8

Felines and Friends Academy Elections

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Bella Bear: I am so mad!

Daphne Bear: What’s wrong?

Bella: Those stupid cats think they run everything.

Daphne: Anything in particular? Or is this just a generalized rant?

Bella: The Student Council has decided that the end-of-the year trip should be to the State Park.

Daphne: What’s wrong with that?

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Bella: Nothing, I guess. But the games are all about running, and jumping, and catching mice.

Daphne: They won’t care if we don’t participate.

Bella: I know. But what about the rest of us? The squirrels don’t want to chase mice. They’re cousins or something. In fact, we used to have mice in school. Until the cats made too many jokes about lunchtime.

Daphne: That was in extremely poor taste.

Bella: And what about the other animals? Sheep don’t chase mice, and neither do goats. It’s ridiculous.

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Daphne: All right. What are you going to do about it?

Bella: What do you mean? They’re in charge. What they say, goes.

Daphne: Have you told them how you feel? Do you have better ideas for the games?

Bella thought for a few minutes.

Bella: I guess I don’t. It’s hard to think of things that everyone can do. But they should think of some things that don’t only appeal to cats.

Daphne: If you’re that upset, you should talk to them. They seem like nice kitties.

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Bella: I don’t know. They intimidate me.

Daphne (laughing): Seriously? You’re, like, 10 times as big as they are.

Bella: But they always hang around in a group. It’s like they’re in a gang.

Daphne: You’re being ridiculous. They won’t hurt you. They’re kitties, not ogres.

Bella (sighing): I guess you’re right.

Bella got up her nerve and went to see the cats on the Student Council. The leader was Cherie, a beautiful Maine Coon.

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Cherie: Hi Bella. What’s up?

Bella: I was wondering if we could talk about the picnic?

Cherie: Of course.

Bella: It’s just that the games all seem to be cat-centric. The rest of us won’t have anything to do. It happens a lot around here. We can study cat dialects, but there aren’t any classes to learn bear or anything else. And most of the music classes are cat music. We need more diversity.

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Cherie: I understand what you’re saying, Bella. But this school was started by cats, for cats. There are a lot more cats. We don’t intentionally leave you out. But we don’t know anything about bears, or most other animals.

Bella: Almost every animal in student government is a cat. And all of the leadership.

Cherie: That’s not our fault. The only animals that ran for offices were cats.

Bella: Oh, that’s right. I forgot about that.

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Jasmine Calico: If you’re so interested in changing things, you should run for office. The elections for next year are coming up.

Bella: Oh, no. I couldn’t do that.

Jasmine: Then you can’t complain about what we do. We work hard to do what we think is best for the students. If you don’t think we’re doing a good job, then try to change things. You won’t get anywhere just by complaining.

The other cats nodded in agreement. None of them looked angry or intimidating. In fact, they looked like they thought they were giving her good advice. Bella thanked them and left.

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Bella: I am so frustrated. Those cats are so arrogant!

Daphne: What now?

Bella: Would you believe that they said the whole thing is my fault?

Daphne: Really? Why would they say that?

Bella: They said that if I wanted to change things, I should run for office.

Daphne: So they won’t change the games?

Bella: I forgot to ask them about that.

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Daphne: What did you talk about?

Bella: I told them that the school is too cat-centric, and that some of the other animals needed to be considered when important decisions are made.

Daphne: That sounds reasonable.

Bella: I thought so. But then they told me that they’re cats, and they think like cats. If I wanted things to change, I needed to get involved.

Daphne: Were they mean about it?

Bella: No. But they’re in charge, they need to change things.

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Daphne: They told you they think like cats. If you want them to think like bears, or sheep, or whatever, you need to teach them. We don’t think like cats.

Bella: I guess. But I can’t run. No one will vote for me.

Daphne: Why not? You’re passionate about it.

Bella: I don’t know what to say.

Daphne: You’ll think of something. Do you want things to change or not?

