When Nature Calls | By: Eugene Carmen | | Category: Short Story - Friendship Bookmark and Share

When Nature Calls

When Nature Calls
Chapter 1
Getting to Know One Another
As the cargo van rolled down the highway, the tires made a clickety clack, kind of a musical rhythm. As it drew closer to the airport, then the animals started talking.
“Hi, my name is Mr. Jeeves,” said the kitten.
“I am Pancake,” said the Flatfish.
“I am Mac,” said the Jack Knife Drum.
“I am Squealer,” said the Mouth Brooder.
“I am Delilah,” said the Damsel Fish.
“I am Marshmallow,” said the Puffer Fish.
“I am Cleopatra,” said the Boa Snake.
“Is there anyone else in here going to When Nature Calls pet store?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
Everyone in the van said in unison said “I am.”
Soon the van had arrived at the airport and all the animals were once again silent.
As nature had intended, the animals did their nervous act while being loaded onto the plane.
While the plane taxied down the runway, Mr. Jeeves had all the animals take an oath to always be friends.
“I heard cats eat fish.”
“Who said that?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“I did,” answered Cleopatra.
“One more question, do you have any ties with CARB?” asked Cleopatra.
“What is CARB?” asked Delilah.
“It is short for carbohydrate,” answered Mac.
“That is not the definition I wanted to hear,” said Cleopatra.
“First I am not with Cats Adore Rats and Birds,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“Secondly, to take some of this heat off me, I heard snakes, especially Boas, will attempt to devour anything, even their own kind.”
“I actually enjoy organic foods such as carrots, celery, broccoli and lettuce, none of that iceberg, it makes me feel bloated, I prefer Romaine, the more fiber, the more I stay regular,” replied Cleopatra.
“I swear on my litter box, I will never eat anything that isn’t endorsed by Purina,” swore Mr. Jeeves.
“What do fishes eat?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“There is no such word as fishes, no matter how many there are, it is pronounced fish,” stated Delilah.
“How do you know? What’s your name again?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Delilah is my name and I know because I am one of the many races of fish in our vast community,” answered Delilah.
“Fish aren’t made of races, they are made of species,” butted in Mac.
“Yeah that’s right Jeff Gordon races and so does Dale Earnhardt Jr.,” added Mr. Jeeves.
“No, that’s not right way to define races in the subject we are discussing,” said Squealer.
“There are races involving modes of transportation and there are the kinds of races involving human beings,” said Cleopatra.
“You mean like the races such as Michael Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist, that is a human race,” said Marshmallow.
Mr. Jeeves at this put his front paws on each side of his head.
“What’s the matter Mr. Jeeves?” asked Marshmallow.
“I am getting a migraine,” answered Mr. Jeeves.
“A grain of what?” asked Mac.
“It is a form of a pain in the head caused by too much stress, thinking or many other things, so now it is time for cat nap to try and become no longer confused,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“I think I will lie down also and try to rest, I think I am a little airsick,” said Cleopatra.
“I think us fish should rest also, so we don’t get seasick,” said Mac.
After a four hour flight, the plane landed at the San Francisco International Airport.
Mr. Jeeves was awakened by the light pouring in when the access hatch was opened.
“Looks as if we are almost at our destination,” said Mr. Jeeves.
Soon they were offloaded and brought out to another cargo van to be loaded into.
A pudgy, unshaven, man with Buddy Holly glasses appeared to assist in the loading of all the cages into the van.
The man began to speak to the animals, “You are about to become part of the best pet store on the west coast, welcome to When Nature Calls, and by the way I am Mr. Overton, the owner and I am showing some favoritism towards my own store,” Mr. Overton said with a smile as he put the last cage in the van and closed the door.
“I have the feeling deep within my scales that this isn’t a forever place for us to stay.” commented Cleopatra.
“No matter I have a plan to keep us all together,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“But eventually, us in the aquarium will have to be separated,” said Squealer.
Mac knew where Squealer was going with this, so he interrupted, “The myth that fish only grow as large as their home, that’s what it is, a myth,” said Mac.
All the fish gave a sigh of relief.
Mr. Overton reopened the back to take inventory on his cargo.
The door in the back was soon shut again and the driver’s side door opened up.
The engine was started after a few hiccups and burps, now the rust bucket was moving.
The final destination was located in Alameda, a city outside Oakland and the Naval Air Station.
3550 Central Avenue was the exact address.
After a few hours, all the animals are settled into their proper location.
It was now 5pm, the lights went out and the shop was silenced by humans, now it was time for the animals to talk.
“So friends, what do you think?” asked Cleopatra.
“I think we will be just fine,” said Mr. Jeeves.
After that little bit of conversation, the animals settled in for the night, after all, it had been a long day.
As the weeks pass, the animals grew, so do their friendships.
Soon Mr. Jeeves was allowed to roam free at night to help control the rat and mice problems.
Mr. Overton was tired of replacing food due to mice and rats.
Mr. Jeeves was out making his nightly rounds when he heard a rustle in the back pantry.
When Mr. Jeeves entered the pantry, there was his first bust, a rat face deep in a bag of
cat food.
The rat turned around, there was Mr. Jeeves towering over him.
The rat fainted at the sight of Mr. Jeeves.
When the rat awoke, Mr. Jeeves was smiling at him.
“This is great, my plan is coming together,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“You are in no danger, thing,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“I am no thing, I am a rat,” said the rat.
“Well rat, what is your function in this world?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“I am retired member of RACK, so I learned from the best how to scavenge food where ever and when ever I can,” answered the rat.
“What is RACK?” asked Mr. Jeeves, as he paws his cat food toward the rat.
“It is short for Rats Against Cats and Kittens,“ answers the rat as he looks way up and smiles, then begins to dig in.
“What have you rats got against us cats and those adorable kittens?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Us rats have always been a tool used to train you cats how to stalk, pounce and eat, and as for kittens, they grow up to be cats. Come to think of it, are you fattening me up for your taste buds?” asked the rat.
“What is your Chrisssstian name, rat?” asked Cleopatra.
“I was never given one,” answered the rat.
“I shall call you Norton, since you smell like a sewer,” stated Mr. Jeeves.
“What does the name Norton have to do with the sewers?” asked Cleopatra.
“When I am let out sometimes early by that human, he watches a thing called a TV. On one show, Norton is a sewer tech from a comedy called the Honeymooners,” answered Mr. Jeeves.
“Ah, the sewer, one of my many places to hang out,” said the rat, now named Norton.
“I don’t know, that name doesn’t fit me,” commented Norton.
“Maybe you would fit better in Cleopatra’s stomach,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“I guess that name could grow on me,” said Norton.
“Are you really going to feed me to that?” asked Norton.
“I am not a that, I am a Boa Constrictor, and my name is Cleopatra.”
“I am in debt to you for sparing my meager life,” said Norton.
“Here is what I propose we do, you will come here nightly, I will allow you to eat, then I will catch you, and that human will put you with Cleopatra,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“I am not stupid, I can only die once,” commented Norton.
“No, no, you will allow yourself be caught, and Cleopatra will coil around you as if she was crushing you to eat you, you must run around her home and act like you are in grave danger,”
instructed Mr. Jeeves.
“Grave danger?” asked Norton.
