Midge and Booker-T strolled along the sidewalk going to Jake's house. They had planned to meet this morning and go to the park for a little swim in the pond. They entered the yard and Midge called out to Jake.
“Hey Jake!” called Midge. “Where are you? Jake!”
Jake came walking around the house from the back yard. “I'm here in the back yard.”
“Are you ready to go to the park?” asked Booker-T.
“We want to visit Sylvester and Jenny,” smiled Midge.
“They will be happy to see you,” said Jake.
“It's warm today and we can go for little swim in the pond too,” said Midge.
“Maybe Gabby will come to the park with his new baby,” said Booker-T. “He should be big enough to fly now, don't you think?”
“I think so too,” agreed Midge. “He still hasn't told us what his little one's name is.”
“Maybe he will come soon,” said Jake.
“Lets go,” said Midge. “I am ready to go now.”
The three strolled along the sidewalk to the park. After the entered the park, they ran across the park to the pond. They found Jenny and Sylvester sitting on the edge of the pond in the shade of the large rock.
“Hi you guys,” greeted Sylvester as they laid down on the grass near them. “Did you come to swim today?”
“Yes,” smiled Midge. “It's so nice to have the warm weather back now.”
“Jenny and I are glad that winter is over too,” said Sylvester. “Did you see what they did over there?”
The three looked in the direction that Sylvester was pointing. Near the street on the other side of the park was another new cafe. “Oh wow,” said Jake. “How long has that been there?”
“They finished it last week and it is supposed to open today,” said Jenny. “We watched them unload all the trucks two days ago.”
“Looks like the parking lot is already full,” said Midge. “What kind of cafe is it?”
“I think it is a burger joint,” said Sylvester.
“Oh good,” smiled Jake. “Midge will be trying to think of a way to get a free burger for us.”
“You like burgers?” asked Jenny.
“She loves anything she can eat,” laughed Booker-T. “She loves to eat.”
“I'm sure I can think of some way to get a handout from them,” said Midge.
“She will think about it every day til she comes up with an idea,” said Jake.
“That's good,” said Jenny. “Sylvester and I don't eat burgers.”
“We eat bugs,” said Sylvester. “We really like flies.”
“Do they taste good?” asked Midge. “I don't think I would like to eat a fly.”
“Midge,” said Jake. “Look over there. What is that?”
Midge looked over to where Jake was looking and saw something laying on the park bench. “I don't know,” said Midge. “Lets go see what it is.”
“We will be right back,” said Booker-T as he followed Midge and Jake.
As they neared the bench, they saw it was some kind of animal but wasn't sure yet what it was. Midge slowly walked up to it and put her little nose on its head. It popped up and looked at her.
“Hi,” smiled Midge. “Who are you? I have never seen you here before.”
“I'm Duke,” said the little animal. “I ran away.”
“Hmmm,” said Booker-T. “Where did you run away from?”
“See that truck over there by the cafe,” said Duke. “I was in that truck.”
“Why did you run away?” asked Midge. “Don't you like your owner?”
“I don't know my owner,” said Duke.
“Where do you live?” asked Jake.
“I don't know,” said Duke.
“You don't know where you live?” asked Booker-T with a puzzled look on his face.
“Where were you going in the truck?” asked Midge.
“I don't know,” said Duke.
“How did you get out of the truck?” asked Jake.
“I jumped out,” said Duke. “And I came over here and was sleepy so laid down on the bench.”
“What kind of animal are you?” asked Midge. “You don't look like a dog or cat.”
“I'm a cat,” said Duke.
“You don't look like a cat to me,” said Midge.
“You don't look like a cat to me either,” Booker-T. “I'm a cat.”
“You look different than I do,” said Duke. “maybe there are different kinds of cats.”
“If you are a cat,” said Midge. “I guess there are different kinds.”
“How do you know you are a cat?” asked Jake. “Did your owner tell you that you are a cat.”
“I saw the card on my cage,” said Duke.
“You have a cage?” asked Midge. “Why?”
“I think they are afraid of me,” said Duke.
“I really don't understand,” said Midge looking confused. “How do you know you are a cat?”
“The card says I'm a Meerkat,” said Duke.
“A meerkat?” asked Booker-T. “What kind of cat is that?”
“I don't know,” said Duke.
“Hi guys,” said Gabby as he swooped down from the trees and landed on the back of the bench. “Who is your new friend?”
“His name is Duke,” said Midge.
“What is he doing here?” asked Gabby.
“He ran away from that truck over there,” said Jake. “He says he is a cat.”
“Not the same kind of cat that Booker-T is,” said Gabby. “He is a meerkat.”
“What kind of cat is that?” asked Booker-T.
“He belongs in the zoo,” said Gabby. “Polly and I have seen them at the zoo when we went to see the big birds.”
“Were you going to the zoo?” asked Midge.
“I think that is where they said I was going,” said Duke. “They went into that building over there and I jumped out of the truck.”
“Maybe you should go back to the truck,” suggested Gabby. “They will take good care of you at the zoo. I saw a lot of little meerkats at the zoo.”
“There are more like me?” asked Duke.
“There are a lot of others like you there,” said Gabby. “You will like it there. The zoo is a really nice place.”
“Come on Duke,” said Midge. “I will walk to the truck with you.”
“Do you think it will be good to go to the zoo?” asked Duke.
“The zoo would be better than living out here in the park with no home to go to,” said Booker-T. I used to live on the streets with no home and it isn't any fun.”
“If you think it will be good place to live, I will go,” said Duke.
Midge walked the little meerkat to the truck and Duke jumped back in and curled up inside the cage. “Goodbye,” said Duke.
“Goodbye Duke,” said Midge as she stood and watched the two men get into the truck and drive away. “Maybe some day I can come to see you.”