Bella: I need to think about it.

Next week: Will Bella have enough confidence to run for office?

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

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6

Seal City High School Final Exams – Part 2

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Where we are: It’s finals time at Seal City High School. The seal with the highest score will get a scholarship to the local college. Sandy wants to win it, but Jeremy has some secret plan to finish first. Sandy followed him home and discovered that the secret might be some drink that his mother is giving him.

Jeremy: What if Sandy does win? She’s a nice girl, and she needs that scholarship. I might not even go to college.

Mom: That’s not the point. You can win, and you’re going to.

Jeremy: I need to lie down for a little while.

Mom: Sorry, honey. You only have a week until finals. Drink this.

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Jeremy took the container and looked at it.

Mom: Go ahead. You know it goes down better if you do it fast.

Jeremy: What’s in this stuff anyway?

Mom: I don’t know. Something to make your muscles grow. Just drink it and make your father happy.

Sandy swam away. Jeremy didn’t have a new way of exercising; he was drinking something. He was cheating! But he was only doing what his father told him to do. Jeremy didn’t even know what he was drinking. Was that still cheating?

It sounded like Jeremy didn’t know what he was doing. And it seemed like he didn’t want to do it at all. And it was making him sick. What a mess! What should she do?

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Sandy was sure that he was drinking some kind of human protein or hormone. She had read about humans taking them to get bigger muscles. Jeremy wasn’t going to look like that, was he? She didn’t think that humans with huge muscles were all that attractive. What would a seal look like?

If she told the school, Jeremy would get kicked out. If she told Jacki, everyone would know. That would be too embarrassing. Besides, someone would turn him in.

Maybe she should talk to Jeremy. If he knew he was cheating, he’d want to stop. She knew he was competitive, but she was sure he wouldn’t want to win by cheating.

But he didn’t want to cheat, his father did. Besides, how would she explain how she found out? She had been spying on him.

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When she arrived at the pool, Jacki was waiting for her. They practiced for a few hours, but Sandy couldn’t concentrate.

What was that stuff? How sick was it making Jeremy? She knew she couldn’t win if Jeremy cheated. But she couldn’t turn him in either.

Finals were taken over two days. The weather was perfect; cool and sunny. The first day, the students would be tested on speaking, fishing, and swimming.

As expected, Sandy excelled in the speaking. Everyone was doing well, but she stayed on top. Jeremy spoke last. There was something wrong. He was speaking too quickly and couldn’t stay on topic.

Jeremy fished first. It was a timed test. He came back with 25 fish, completely crushing the old record of 18. Sandy had 16. Normally, she would have been happy with the score, but she knew that she was going to be no match for Jeremy.

Sandy started to cry. It was so unfair! She couldn’t fight whatever his father had given Jeremy.

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Sandy had always been a faster swimmer than Jeremy. But he beat here without showing any effort that day. Sandy watched him, dejected.

But when Jeremy got back on land, he started to vomit. He couldn’t seem to stop. Sandy watched in horror. Was that stuff making him so sick?

Jeremy’s mother was crying and yelling at her husband. The emergency medical team took him to the hospital.

The next morning, the students gathered to take the last two tests. Jeremy wasn’t there. Ms. Hopper, one of their teachers spoke to them.

Ms. Hopper: Jeremy won’t be joining us today; he’s extremely sick. He was given something created for humans meant to make him do better on his finals. Apparently, the party responsible didn’t bother to find out if this substance would hurt a seal.

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Sandy: Is Jeremy going to be OK?

Ms. Hopper: Yes. Luckily, they were able to stop the poison.

Sandy: So, he gets to graduate with us?

Ms. Hopper: Yes. Obviously, he won’t be competing for the scholarship. But his previous work qualifies him for graduation. Now let’s finish testing.

Graduation night.

Jeremy’s parents helped him to his seat. He looked like he had lost all his fat. His fur was dull and patchy. The other seals gathered around to see if they could help.