“Is there any other kind?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Let me guess, a line from a show from TV,” guessed Norton.
“You got it,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“Here is the catch, you must bring fruits and vegetables with you for Cleopatra,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“It’s a deal,” said Norton.
So night after night after night this ritual went on.
Norton always knew the best places to go to get the prime fruits and vegetables.
In the morning it would be the same thing from Mr. Overton.
“One heck of a job you are doing Mr. Jeeves, one heck of a job!” commented Mr. Overton.
Everything seemed to be falling into place purrfectly, then one morning Mr. Overton made a comment.
“If I am not mistaken, this looks like the same rat,” commented Mr. Overton.
Mr. Overton then took a can of yellow food coloring and painted all four feet of Norton.
“Now tomorrow, if this is the same rat, I will know, then I can get rid of Mr. Jeeves for scamming me after all this time,” said Mr. Overton.
As soon as Mr. Overton left for the evening, Mr. Jeeves held an emergency meeting with all the other animals try and figure out how to stay one step ahead of Mr. Overton.
Mr. Jeeves instructs Norton to show the other animals his feet.
“The purpose of his yellow feet is to see if the same rat is being caught night after night,” said Mr. Jeeves. The meeting was over and Mr. Jeeves sent Norton out to recruit another rat to play the part of the caught rat.
Norton has already decided that he would get his sister to do the nightly duties normally performed by Norton.
“Mr. Overton is a very superstitious person and if he would discover that the we were outsmarting him, he would consider us a curse and get rid of all of us,” stated Mr. Jeeves.
The following morning, there was no rat to be seen, so Mr. Overton was wondering if his theory was wrong.
Mr. Overton reached in and pulled out a white mouse for Cleopatra.
“Here you go Cleopatra; sorry that’s all I’ve got for you now.”
The mouse was in the aquarium with Cleopatra, jumping around trying to avoid her.
As soon as Mr. Overton left the area, Cleopatra started talking to the mouse.
“Hey mouse, do you have a name?”
“Why? Will it keep me from being eaten by you?” asked the mouse.
“My name is Bleach.”
“Okay Bleach calm down. Lie down and play dead,” said Cleopatra.
“Why? So you can eat me easier?” asked Bleach. “Life isn’t given to you on a silver platter,” continued Bleach.
“I like that, Bleach. Can I use that phrase at my leisure?” asked Cleopatra.
“Go ahead, I didn’t invent it,” replied Bleach.
“If I had the urge to eat you, I could have at any time,” commented Cleopatra.
“You have a point there,” said Bleach.
“I know,” replied Cleopatra.
Finally Bleach lies down and falls asleep.
Cleopatra curls around Bleach to appear as if she is constricting him, but no pressure, just a good nap for both in the aquarium.
Soon the day was over, doors were locked, lights were out and the usual night time activities began.
Bleach awoke in the middle of Cleopatra’s coil. Cleopatra and Bleach were eye to eye.
“Good evening, little one,” said Cleopatra.
“Hello,” replied Bleach.
“Mr. Jeeves, assist Bleach out of my domain,” requested Cleopatra.
Soon Bleach’s heart was trembling along with his body.
“Easy now, little one. I’m not going to hurt you,” assured Mr. Jeeves.
“You won’t eat me will you,” asked Bleach.
“Are you a product from Purina?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Answering a question with question, mmm,” said Bleach. “No I am not a product of Purina, but through the generations of mice, horror stories have been passed down about Vat # 13. They say that vat has taken more mice lives than D-Con,” stated Bleach.
“What is Vat # 13?’ asked Mac.
“The concoction stage,” answered Bleach.
“What is the con con?” Pancake can’t say the word.
“Concoction stage,” Bleach finished the question.
“That’s from the Latin word ’concoquere’ meaning to prepare by mixing together,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“Exactly, that is what it does, so if something falls in during this stage, the victim becomes Purina,” finished Bleach.
“So are you telling me that my chief supply of food could contain fellow animals?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Those stories are just animal lore,” said Bleach.
“You mean folklore, don’t you?” asked Delilah.
“No, I’m not saying people fall into Vat #13, animals do,” said Bleach.
“So it is animal lore,” said Marshmallow.
“Well, my appetite for Purina is gone. Cleopatra, we will both need veggies and fruit for our diets or food if you will,” said Mr. Jeeves. “The cat food can be given to Norton’s replacement to give to strays to feed them, in turn this will keep Norton safe,” Mr. Jeeves thought out loud.
“Excellent idea,” said Cleopatra.
At 8:00 p.m., noise came from Norton’s normal entrance.
“Hello, is anyone here? My name is Danielle, I’m Norton’s sister. He asked me to take care of you all until he’s back on all four. Ha ha, I made a joke, “laughed Danielle.
“Yes, you did. It was very crafty,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“You must be Mr. Jeeves, over there is Cleopatra and over in the water keeper is Pancake, Marshmallow, Squealer, Delilah and Mac,” commented Danielle.
“I think I’m in love,” said Bleach.
“Excuse me?” said Danielle.
“Hi, I’m Bleach and I have to say you’re the most beautiful rodent I’ve ever seen,” said Bleach.
“Thank you, I guess,” said Danielle as she swallowed.
“Can I help you with gathering the food for Cleopatra and Mr. Jeeves?” asked Bleach.
“I thought only Cleopatra needed food?” asked Danielle.
“Well, the legend of Vat #13 cured me of Purina,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“Vat #13? I always thought it was Vat #11,” said Danielle.
“No, I’m sure it is Vat #13,” replied Bleach.
”If you want, we can go settle the Vat dilemma after we gather the food,” said Bleach.
“We? What? You’ve got a mouse in your pocket?” asked Danielle.
“What does that mean?” asked Bleach.
“I don’t need any help, especially from mini mouse,” answered Danielle.
Tears formed in Bleach’s red eyes.
“I’m sorry, Bleach. But you’ve been sheltered. It’s for your own good. You have no street smarts,” Danielle said in an apologetic voice.
Danielle then left to do her responsibilities as Norton’s temporary replacement.
Danielle felt as if she was being followed. She hid and waited. She saw Bleach sneaking through the alley. Just then, a cat jumped and grabbed Bleach.
“I now have something to eat,” said the alley cat.
“Please don’t eat me. I’ve got the hairball disease,” begged Bleach.
“What is that?” asked the alley cat.
“The hairball disease causes any animal to cough up endless hairballs if I’m eaten by that animal,” answered Bleach.
There was silence while the alley cat was thinking whether to risk the hairballs for life or to let a tasty morsel go, there came a familiar sound.
“Bark, bark.”
The alley cat looked over and saw a giant shadow of a dog. The alley cat dropped Bleach and ran away with a yellow streak down its back.
“Thank you, Mr. Dog,” Bleach said gratefully.
Then out of the dark came Danielle.
“What did I tell you, Bleach? To stay where you belong and out here is not where you belong,” said Danielle.
“I just wanted to help you, Danielle,” said Bleach.
“I know. We better get moving before us both give an animal the hairball disease,” commented Danielle.
“We?” asked Bleach.
“Don’t get any strange ideas,” warned Danielle.
“Okay, okay, by the way did you like that hairball scheme?” asked Bleach.
