Chapter 5 Monday
I was pretty mad about falling asleep and not getting to try the Lycanthrozine. But we planned to stay at the motel on the way home too, so I'd have another chance.
We stopped for breakfast on the way to the zoo, and when Rom went in to wash up, I told everyone about the Lycanthrozine. At first Paul didn't want any part of it, but since all the rest of us were going to try it, Paul said he would too.
When we got to the zoo, it was windy and drizzling, and something strange was going on. People were running around carrying video cameras, tripods, walkie-talkies, and big black tubes. And there were white trucks with people running in and out of them.
I asked Rom, "What do you think's going on?"
"I don't know. It looks like they're making a movie."
"Wow. Do you think we'll be in it?"
"Maybe," said Rom, "unless they're just going to film animals."
Rom looked at me funny and then he laughed. Then one of the kids saw the sign for the wolves, and we all ran over to see them. I started to climb over the railing, but Rom pulled me down and thwacked me on the head. My Cub Pack and the wolves looked at each other for a while and then we went to see some other animals.
Jungle World was neat. It's a building that when you go into it, it feels like you've gone through a space warp to a tropical jungle. There are lots of animals and you can get real close to them, except for the black leopard. You can get close to him too, but he's behind a glass fence. We hoped they'd feed him when we were there, but they didn't.
By then, it was almost one o'clock and we were all starved. Rom took us to the Zoo Cafeteria for lunch. We ate our lunches fast, and then started horsing around; you know, wrestling and trying to steal French fries from the slower eaters.
I heard Rom shout, "Cat. Stop it."
I looked around and saw he was at a table with a man who had a kid about my age with him. I went over and made friends with the kid, Jeffrey. Then Jeffrey and I went out and played around at the duck pond in back of the cafeteria. He calls his dad, Derek. Boy, I wouldn't dare call my dad by his first name, but Jeffrey says his father prefers it that way. Weird.
I told Jeffrey about Jungle World. It was my favorite place so far. His favorite was the SkySafari.
After lunch, we went to see all the things Jeffrey had already Seen.
We ran all around the zoo, trying to see everything. About ten minutes before closing, Rom got us together, and we started back to the Bronxdale parking lot. But we couldn't get out. The gate was chained closed. It looked like the movie people were taking pictures at the exit and they didn't want anyone to get in the way. On big tables next to the gate, we saw a feast. There were cakes and cookies and stuff piled in big heaps. I wandered over there and thought I'd try to look hungry. Sometimes, people will give cookies and stuff to kids if they look polite and hungry. Rom grabbed the back of my shirt to hold me back, but then a movie person came up to us.
"I'm sorry sir, but because of the filming, we can't open the gate," he said to Rom. "In a few minutes there'll be a zoo train to drive you out another exit to your car. To make up for the inconvenience, you and your Cub Scouts are our guests. Please enjoy the buffet."
I looked around at Rom. He let go of my shirt.
I ran off to the food tables, and the rest of the pack followed me. Rom got there last since he didn't run. We ate like invariant wolves, and then Jeffrey and his father found our feast and they ate too. There were about 30 of us eating the movie people's food. Then I heard a car or something coming. Of course the humans couldn't hear it yet. Then we saw one of those neat zoo-trains coming over a hill. The train came almost all the way up to us at the buffet tables. The driver waved at us and stopped.
The movie people said the train would take us to our cars in the parking lot. As soon as they said it, Jeffrey ran for the last car. It turned out that was his favorite spot. When he started running, we did too. We kids got there first, and we saved seats for Rom and Jeffrey's dad.
The zoo-train seemed to be taking the long way to the parking lot, and that was fine with me. I liked that ride. But then the train stopped in front of an official looking zoo building. A few of the movie people standing in front of it said we should go into the building because there was a surprise for us.
I like surprises and wanted to go right in, but Rom and Jeffrey's father seemed a little nervous. Anyway, we all went in to a big room. It looked like a school classroom, with rows of wooden chairs and a place for a teacher up front. It didn't look like a good place for a surprise, but boy was I wrong.
When all of us who were on the zoo-train sat down, an old guy got up. "Ladies and Gentleman," he said. "I'm sorry to have to inform you that you are now guests of CALF, the Captive Animal Liberation Front."
He didn't look sorry at all. Then a lot of movie people who were standing in the back of the room, opened the black tubes they were carrying and took out big, ugly-looking guns.
"Keep calm," I heard Rom say, softly, but he didn't sound very calm.