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Sandy: I’m glad you’re going to be OK.

Jeremy: Thanks, Sandy. And congratulations on winning the scholarship. I’m really happy for you.

Sandy: Do you have any plans?

Jeremy: After this happened, I decided I want to be a nurse. The ones at the hospital were so awesome.

Over the speakers: Everyone please be seated so we can begin.

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6

Seal City High School Final Exams

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It was only 2 weeks until the end of the school year and Sandy Seal was preparing for final exams. It was here last year of school, and she wanted to finish well. The top student would get a full scholarship to the local college.

That was the only way Sandy could fulfill her dream of being a teacher. There were three younger pups still at home, and her parents didn’t have the extra money. If she went to work, she might never get back to school.

Sandy was a good student, and her only real competition was Jeremy. He was a seal from a very rich family. His father sold fish to the local hotel, and they paid very well. Needless to say, Jeremy was used to getting what he wanted.

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She knew that she could win the speaking competition. Jeremy would win the fishing test. She was a fast swimmer, but he could dive deeper. That only left the obstacle course.

It was a test of skill and speed. There were hoops to swim through and objects to go over, under, and around. It was hard, and no one knew how it would be put together until the day of the race.

Sandy practiced every day with her best friend, Jacki. Jacki wasn’t as fast as Jeremy, but she was very good with the obstacles. Jacki watched Sandy practice with the obstacles, and helped her improve her time getting around them.

As far as anyone could see, Jeremy wasn’t practicing at all. Sandy couldn’t understand it. Was he working at night? Sandy was getting nervous. Why didn’t he have to practice? Finally, she couldn’t stand it anymore.

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Sandy: Hey, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Hey, Sandy. What’s up?

Sandy: Haven’t seen you around the pool much. I thought maybe we could work out together. Not much time before finals.

Jeremy: I’d love to Sandy, but I’m not really working out this year. I have a new trainer and a whole new training regimen.

Sandy: Really? What are you doing?

Jeremy: It’s kind of top-secret. But it’s really working.

Sandy: What’s the big secret?

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Jeremy: It wouldn’t be much of a secret if I told you.

Sandy: I guess not. So, you’re just not doing any practice before finals?

Jeremy: I told you. I’m using my new process.

Sandy: So where did you find this super-secret process?

Jeremy looked around to see if anyone was listening.

Jeremy: I’m not supposed to tell, but my dad found out about it at the hotel.

Sandy: He got it from the humans?

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Jeremy: Shh! He could get in a lot of trouble.

Sandy: Sorry. But be really careful. Humans do some incredibly stupid things at times.

Jeremy: My dad said the people looked OK. They use it in their “spa”.

Sandy: OK. But if you start slapping us on the back and talking about football, we’re no longer friends.

Jeremy (laughing): Deal.

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Sandy left, but she was worried about Jeremy. Things that got wrapped up with humans never seemed to end well for the seals.  That was how her Aunt Emma ended up in Newfoundland rather than Nome.

Aunt Emma was going to visit a friend and a human told her the “best” way to get there. Aunt Emma was lucky to get back home again.

Sandy wasn’t sure what to do. Jeremy was arrogant, and could be a jerk, but she didn’t want him getting hurt.

After school the next day, Sandy told Jacki that she needed to do something before they practiced. She went to the cove where Jeremy and his family lived. Sandy watched him greet his mother.

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Jeremy: Hi, Mom! How was your day?

Mom: Great, Sweetie! How about you?

Jeremy: Okay. My stomach feels weird, and my head hurts.

Mom: I hope you’re not getting sick.

Jeremy: I don’t think so. I think it’s that stuff Dad got for me to drink. I don’t like it.

Mom: But look how much faster you are since you started using it.

Jeremy: But I was fast before.

Mom: You know that your father can’t stand the idea of you getting beaten by a girl.