“Yeah, but please stick close by. It is very dangerous out here,” said Danielle.
“Okay, anything you say,” replied Bleach.
“Don’t get fresh, Bleach,” said Danielle.
“When we get back, I need to find a place to stay because I have supposedly been eaten by Cleopatra,” said Bleach.
“I will take you where my family stays, there’s plenty to eat, you will be safe and get plenty of rest,” said Danielle as she smiled at him.
The first stop was to the Purina factory. When they entered, they counted one, two, three, four and five.
“There is no Vat #11 or Vat #13. This place is spic and span, clean as a whistle,” commented Danielle.
“I agree,” said Bleach. “I can’t wait to tell Mr. Jeeves the good news.”
“I’ll tell him. Just pass the message on,” said Danielle.
“That there is no Vat #11 or Vat #13. He can go on enjoying his Purina,” said Bleach.
“I will let him know that but there are five Vats,” said Danielle.

Chapter 2
Cleopatra’s New Home
“Let’s get out of here before someone or something gets us,” said Bleach.
“I agree,” said Danielle.
After an hour, they were outside the Haiku Restaurant, the classiest Chinese restaurant in Northern California according to all the rodents in the area.
“We are after vegetables, fortune cookie crumbs and maybe a scrap or two of egg rolls,” said Danielle. “Put it all in here,” she said as she produced a “to go” box from the Haiku Restaurant.
How appropriate. It took Bleach and Danielle one and a half hours to tote the food to Danielle’s dwelling where Bleach was introduced to the family and left there to stay safe.
Danielle left from there and dragged the food back to When Nature Calls.
“I’m back with Cleopatra’s food,” Danielle announced to everyone.
“What about me?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Oh, you can go back to eating Purina. There is no Vat #11 or Vat #13. That was a myth,” explained Danielle.
“But I made a resolution to never eat Purina again. In fact, I want to donate my share to the stray cats to keep you and yours safe,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“So you don’t want Purina?” asked Danielle.
“No, I would like to eat veggies, please,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“Okay, tonight is Chinese from the Haiku Restaurant,” said Danielle with enthusiasm.
“Sounds great, let’s dig in,” said Cleopatra.
Mr. Jeeves split the food amongst him and Cleopatra, but after tasting a couple veggies, he passed the food over to Cleopatra.
The next morning, Mr. Overton came in and said “Well, I’ve got good news, Cleopatra. Your new owner will be in this morning.”
At 10:30, a gentleman walked in and was ready to take Cleopatra home.
“What does she eat normally?” asked David.
“A rat every two or three days, she was just fed last night,” said Mr. Overton.
Cleopatra already felt the loneliness setting in. All of Cleopatra’s friends were very sad to see her go, especially Mr. Jeeves. Cleopatra was loaded with extra care into a pet carrier and put into a black car.
“Don’t worry, Mr. Jeeves, she’s off to a good home. A mansion as a matter of fact,” assured Mr. Overton.
As the limo pulled away, all the fish were crying, but no one could tell but the fish crying because they live in water.
Mr. Jeeves went to his bed, put his head down to shed a few tears himself.
Cleopatra felt no happier, probably worse than the others because she was all by herself.
After a 20 minute ride, Cleopatra was at her new home.
“We are at your new home now and you will love it, a whole room, a 25 X 30 foot room with a custom aquarium,” said David.
Cleopatra was put in her new home where she curled up in a corner.
“After a few days, you will like it and forget all about that old pet store,” said David.
“Is she here?” asked Julie.
“Yes, she’s resting in the corner. This move was probably pretty rough on her,” said David.
“She just ate last night, so I will feed her in two days,” David told Julie.
Cleopatra tried to look on the positive side. The home was perfect for her because there was a lot of room to roam in the aquarium. But the positive went away instantly when she thought of her friends.
The day dragged by for Mr. Jeeves and Cleopatra’s other friends.
The night soon came. Danielle showed up with Italian.
“I am back with tonight’s menu. Veggies, pizza crust and a couple chunks of garlic bread,” said Danielle.
“I guess I will be dining alone. Cleopatra is gone, she has a new home,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“What happened?” asked a tearful Danielle.
“Somebody bought her, she is gone,” said Mr. Jeeves.
Mr. Jeeves enjoyed the meal, but it was an empty enjoyment without his close friend.
“It’s not like she’s going to pick up that doo hickey humans use to communicate,” said Mr. Jeeves. “How is Bleach doing?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“At first, I didn’t like him, but he has grown on me and my family. We, as rodents, have a pretty short life span,” said Danielle.
“So when is the big day?” asked Mr. Jeeves as he smiled.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Danielle answered denying any true feelings for Bleach.
“You will soon know,” said Mr. Jeeves. “When you leave, please take the Purina with you. Give it to the stray cats and build a good relationship with them and you won’t be the next meal on their minds,” said Mr. Jeeves.
Danielle left with the Purina. When she was walking down the back alley past the burnt out ’72 Pontiac Bonneville, Danielle heard some cries from the back seat. They were cries of hunger.
“Mommy, where is our food? We are hungry,” cried the little ones.
Danielle carried the Purina up to the back window and gave the kittens the Purina.
“Gotcha!” yelled the mother cat.
“Wait, please, I was just bringing your little ones some food,” pleaded Danielle.
“Mommy, let her go. She was just giving us some food,” cried the little ones.
“What were you giving them?” asked the mother cat.
“Purina, courtesy of Mr. Jeeves,” answered Danielle. “My name is Danielle.”
“My name is Sheila,” said the mother cat. “The four little ones are Chapter with the black speckled body, Creamsicle is the orange and white one, Quilt is the multicolored one and Molasses is the one sleeping. Thank you, Danielle. You will be safe among my family and me.”
“Thank you, Sheila,” said Danielle.
Danielle left with a smile knowing Mr. Jeeves was right.
The next day brought a new tenant. A big black cage with bars very close together came in. The cage’s cover was removed, there was a bird in the cage.
“Take two of these and call me in the morning,” said the mynah bird.
All the animals looked shocked to see and hear the bird socialize like that in front of all the humans.
Mr. Overton looked at the bird in the cage and said “Hi, Pal.”
“Here’s your pink slip, you’re fired,” said the mynah bird.
“I’m the boss, I can’t get fired,” replied Mr. Overton.
“I’m the boss, I’m the boss,” repeated the bird.
The man dropping off the bird told Mr. Overton mynah birds have no idea that what they’re saying actually means something.
Mr. Overton checked the tag on the cage for a name. The bird’s name was Calypso.
“Calypso, that means a type of West Indian music based on humorous subjects and is also a sea nymph in Homer’s Odyssey,” commented Mr. Overton.
“Calypso, Calypso, you’re fired, here’s your pink slip,” repeated Calypso.
“Goofy bird,” said Mr. Overton.
“Goofy bird, goofy bird,” repeated Calypso.
Meanwhile, at Cleopatra’s new home, David gave Cleopatra a rat. The rat raced to a corner as if to hide from Cleopatra. David watched. Cleopatra didn’t move.
“Maybe she won’t eat in front of an audience,” David thought out loud.
David turned off the light and shut the door.
It was late in the afternoon and David was beginning to worry about Cleopatra. She hadn’t eaten the rat yet.
