll continue to do everything from the cats’ viewpoint. And you’ll keep complaining about it. But I don’t want to hear it. You had a chance to try to change it, and you walked away.

Bella: I’d never win.

 Daphne: That’s not the point. The rest of us need to stand up for ourselves. Besides, how do you know you won’t win?

Bella: I have no idea how to get animals to vote for me.

Daphne: The rest of us will work on that.

Bella went home to think about it. If anyone was going to do it, it would have to be her. Finally, she filled out the paperwork for the election. Now came the hard part.

Next week: Bella’s campaign and the election.

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