Next week: What is he drinking? Is Jeremy getting sick from whatever he’s been drinking?

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images

15

O, Give Me a Home – Conclusion

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Where we are: The Bison family has come to Wyoming to visit Jen’s brother Bruce. He’s an aspiring actor and has just gotten his first role in a commercial. Unfortunately, Bruce has turned into a caffeine addict and has trouble getting up. His brother-in-law John accompanies Bruce to the commercial to ensure that he makes it. You can see Part One here (or use the links for any of the parts at the right).

Jen: How’d it go?

John: He didn’t embarrass himself.

Bruce: It was great! They said I was made for the movies.

John: They said they might have another project for you. Hopefully one where they use your face.

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Bruce: Hardwax Jack said I have potential. And he should know; he used to work in Hollywood.

John: That’s true. He was in that show with the dogs.

Bruce: That’s right. Bernie’s Buddies. He lived next door.

JJ: I’ve never heard of that show.

John: That’s because it was cancelled after a couple of episodes.

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Bruce: That doesn’t matter. He has lots of friends. He said he’d put in a good word for me.

John: After you reminded him that your name is Bruce, not Barney.

Bruce: So what? He meets lots of people. He gave me his card.

Jen: That sounds wonderful Bruce. When do you think we’ll see the commercial?

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Bruce: They’re not really sure. The Hardwax folks need to look at it first.

JJ: Did they pay you a lot?

Jen: JJ! That’s not polite.

Bruce: It’s OK. I got 2 cases of hoof-wax. I get money every time they show the commercial.

JJ: Wow! That’s a lot of hoof-wax!

John: Same old Bruce.

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(apparently bison don’t really use telephones)

Bruce goes back to work the next night. The Bison family spends their vacation time relaxing. They notice that whenever they see Bruce, he’s looking at his phone. After a few days, they become curious.

JJ: Uncle Bruce, why do you keep looking at your phone?

Bruce: I don’t want to miss a call from the Hollywood people.

JJ: Doesn’t your phone ring like mine does?

Bruce: I might miss it.

JJ: You could call them back.

Bruce (irritated): I don’t want to make them wait.

JJ: Oh.

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A few weeks go by, and it was time for the Bison family to go home. Bruce still hasn’t heard anything and is getting very agitated.

Jen: Don’t worry, Bruce. I’m sure they’ll call.

Bruce: How do you know? I’m probably stuck here forever.

Jen: So what if you are? Wyoming’s a nice place.

Bruce starts to growl something when his phone goes off. He looks at Jen.

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Bruce: It’s them. (Into the phone) Hello.

. . .

Bruce: This is Bruce.

. . .  Bruce listens for a long time

Bruce: Yes. I would definitely be interested. When does it start?

. . . 

Bruce: That’s fantastic! I look forward to it. Talk to you soon.

Jen: What’d he say?

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Bruce: He has a long-term job for me!

Jen screams and hugs Bruce. John and JJ run in.

JJ: Mom! What’s wrong?

Jen: Your Uncle Bruce got a full-time acting job.

JJ: Awesome, Uncle Bruce! Tell us about it.

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Bruce: It’s a mini-series called Lone Wolf and Billy Bison. It’s about detectives. I’m Billy Bison, Lone Wolf’s bumbling assistant.

John (under his breath): Type casting.

Bruce: We’re making 6 episodes. If it does well, we’ll get renewed for another 6.

JJ: That is so cool, Uncle Bruce. Are you going to Hollywood?

Bruce: No. That’s the best part. It’s set in the Badlands in South Dakota. I can stay with you guys while we’re filming.

CRASH!! John falls over in a dead faint.

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images

15

O, Give Me a Home – Part 3

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Where we are: The Bison family has gone to visit Jen’s brother in Wyoming. John, Jen’s husband, is finally impressed with Bruce when he finds out that he has a regular job and a job filming a commercial. The only possible issue is that Bruce works at night and the commercial will film during the day. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

For the next few days, Bruce takes his family around the area to meet the herd and see the scenery. He seems popular; a couple of the girls said he was cute.