“If she doesn’t eat the rat by tomorrow, then I will take action,” David said to himself.
It was getting late into the evening. Cleopatra and the rat were at last alone for the evening. Cleopatra began to move closer to the rat.
“Well, it’s time to go to that great big garbage dump in the sky,” said the rat.
“Allow me to introduce myself, I am Cleopatra. I am what they call a boa constrictor. That means I take my food and squeeze it until it runs out of breath and suffocates,” explained Cleopatra. “Only I don’t eat animals. I prefer a nice plate of lettuce and maybe some parsley to freshen my breath.”
“Whew, you could use a little parsley right now,” commented the rat.
“Watch it, rodent,” warned Cleopatra.
“Sorry. Oh, by the way, my name is Fester,” said the rat.
“That’s a good name for a rat. Do you know what your name means?” asked Cleopatra.
“No, never had an interest,” replied Fester.
“It’s Latin for “to generate pus or to become a source of irritation‘,” said Cleopatra.
“I prefer the second definition,” said Fester.
“In the morning, you must play dead in the corner, away from me. In the morning, the man will put you in the garbage outside. That will give you a chance to escape,” instructed Cleopatra.
The next morning, David sees that Cleopatra hadn’t eaten the rat. She had killed it, but must not have had an appetite.
“Well, that does it, Julie. Let’s take Cleopatra back to When Nature Calls. I believe she’s sick,” said David.
The rat was placed in the trash can outside right next to some old beans and potato salad.
“I shall have a feast before I depart this wonderful diner,” Fester said to himself. Fester was so full; he reeked of moldy beans and rotten potato salad. “I smell like a garbage dump. No cat will bother me now” he said as he sat on his hind legs and patted his stomach.
Cleopatra was loaded into the carrier to be brought back to the pet store. Cleopatra’s stomach was all in knots because she was worried because she had no idea where she was going. The ride was finally coming to an end. Cleopatra was curled up, not wanting to look at her final destination. Cleopatra kept herself from looking around for quite a while after she was placed in an aquarium. “Something seems to be in the air that I used to detect when I lived in the --No, it can’t be!” Cleopatra said with excitement. She looked and there was Mr. Jeeves, looking at her with tears of joy in his eyes. Cleopatra was also excited and very hungry.
Fester found an old abandoned house where he settled on top of a pile of mildew soaked clothes to take a nap. Without knowing it, Fester had settled near Danielle’s family home. Fester was soon fast asleep dreaming of potato salad and beans.
Nightfall had come. Fester was suddenly awakened by a noise in the building, but kept quiet in case it was a gang of feral cats that have been terrorizing the area lately.
At the pet store, Mr. Jeeves was intrigued with the fact that Cleopatra had come back.
“I have no idea why I came back, but it sure is good to be home,” said Cleopatra.
“Ask me, ask me!” said Calypso.
“Who is that?” asked Cleopatra.
“I was here first, so tell me who you are serpent, then I will tell you my identity,” replied Calypso.
“First things first. Do you know why the serpent, as you call her, was brought back?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Well, Mr. Jive, the man who brought her in thought she was sick because she didn’t eat the rat she was given. She killed it, but didn’t eat it,” said Calypso.
“The name is Mr. Jeeves, not Mr. Jive,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“Tell me you didn’t, Cleopatra,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“Didn’t what?” asked Cleopatra.
“You didn’t kill that rat, did you?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Of course not. I told Fester to fake being dead so he would be dropped in the trash can outside and he could be free,” explained Cleopatra.
“Cleopatra. That’s a funny name because you look nothing like the Egyptian queen. However one of your cousins, the asp, bit and killed her,” said Calypso.
“Stop calling me a serpent, even though I am one,” admitted Cleopatra. “And bird, what is your name?” asked Cleopatra.
“It’s not bird, it’s Calypso,” she replied with enthusiasm.
The fish were very excited to see Cleopatra.
So what is it like out there?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“I don’t know. I was so depressed that I didn’t pay any attention to my surroundings,” answered Cleopatra.
“So Calypso, do you understand the words that you use because humans have determined that you don’t,” asked Cleopatra.
“Humans can bite my tail feathers! They’re not as smart as they pretend to be,” snapped Calypso.
“I am back with veggies from KFC in the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. collectors series bucket,” said Danielle.
“Well, you can go out and get more. Cleopatra is back and she hasn‘t eaten for days,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“Sure thing. By the way, it’s sure good to see you where you belong,” said Danielle.
Mr. Jeeves gave Cleopatra her food first.
“What about me?” asked Calypso.
“You don’t like bird seed?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“It’s okay, but I like berries better,” answered Calypso.
Danielle grabbed the Purina from Mr. Jeeves and gave it to that gang of young feral cats. In return, they agreed they would help Mr. Jeeves if he ever needed it and leave the rodents alone..
Danielle found some veggies at the Doggy Diner. Danielle carried the veggies back in a bag shaped like a small dog.
Twenty minutes later, Danielle dropped off the veggies for Mr. Jeeves.
“Well, that’s it for me for now. I’m going home,” said Danielle.
When Danielle entered the house, there was a familiar scent in the air, a scent she hadn’t smelled in quite a while.
Danielle followed the smell to a pile of clothes. On top of the clothes was a rat. Danielle tapped Fester on the nose. Fester opened his eyes. Right away, he smelled that familiar scent too.
“It can’t be. After that one heavy rain, we thought we had lost you,” said Danielle.
“So you are my family. I’ve been praying to see you and be with you the rest o fmy life,” said Fester.
“I was caught in a dumpster by a man and was put in an aquarium to be a meal for a snake, but she wouldn’t eat me,” said Fester.
“This might be a stupid question, but was her name Cleopatra?” asked Danielle.
“How did you know?” asked Fester.
“Answering a question with a question, mmm” said Danielle. “She’s at When Nature Calls.”
“Is that a hangout for animals?” asked Fester.
“No, it’s a pet shop,” answered Danielle. “Come on, Fester. You are home. My boyfriend lives with us.”
After three weeks of playing Mr. Jeeves’ victim and Cleopatra’s dinner, the yellow feet were now back to normal. Norton is now back in service to do his part. Fester wanted to go with Norton to thank Cleopatra for her help.
Norton and Fester showed up.
“Hello, I’m back with my brother, Fester,” said Norton.
Cleopatra looked over at them.
“Hi Cleopatra, thank you for your help on sparing me and helping me escape,” said Fester.
“You two know each other?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“I was supposed to be her meal, but instead she helped me escape,” explained Fester.
“Yeah, that’s Cleopatra. She doesn’t eat meat,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“Who are the rodents?” asked Calypso.
“I am Norton and this is my brother Fester,” answered Norton.
“Fester, good name for a rodent” said Calypso.
“Something’s wrong with the fish. They have all been quiet,” said Mr. Jeeves.
Asked them,” said Calypso.
“Asked who what?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
The fish, what’s wrong,” answered Calypso.
“Which one of you fish can tell me what’s wrong?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“I’ll explain it,” said Mac. “None of us are happy. We are not in the open ocean where we belong. “Can you help set us free?”
