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.

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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.