Sunday afternoon, Bruce said he wanted to go to bed early because he’d have to be extra alert on Monday morning.

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Bruce: OK guys, I’m off to bed. Seen you in the a.m.

JJ: Good night, Uncle Bruce. Sweet dreams.

Bruce settled down in his usual spot under the trees, but couldn’t get to sleep. Finally, he decided to get up and walk around. Then he laid back down to sleep. He couldn’t get comfortable. Next thing he knew, it was morning and JJ was standing in front of him.

JJ: It’s time to get up. It’s the big day!

Bruce: Leave me alone. I’m tired.

JJ: Mom said it’s time for you to get up.

Bruce: Tell your mother I’ll get up when I’m ready.

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JJ runs back to his mother.

Jen: Is Uncle Bruce on his way over?

JJ: No. He’s really grumpy. He said he’d get up when he was ready.

John: I knew it. Same old Bruce. He’s going to mess this up.

Jen glares at John.

Jen: I’ll go talk to him.

Bruce: I said I wanted to sleep.

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Jen: You have to get up. Your commercial’s today.

Bruce: I can’t. I have a terrible headache.

Jen: How much of that caffeine do you take?

Bruce: I don’t know. Enough to stay awake.

Jen: How long have you been taking it?

Bruce: Hmm. Maybe a year.

Jen: How often do you not take it?

Bruce: What’s with all the questions? You’re not my mother, you know.

Jen: No, but I’m smart enough to know that you’re having a reaction to not having enough caffeine in your system.

Bruce: Great. I would have been fine if you hadn’t come and messed up my schedule.

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Jen: This is your own fault, not ours.

Bruce: Forget it. Just go away.

Jen goes back to her family. A few minutes later, JJ goes back to Bruce.

Bruce: What do you want?

JJ: Mom said you should eat this.

Bruce: What is it? It looks like a bunch of grass.

JJ: It’s special grass. She says it will make you feel better.

Bruce: I don’t want it.

JJ: You have to. It’s your big day.

Bruce: I don’t care. I’m not eating it.

JJ: Dad! I need your help.

John comes over and glares at Bruce.

JJ: He won’t eat it.

John: Bruce, you can either eat the grass or I can feed it to you. You are not going to disappoint Jen one more time.

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Bruce looks up at his much larger brother-in-law.

Bruce: Fine. Give it to me.

Bruce takes the grass and chews it.

Bruce: This tastes awful.

John: I don’t care. Eat it all. We’re leaving in an hour. Get yourself together.

JJ helps Bruce brush out his coat. Bruce wouldn’t let him touch the hooves. They needed to look as bad as possible. By the time John came back, Bruce was feeling better.

John and Bruce arrived at the shoot just before he was due. John watches everything and decides that Bruce had done well. Soon they were back at the meadow.

Conclusion: How did Bruce do on the commercial? Does he have a future in Hollywood?

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18

O, Give Me a Home – Part 2

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Where we are: The Bison family is going to Wyoming to see Jen’s brother Bruce. Bruce has advised them to take the train. John has just discovered that his family will be sharing their space with two jackrabbits. You can read Part 1 here.

John explained the situation to his family and they returned to their car. He opened the door quietly and saw the jackrabbits asleep in the corner. The bison entered, trying not to make any noise. They put their things down as the train started to move.

 The adults settled in for a nap, and JJ went to explore the train. After a couple of hours, his parents joined him, and they went and got something to eat. While they were eating, they watched the scenery.

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JJ: Isn’t this great, Dad? We just sit here, and the train does all the work.

John: I guess you’re right. This is a lot better than walking.

Jen: I’m glad you like it.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. The next afternoon, the train pulled into their station.

Jen: While you and JJ get our luggage, I’ll go find Bruce.