“I have been around a lot of humans and I know about depression, please don’t think about suicide, the Lemurs have disgraced the animal world with their suicide rate, jumping off cliffs to their death is no way to solve a problem,” said Calypso.
“Let me come up with a safe plan to transport you fish out of here,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“You fish are too big to be flushed down the toilet,” added Cleopatra.
For the next three days, Mr. Jeeves’ mind was preoccupied and all the animals knew why.
Danielle made a special trip with her brother Norton to tell Mr. Jeeves that all the cats were ready to support his decision on how to help free the fish.
“Well, here’s what I want to do. When the night comes to move them, it will be all of them in one night,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“The man has them sold. They will be gone on Friday. Today is Tuesday,” said Calypso.
“How do you know, Bird?” asked Cleopatra.
“I heard the man talking to another man today, Egyptian Queen,” answered Calypso.
“Well, Thursday night will be the night then,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“I will let the other fish know,” said Mac.
“We’ve heard everything,” said the other fish.
“Danielle, have you been feeding that pelican, Screwball?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“It’s not nice to call to call a fellow bird a screwball even though they are some of the dumbest birds out there,” said Calypso.
“That’s his name,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“Oh!” said Calypso. “Let me out of here and I will spread the word by air.”
“I don’t know,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“Come on, let me out,” begged Calypso.
“You promise to come back, Calypso?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Yes, I promise,” answered Calypso.
So Mr. Jeeves popped the top off the cage and let her out.
“I’m free to do what I want any old time,” as Calypso sang the Rolling Stones’ song.
“Tell me Mr. Jeeves, do I sound like Mick Jagger?” asked Calypso.
“Remember, you promised!” Mr. Jeeves reminded Calypso.
“Promised what?” asked Calypso.
Mr. Jeeves gave a look. Before he could say anything, Calypso said “Just kidding, Mr. Jeeves.”
Danielle showed Calypso the way out.
When morning came, Calypso’s cage was still empty.
Mr. Overton came in, saw the empty cage and right away blamed Mr. Jeeves for eating the bird.
“Well, Mr. Jeeves, what do you have to say for yourself?” asked Mr. Overton. “I hope you’re full and burped feathers all night.”
Mr. Jeeves felt bad for trusting Calypso to come back on his own, so the day seemed to drag by.
That evening, Mr. Jeeves seemed puzzled about something Mr. Overton had said.
“Cleopatra, what do you suppose Mr. Overton meant when he said he hopes I burped feathers all night?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Oh boy, he’s accusing you of eating Calypso,” answered Cleopatra.
“I don’t even like anything to eat but my veggies and occasional pieces of fruit,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“You’ve been fooling him every night with the sneaky things that have been going on,” said Cleopatra.
“I guess I haven’t been on the up and up with my eating habits” admitted Mr. Jeeves.
That night, Danielle showed up with Bleach.
“What a surprise! Bleach is visiting,” said Cleopatra.
“It’s a long trip, so Bleach will play dead tonight for Cleopatra’s lunch,” said Danielle.
“I saw Calypso out there. I asked her when she was coming back. She said she wasn’t as dumb as the cat that let her out,” said Danielle.
“Very well, what comes around goes around,” replied Mr. Jeeves.
“And she said she found help to get the fish out of here” continued Danielle.
“Have Calypso tell the help to be here Thursday night at midnight and we will get the fish out of here and into the water at the harbor where they can swim to freedom,” instructed Mr. Jeeves.
The next morning, Mr. Overton showed up to see the white mouse on the floor next to Mr. Jeeves.
“This doesn’t make up for the bird, but good job anyway,” said Mr. Overton.
Mr. Overton gave a bittersweet smile to Mr. Jeeves.
It was now Thursday night.
“Tonight is the night,” thought Mr. Jeeves excitely.
The fish seemed to be bouncing off the glass, full of excitement and jitters because of the unknown.
The day went by normally, people in and out to look at the animals. The animals in the front move in and out on a consistent basis. The animals in the back rarely get to know the animals on display. Pets in the back are there because they are considered to be hard to sell.
The afternoon rolled on into the night.
Mr. Jeeves wanted to give a pep talk to the fish to reassure them their journey would be safe and swift to the open waters of Alameda Beach.
“Once you’re in the open water, make a quick departure from the area” instructed Mr. Jeeves. “Any questions?” he added.
Pancake raised a fin.
Yes Pancake, you have a question?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Will other fish try to eat us?” asked Pnacake.
“It’s possible. There are a lot of predators out there,” answered Mr. Jeeves.
Marshmallow raised a fin. “Do you know the way to San Jose?”
“It’s about 45 miles south of here,” answered Mr. Jeeves.

Chapter 3
Mr. Jeeves Sets the Fish Free
Danielle climbed into the transportation. It was a red wagon with a dog hitched to the handle. The red wagon had five five quart Blue Bunny ice cream buckets complete with lids with holes in them.
“Danielle, how did you get the dog to agree to haul the fish to the water?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“I told him you would supply him with an occasional can of dog food and a few dog biscuits,” answered Danielle.
“Sure, that’s a good idea,” agreed Mr. Jeeves.
Mr. Jeeves went to the pantry, got out a can of Ole Roy dog food with the friendly pop top and a few dog biscuits.
Mr. Jeeves pushed the stool to the fish aquarium.
“Who’s first?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
All five fish came to the top.
“It may feel funny when I carry you in my mouth, but you will be safe,” assured Mr. Jeeves.
One after the other, the fish was placed in the individual ice cream buckets and the lids were fastened on. Water from the tank was all over the floor, but the fish were on their way to freedom.
“Be careful out there, my friends” said Mr. Jeeves.
“We will, we’re going to miss all of you very much,” said all five fish.
“Watch out for the sea snakes,” warned Cleopatra.
“Let’s go, let’s go. Let’s get the fishes to the open waters,” said Calypso as she was flying above the pet store.
“Fish is the word,” yelled all of the fish.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever floats your boat,” replied Calypso.
The aquarium seemed larger and colder with no fish in it.
“How’s life out there, Calypso?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Good enough, I never want another cage,” replied Calypso.
The next morning came. The shop opened up as usual. When Mr. Overton came to the back of the store, he noticed the empty fish tank and water spots all over the floor. But the real clincher was that Mr. Jeeves’ breath smelled like fish.
“First you eat the bird, and then you eat the fish,” complained Mr. Overton. “Well, this is it, you have violated my trust as well as the trust of the other animals,” continued Mr. Overton. “Come Monday, I am getting rid of you. No more animals can disappear,” promised Mr. Overton.
Cleopatra heard everything. She had a lot of thinking to do. If Mr. Jeeves, goes, then no more rodents means no more veggies, the outside allies will collapse due to no Purina going out.
That night, Norton showed up with the veggies.
“This will be the last night, my friend,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“What do you mean?” asked Norton.
“I freed the fish and the bird. Now the owner thinks I ate them. So I am gone as of Monday,” explained Mr. Jeeves.
“This can’t happen. You’ve done too much to help our fellow animals to go out like this,” said Norton.
“Sorry I can’t stay. I’ve got a lot going on tonight,” apologized Norton.
“My last couple days here and you have no time for me?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“Believe me, this is very very important,” said Norton.
