Chapter 20 (also Derek ch 20) Wednesday, 1130 hours (11:30 AM)
"What do you think it was," asked Rom when they were far enough away from the Polar Bear Pavilion, that they felt safe in speaking.
Derek stopped pushing his way through the undergrowth.
"I've been thinking about it," he said. "The only thing I've come up with is that the Calfers have gotten sloppy. There are dangerous carnivores loose in the zoo, and I imagine that one of them got a Calfer."
"Poor guy," said Rom.
Just then, Rom heard a low growl and froze. About ten feet away, camouflaged in the grass, he saw the animal. It had stalked them, and growled to announce it was about to pounce.
Derek held his spear at the ready and made a growling sound himself. The animal stopped, growled again, and slunk away.
"Speak of getting sloppy," said Derek.
"Where did you learn that?" asked Rom.
"That growling you did."
"Oh, I don't know," said Derek. "I guess when you're holding a spear, it feels like the natural thing to do."
"Well. That spear of yours came in a lot more handy than I thought it would."
Derek laughed, softly. "Anyway. Let's be careful. I wouldn't want what happened to that Calfer to happen to us. I have no desire to be eaten by a leopard"
"It was a cheetah."