John: If you do, it’ll be the first time he’s been where he’s supposed to be.

Jen: Be nice, John. Remember, he invited us to stay with him.

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John: I’ll try.

She goes outside, but doesn’t see Bruce. John and JJ join her.

Jen: I can’t find him anywhere. You look. Maybe I missed him.

John: He’s a full-grown male bison. How could you miss him? I’ll call him.

On the phone:

John: Bruce, it’s John…I’m fine. We’re at the station waiting for you…Yes, it’s today…Today IS Thursday…Of course, I’m sure…I have no idea where you live…No, it’s OK. If we get lost, I’ll call…All right. See you soon.

To Jen:

John: Your brother is an idiot. He thinks today is Wednesday. He told me I was lucky he answered the phone. [snort] He’s lucky he answered the phone.

Jen: Is he on his way?

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John: He said that he was bathing and gave me the directions. It’s probably safer that way.

They followed Bruce’s directions and found a nice shelter in a meadow.

Bruce: Sis! It’s great to see you! Beautiful as ever. JJ, almost a bull! John, it’s been a long time!

John (thinking ‘not long enough’): Good to see you. What have you been up to?

Bruce: Funny you should ask.  I have exciting news. I was cleaning up because I’m going to be in a commercial.

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JJ: Really, Uncle Bruce? What kind of commercial?

Bruce: It’s for hoof wax. They should a handsome buffalo with ugly hooves. Then his feet get waxed, and it’s a handsome bison with beautiful hooves.

JJ: You’re the handsome bison?

Bruce: Not exactly. I’m the hooves.

JJ: Oh. Why can’t they use the other guy’s feet?

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Bruce: He has really, really ugly feet. He survived a nasty fungus, but his hooves were ruined.

Jen: So why can’t you be the handsome bison?

Bruce: This guy’s been their spokes bison for a long time. People know his face.

John: You’re going to be Hardwax Jack’s hooves? Congratulations! It sounds like you’ve actually found a job.

Bruce: Thanks, John. I hope I meet someone who sees how talented I am.

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John: Good luck. I hope it works out.

Jen: I’m so excited for you, Bruce! When does it shoot?

Bruce: Monday.

Jen: So you’ll have a few days to show us around.

Bruce: Sure do. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my real job.

John: You have a real job? Maybe it was a good idea for you to move out here. What do you do?

Bruce: I joined a herd out here. Really nice bunch. They needed a night watch bison. So I took the job.

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Jen: That’s great, Bruce. But bison sleep at night.

Bruce: That’s why the job was open.

Jen: How do you stay awake?

Bruce: That’s been a bit of a problem. I started by walking around, but that didn’t work out so well. When I stopped for my break, I fell asleep.

Jen: What are you doing now?

Bruce: The humans have something they call caffeine. In comes in coffee, tea, and soda. You drink it.

Jen: Bison don’t drink those things. It doesn’t sound like a good idea.

Bruce: It took some practice. Humans are kind of scrawny, so I needed to drink a lot. And it tastes awful. I swear, people will put anything in their mouths.

JJ: That sounds awful, Uncle Bruce. Did it work?

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Bruce: I think it would have. But I had to take so many bathroom breaks that I wasn’t much of a guard. Luckily, we live in a safe neighborhood.

Jen: So I’m right. It isn’t a good idea.

Bruce: Well, the coffee wasn’t. But the caffeine worked; I stayed awake. Now I take pills. The people stores sell them.

John: Don’t the humans think it’s odd to be selling to a bison?

Bruce: One of the small humans does it for me. I give him rides in exchange.

John: Do you work every night?

Bruce: Pretty much. I’m going to take off Sunday night to be ready for Monday.

Bruce goes to work and the family relaxes, tired from the trip. Jen decides to do some research on caffeine. She didn’t like her brother taking something meant for humans.