Norton left and wasted no time spreading the word on the streets and went to RACK for help with the situation surrounding Mr. Jeeves. When he arrived at the RACK lair, the leader said he would hear what Norton had to say.
“Ah, I see someone has finally given you a Christian name, so Norton what can us fellow RACK members help you with?” asked Archimedes, the leader of RACK.
“Here is the situation, I need RACK’s help to find a Mynah bird named Calypso to save a friend of mine named Mr. Jeeves, he is a cat but he has done so much for the local animals. In fact, in a way he has helped RACK because you should have no more problems from CARB,” explained Norton.
“How so?” asked Archimedes.
“Mr. Jeeves has been feeding CARB with his own cat food on the promise that CARB would not bother me,” answered Norton.
“That’s all good for you, but how does that affect RACK?” asked Archimedes.
“Cats aren’t exactly on the same intelligence scale of rats, for all they know when they see a rat, it could be me, all a rat has to say is I work for Mr. Jeeves and he will be left alone,” concluded Norton.
“Let’s say we help you, then I want RACK to full verbal credit that we saved a sworn enemy’s tail,” insisted Archimedes.
So the agreement was made, RACK was dispatched to help find Calypso.
After leaving RACK, Norton spent all night running here, running there to try to contact the fish and Calypso. Norton returned home in the morning and told his family the bad news about Mr. Jeeves.
It was now Saturday. Time was definitely not on Mr. Jeeves’ side. Saturday at 1:00 pm, time to work again. It was Danielle’s turn with her brother Fester.
“Calypso, where are you?” asked Danielle.
Danielle spots Calypso bathing in a puddle, now spreading her wings to dry them.
“We need your help. Mr. Jeeves’ life is on the line,” yelled Fester.
“ I am glad it was you seeing me bathe instead of one the boys, I am pretty modest about something so personal. What do you need? Anything to help Mr. Jeeves,” said Calypso.
“ Will you help find the fish we released and get them back where they belong,” said Danielle.
“The fish, where do I start?” asked Calypso.
“The Alameda Beach boat dock,” answered Danielle.
“Yeah, I know a couple seals that hang out at the piers in the San Francisco Bay,” said Calypso.
“Why would they help you?” asked Fester.
“Well, the first day I was free, I guided one of their lost pups back to mom and dad,” answered Calypso.
“And now they owe you and just ask if you need any help, right?” asked Danielle.
“Yes, exactly,” said Calypso. “So let me start at the Bay with Fred and Ginger,” said Calypso.
“Fred and Ginger? Fred and Ginger? Why does that sound so familiar?” asked Fester.
“Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, famous dancers,” said Calypso.
“How do you know?” asked Danielle.
“The seals told me,” answered Calypso.
“I should have known, seals act like they’re nice, but they’re actually they are a community of snobs,” said Danielle.
“Well, those snobs and I are the ones who are going to help save Sir Jeeves,” said Calypso.
“He’s not knighted, he’s not a sir, he’s not one of those Naval officers who insist on being called sir, so he’s not a sir,” said Fester.
So Calypso was off to see Fred and Ginger to get the word out about the predicament with Mr. Jeeves.
After a 15 minute flight, Calypso saw Fred and Ginger basking in the sun at the end of the pier.
“For what do we owe this honor, Calypso?” asked Fred.
“I need a favor from you two,” answered Calypso.
“Good, collect that favor we owe you. Us seals hate owing anything. I have yet to meet a Navy seal, none of our ancestors have been in the Navy,” said Ginger.
“Mr. Jeeves is being blamed for my disappearance, also five fish he freed,” said Calypso.
“That search engine on the Internet would never harm an animal or person,” stated Ginger.
“No, not Ask Jeeves, it’s Mr. Jeeves,” said Calypso.
“Ah, I get it. We are to ask Jeeves about Mr. Jeeves,” said Fred.
“No a, Mr. Jeeves is a cat and he may be gone if those fish are not back in the aquarium by Monday,” explained Calypso.
“Why didn’t you say so? Birds never get to the point about anything,” commented Fred. “In fact, I think it’s a female thing,” continued Fred.
“Watch it!” warned Calypso and Ginger.
“Well Fred, let’s get to repaying that favor,” said Ginger.
Fred and Ginger were informed by Calypso where to begin their search.
“I feel like a deep sea detective trying to solve a great mystery,” said Ginger.
“Well, I won’t feel like anything until we locate those fish,” said Fred.
Calypso was flying as fast as she could to meet Fred and Ginger at the boat docks.
After a couple hours of searching, the sun was setting and soon it would be dark.
Calypso was beginning to get worried about Mr. Jeeves.
“We will stop for now, but we will resume the search at first light tomorrow. Don’t worry, Calypso, we’ll find them,” assured Ginger.
“I have one question. How will we transport the fish back to the pet store when we find them?” asked Fred.
“I can request the Pelican Brief,” answered Calypso.
“Let’s get some sleep,” said Ginger.
“Good night, pleasant dreams,” said Calypso.
All three of them slept very well. Calypso was huddled up next to Ginger; Ginger was huddled up next to Fred who was snoring.
Danielle and Fester were at the pet store, delivering the vegetables, but neither Mr. Jeeves nor Cleopatra had much of an appetite.
“I found Calypso. She promised to come back and bring the fish with her,” said Danielle.
“Calypso can’t swim. She’ll never be able to find the fish,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“Yeah, but she knows two seals that owe her a favor,” said Fester.
“Wow! Calypso has connections,” said Mr. Jeeves.
“I’m worried the fish won’t be found,” said Cleopatra.
“Seals are very serious about repaying favors. They won’t rest until those fish are found,” said Mr. Jeeves.
Mr. Jeeves, Cleopatra, Danielle and Fester stayed up all night and planned out the reception for Calypso and the fish.
The sun was just beginning to smile the next morning. Calypso, Fred and Ginger were just waking up.
“Let us get something to eat,” said Ginger.
“Make sure it’s not the Fab Five we’re looking for,” cautioned Calypso.
“We will eat minnows today just to be on the safe side,” assured Fred.
“I’m going to get some worms or juicy bugs,” said Calypso.
After a leisurely breakfast, Fred and Ginger swam off to save Mr. Jeeves. The two seals swam way out looking for the fish.
Hours went by, and then an idea flashed through Calypso’s head.
After five hours of searching, the seals came back.
“No luck so far, but we’re not the type to give up on returning a favor. Darn! I knew we should have done the search in a grid pattern,” said Fred.
“I’ve got an idea!” said Calypso.
“Not one of those car commercial jokes,” said Ginger.
“No, here it is. If I was a fish and new to a hostile environment, I wouldn’t stray too far from where I entered it,” said Calypso.
“Hey, you’re right. They just might be right around here,” said Ginger.
This new idea rejuvenated their efforts. After another two hours, the sun was beginning to fade. So were their hopes.
All of a sudden, Ginger said “Hey, guess who I found at the very back of Dock C. They were all huddled up at the very end by the big rock, all quiet and still. They begged me not to eat them, but I told them I was here to help Mr. Jeeves.”
The five fish had followed Ginger to where Calypso was perched on a support post at Dock K. “Boy am I ever glad to see you,” said Calypso.
“Now I must go to the Pelican Brief,” said Calypso.
“You mentioned that last night, but we don‘t have time for a movie,” said Fred.
“It is not a movie, it is just a fancy way to call a meeting,” said Calypso.
“But you are not a Pelican?” stated Fred.
“But according to the Pelican’s bi-laws they are required to hear any problem a bird of flight has and must rule to help or ignore that bird’s request for help,” answered Calypso.
“I must now go and request the brief. Fred please explain the situation to the fish,” instructed Calypso.
Calypso took flight, was soon out of the line of sight.
“Mr. Jeeves is in a lot of trouble, he is being blamed for eating me and the five of you. Unless we get back by tomorrow, there may not be a tomorrow for Mr. Jeeves,’ explained Fred.
“That’s terrible. We need to get back to save Mr. Jeeves,” said Delilah.
“Okay, that’s what I need to hear,’ Said Fred.
Where are they? We must get back,” exclaimed Pancake.
Calypso arrives at Pelican central, conveniently located under the Golden Gate Bridge near Treasure Island. She convinces the Pelicans to have a brief on such a short notice.
The Pelican Brief was now in full swing, it was opened up by the Chairbird.
The chair bird address the board with his opening statement while standing on four wooden milk crates as a stage.
“For all who are new here, I am Sir Lands A lot, the head chair bird, this brief was called on such short notice at the request of one of our fellow birds of flight on the lower end of intelligence out of the many different species of us that exist. But according to our bi-laws, in Section B we are obligated at the minimum, to hear, address and base a sound majority decision either to help or ignore a fellow bird of flight’s problem.”
“Can my cousin request a brief even though he can’t fly because of a unprovoked attack by a cat near the Oakland harbor, this attack left him with partial paralysis in his left wing,” asked a new member.
“It states specifically, that due to injury, or birth defects, including psychological reasons, once a bird of flight, always a bird of flight shall be entitled to be heard at a brief at his or her request, we cannot discriminate due to species,” answered Sir Landsalot.
“What about if you have cousins due to marriage, on your wife’s side of the family that can’t fly, are they allowed to request a brief?” asked another new member.
“Once again, I shall read from the bi-laws out of section B sub part 31, where it states that birds that can’t fly because of nature’s decision, we as Pelicans do not recognize them as birds.
This includes in this group, but not limited to the following; Dodos, Emus, Ostriches, Rheas, Kiwis, Penguins, Cassowaries and Tinamous,” answered Sir Lands A lot.
“What about if you got some really weird family members on your wife’s side such as Flying Foxes, Flying Squirrels or Flying Frogs?” asked another new board member.
“Tell your wife she does have some weird cousins, please do your part and not let the Gene pool get mixed up, so the answer is no, they are not birds, so they have no voice in our society,” answered Sir Lands A lot.
Sir Lands A lot slams down the gavel, “Now may we move on with our meeting of why we are here at this moment.”
“What about birds that are too big and heavy to fly, where do they fit in this society of birds of flight?” asked Calypso, not to be mean but to imply there are exceptions to every rule.
“You are obviously referring to me, well please allow me to explain my situation.”
Sir Lands A lot’s voice gets shaky and begins to legitimize his existence in the Pelican society. “When I was just a fledgling, it was my brothers, sisters and mother feeding on the large supply of Herring in the harbor near the docks, when all of a sudden my brothers and sisters were gone.
My mom began to splash and make noise and was yelling for me to take flight.
I immediately got in the air as I watched a shark grab her, just before she disappeared she told me to make the pelican world a better place, so I have devoted my entire life to help all birds of flight.
And this is also why I do not leave land and where my name came from, it was originally Sir Landon, then one day a young Flamingo came up with this name when we were making fun of each other, I told him he belongs on a front lawn and he made the comment that I never leave land and so my new name was born.”
There was not a dry eye at the brief.
“You may now address the board Mynah,” said Sir Landsalot.
“I am Calypso and I am here to ask you to help a friend of mine, his name is Mr. Jeeves, he is in a lot of trouble, his life may soon be over. He helped me escape from my cage, but now he is being blamed for eating me,” explained Calypso.
“Why don’t you just simply return on your own to save him?” asked Sir Lands A lot.
“This is where I tell you why I need your help; he also helped five fish escape to the ocean to be free. Now I must find a way to transport the fish back to their home in the pet store to save Mr. Jeeves, so this is where I need your help, please?” begged Calypso.
“I say more fish for us to eat, so leave them in the ocean, I love pet shop food,” commented one Pelican.
“I say let’s help this fellow bird in trouble, let’s get the fish back where they belong,” yelled out another Pelican.
“Here, here, I agree we should help this fellow bird” said Sir Landsalot, as he slammed down the gavel twice.
“Did I forget to mention that Mr. Jeeves is a cat?” asked Calypso.
Now there were several moans, grumbles and groans, CARB was mentioned during this very tense period.
Once again Sir Lands A lot slams down the gavel to restore order.
“Now there may be a problem with us helping you, one less cat means one less attack on birds and since cats like fish, we are competing with them for food also.” said Sir Lands A Lot as he looked at Calypso.
“Mr. Jeeves is a vegetarian, he has helped you in a way by keeping two of your biggest gang problems in check,” answered back Calypso.
“Please explain, I cannot wait to hear this psychobabble,” said Sir Lands A Lot.
“Mr. Jeeves supplies food to the RACK and CARB organizations, two of the biggest and most troublesome ones in the Bay Area. Just think the rats aren’t raiding your eggs and the cats are fat and lazy, much too slow for them to catch a vastly superior intelligent bird such as yourself,” Calypso said with a gleam in her eyes.
The Pelicans were now in mumbled discussion, once again the gavel came down to demand order.
“I must now ask you to step outside, so we pelicans can decide your friend’s fate’” said Sir Lands A Lot.
Calypso stepped outside and flew up to a bridge support to wait patiently for the board’s decision.
After two hours, Calypso was summoned back in to hear the decision.
Calypso entered the brief room, with all eyes on her.
Sir Lands A Lot begins to speak, “We have weighed both sides, all pros and cons, which decision would benefit the birds of flight more. And we have decided to help you with your cause.”
The room of birds began to cheer and Calypso was almost tears of joy about the decision.
“The reason why it took such a long time, after generations of being directed by the same bi-laws, we have decided to amend Section B to include weird family members and all birds that can’t fly,” explained Sir Lands A Lot.
“At what point when I left the brief room did you know you were going to help me?” asked Calypso.
“Oh we agreed after the second you walked out, that this would be of a bigger benefit than allowing Mr. Jeeves to perish,” answered Sir Lands A Lot.
“Now, let’s go save that feline!” yelled Sir Lands A Lot.
The brief room was once again full of hooting, hollering and cheering.
Five pelicans then left to follow Calypso to the retrieval point.
“Calm down, Pancake. Calypso will be back,” assured Ginger.
Ten minutes later, which seemed like a lifetime to the fish, five pelicans followed Calypso and landed on the dock.
“Fishes, I would like you to meet Ed, Ned, Fred, Ted and Bob,” said Calypso.
“Fish, not fishes,” said Delilah.
“What?” asked Fred?
“Never mind,” said Delilah.
“Where does Bob come from?” asked Marshmallow.
“I’m the black sheep of the family,” replied Bob.