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Next week: Does Bruce really have two jobs? Can bison become addicted to caffeine?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

22

O, Give Me a Home

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Jen Bison had been wanted to visit her brother Bruce, but her husband John had been putting it off. Finally, he decided that the only way to get her to stop talking about it was to take the trip. The two of them, with their son JJ were planning the trip.

John: Why on earth did your brother decide to move from South Dakota to Wyoming?

Jen: He said it was too cold here.

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John: We’re bison. Look at us. We’re built for the cold. I assume he’s figured out by now that Wyoming isn’t exactly Miami Beach when it comes to cold weather.

Jen: You know Bruce. He’s never happy. He says there are too many humans in Wyoming. He’s thinking about moving again.

John: I guess we better see him now. Next thing we know, he’ll be in Hollywood, trying to be a movie star.

JJ: That’d be cool! My uncle the movie star.

John: Knowing Bruce, he’d end up in a movie with a hundred other bison. You wouldn’t even be able to tell which one is him.

Jen: John, that’s not nice. He thinks he has potential. He’s just not sure where it is.

John: Well, he certainly is different.

Jen: When did you want to visit him?

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John: That’s a long walk. I guess we should leave soon, so we’ll be back before the snow starts.

Jen: What do you mean walk?

John: We’re bison, remember? That’s how we get around.

Jen: Bruce says no one walks there anymore. They travel in buses or trains. It only takes 2 days.

John: I am not getting on either of those things.

JJ: Why not, Dad? It’s a lot better than hoofing it.

John: Those things aren’t built for bison. We’re too big.

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Jen: That might be true for a bus. They seem more wolf-size. I’ll make reservations on the train.

John: Make sure they’re refundable. If it’s bad going down, we’re walking back.

Jen: Yes, dear.

JJ: This is going to be great! Wait til I tell my friends.

John knows he’s outnumbered and goes to play “Buffalo Bill and the Planet of Doom.”

A few weeks go by before the trip. John is getting grumpier. He can’t find any bison who have been on a train. The thought of the train and a few weeks with Bruce was almost too much to bear. Finally, the big day arrived.

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JJ: I’m so excited! Aren’t you excited, Dad? It’s your first time on a train too.

John: I’ll be more excited when we’re on our way.

Jen: You’ll be glad to know we have a sleeper. And there are very few passengers. Look around.

John looked. A few gophers, a wolf family, and some hares. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. John opened the door the conductor pointed out and started to walk in. He took a couple of steps in, then backed out.

John: Excuse me. I must have the wrong room.

John turned around, embarrassed.

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John: I need to find the conductor and get this straightened out. There’s a jackrabbit couple in our car.

He hunts down the conductor and explains the situation. The conductor looks in his book.

Conductor: Yes, Mr. Bison. That is the correct room. I’m afraid we overbooked. We’re doubling folks up. Didn’t you get our email? You could either get a voucher for a different train or receive ½ off for sharing space. It would have told you the species you’d be sharing space with. Carnivore/non-carnivore issues, you know.

John: Honey, did you get an email about overbooking for this trip?

Jen: Yes. I asked Bruce what I should do. He said that most animals choose to not take a chance on their roommates and rebook. So I kept the tickets.

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Conductor: Ma’am, unfortunately your friend is wrong. Very few animals rebook. Most are on a schedule.

John: I should have known. Mr. Conductor, I’d like to take a different train.

Conductor: I’m sorry, Mr. Bison. You needed to make your decision by last Friday. I’m afraid I can’t help you.

John: Are all of the cars overbooked? Perhaps the rabbits wouldn’t mind moving.

Conductor: They arrived first and are fine with sharing. You’d have to move, and there are no empty cars.

John: They don’t mind sharing space with three large bison?

Conductor: They plan to sleep the entire trip and have earplugs. As long as you don’t step on them, you’re good.

John: Well I guess that’s that.

Next week: Is the trip going to improve for John or is the beginning just an omen of things to come?

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.