“You’re not black and you’re not a sheep,” said Mac.
“You need to see a pet psychiatrist,” suggested Delilah.
“I’m not a pet, I’m not a sheep and I’m not black,” said Bob.
“Coming to terms with your issues is a big step toward your recovery,” said Squealer.
“Enough. I didn’t hunt you down for a Dr. Phil self-help clinic,” said Calypso. “Trust the pelicans; they will take you back to the pet store.”
“Are you fish ready to fly Pelican Airlines?” asked Bob.
“Boarding will begin in five minutes,” said Ned.
“We ask that those who need assistance or are elderly board first,” said Ted.
“Have your boarding passes and tickets ready so we can direct you to your correct seat,” said Ed.
“There will be no refreshments and carry on luggage is not allowed on this flight,” said Fred.
“Yeah, yeah, us birds will be flying at an altitude of 30 feet and with an eight foot wing span, we will glide most of the way which will assure little or no turbulance,” said Mac.
“Hey, that’s pretty good, Fish,” said Ed.
“We will now board all remaining passengers. One per bill, please,” said Fred.
Scoop after scoop, within two minutes, all fish were inside the pelican’s mouths.
“Okay, let’s have a pre-flight check, please,” said Ned.
“Man, you fellow birds really believe you’re airplanes, don’t you?” asked Calypso.
Chapter 4
The return Home
“Calypso, give us our pre-flight check list, please,” said Bob.
“Wings?” asked Calypso.
“Check,” answered Fred.
“Landing gear?” asked Calypso.
“Check,” said Ed.
“Vision obstructions?” asked Calypso.
“Clear and clean vision,” answered Bob.
“Make sure the runway is clear and, Calypso, you can fly ahead to meet with the control tower to ensure the landing strip is clear and ready for us,” said Ed.
“Okay, anything you say, let’s just get them back,” said Calypso.
“I don’t hear any props,” said Ginger.
“No way, we’re stealth,” said Bob.
“It’s time for take off,” said Ed.
“Finally,” commented Calypso.
All five pelicans were in the air and on their way to When Nature Calls.
Outside the pet store, in the back, was a legendary gathering, never before has there been such a legendary truce among so many different species of predators and prey. This has been the makings of an historical event, never before witnessed by an animal or human. Cleopatra, Mr. Jeeves, Bleach, Fester, Norton, Danielle, Sheila and her four kittens (which had grown like toenails) Chapter, Creamsicle, Quilt and even the sleeping Molasses were all waiting for the arrival.
Calypso was flying above waiting to make a grand entrance. Fashionably late is a tradition many ladies believe in.
CARB showed up in support because they had food on a regular basis with Mr. Jeeves there.
The dog, name withheld at his request, showed up with no wagon this time.
Dogs, mice, RACK and a snake who are all natural enemies have come together for the good and welfare of all.
Mr. Jeeves got out in front of all of them and waited to thank them for their support.
“Excuse me, everyone,” he began. “I wanted to thank all of you for your support. This makes me feel like there is hope in this world of animals,” he continued.
“I have drafted a peace treaty for CARB and RACK to sign to encourage cooperation amongst these two organizations, may work together to help our generations to come live a better life,” stated Mr. Jeeves.
“What about the rest of the animals?” asked Archimedes.
“There has to be still a balance of nature somewhere,” answered Mr. Jeeves.
“You have a point there,” said Sir Lands A Lot who had just flown in.
Calypso went to where Sir Lands A Lot was standing.
“I thought you were afraid of flying and more so of water?” asked Calypso.
“Even Pelicans have been known to lie, actually, my family lives in Seattle, all alive and well, I guess I am mostly just a lazy Pelican, who don’t mind free meals,” replied Sir Lands A Lot.
Sir Lands A Lot says to Calypso after he winks, “Let’s keep this secret between me and you, I have a good set up, and I don’t want to lose it.”
“My beak is sealed,” replies Calypso.
“I thought the phrase was my lips are sealed?” asked Sir Lands A Lot.
“Birds don’t have lips,” stated Calypso.
All the animals socialized as if it was a masquarade ball.
At 9:30 pm, the pelicans began to arrive.
“No landing lights?” asked Ned.
“Hey, who turned out the landing lights?” asked Ted.
“Who forgot to pay the electric bill?” asked Fred.
“Alright, a party for us heroes,” said Bob.
“Welcome gentlemen, we appreciate the help,” said Mr. Jeeves.
The pelicans looked around to see who he was addressing.
“We’re not gentlemen. We’re birds. In fact, we are the superior bird, or you would not be coming to the brief for help” said Ned.
“Shhh, you have Calypso here,” said Cleopatra.
“Okay, so she has to know the truth,” said Ted.
“Follow me to where the fish need to be put,” said Mr. Jeeves.
One pelican after another put their passengers back into their aquarium. Finally, the fish were all back in the tank.
“Back home at last,” said Pancake.
“I’ll never complain about my lifestyle again,” said Delilah.
“Excuse me, pelicans and Mr. Jeeves,” interrupted Calypso as she came strutting into the pet store.
“Calypso, you’re coming back?” asked Mr. Jeeves.
“I can’t have it on my conscience that someone was punished because of my own selfishness,” answered Calypso. “Would you do the honor and open the cage for me, Mr. Jeeves?”
“Of course,” answered Mr. Jeeves.
“But before we turn in, let’s give these new found some carry out service with this large supply of food,” said Mr. Jeeves.
The animal friends were allowed to come in and take what they could carry from the stockroom.
Now all the missing animals were back where they belonged.
“Boy, Mr. Overton will have to have a self-check when he sees everything back to normal,” commented Mr. Jeeves.
Mr. Jeeves and the pelicans went back outside. The animals celebrated another two hours and got to know each other.
“There will be a special bond amongst all of us for generations to come,” said Mr. Jeeves.
It was now close to the early morning hours. Soon after the historic speech by Mr. Jeeves, the party broke up. All the animals turned in.
The next morning, Mr. Overton opened the shop and got a cage ready for Mr. Jeeves in the back. He walked to the back in a sad state when he heard a familiar voice.
“Here’s your pink slip, you’re fired,” said Calypso.
“Well, bust my buttons,” said a very bewildered Mr. Overton.
“Navy crackerjacks, dress winter blues have 13 buttons,” said Calypso.
The cage fell from Mr. Overton’s hands and crashed to the floor.
After the next thing he saw, he had to sit down to avoid passing out from all the shock.
“Well, melt the butter and pour it on popcorn,” said Mr. Overton.
“Margarine is healthier,” said Calypso.
Mr. Overton couldn’t believe the bird was back. But even more shocking, the fish were all back in the aquarium. And there was Mr. Jeeves with a rat right next to him to give to Cleopatra.
“Thank you Mr. Jeeves for being such a great cat,” said Mr. Overton.
Mr. Overton goes to the stockroom and sees empty shelves and bags of food missing from pallets.
Mr. Overton wonders where all the food could have possibly went.
“To me Mr. Jeeves, if I didn’t know any better, I would say you had a party celebrating the other animal’s miraculous return to the store,” commented Mr. Overton as he scratched his head still bewildered by the events when arrived that morning.
The pet store night time routine was back to normal.
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