“Come on,” said Midge. “I want to watch these funny little guys.”
“Those are monkeys,” said Gabby as he swooped down and landed on the top of the monkey cage.
“Hi Gabby,” said Midge. “What are you doing?”
“I was looking for you,” said Gabby. “I went to your house and to Jake's house but didn't see you guys anywhere.”
“Why were you looking for us?” asked Jake. “Is everything okay with you?”
“I was going to tell you about the zoo holding place,” said Gabby. “I saw it the other day and I remembered you wanted to go to the big zoo where Polly and I went but it is across town from here.”
“I heard about it on the TV when my owner was watching the news,” said Jake. “We didn't see anyone around so we came on in to see the animals.”
“This is a nice little place,” said Gabby. “Why are those meerkats acting strange over there?”
“We talked to Duke and he thought you were a danger to them,” said Midge. “I think Eagles are a threat to them.”
“Oh,” said Gabby. “But I am not a threat to anyone.”
“We know that,” said Midge. “But those little guys didn't know it. They know now that you are good.”
“They are cute little animals,” said Gabby. “They sure sit so still looking around all the time.”
“I think they are watching for birds that will hurt them,” said Jake.
“Maybe I can go talk to them and let them know I will not hurt them,” said Gabby. “Will come with me Midge and they will know I am okay?”
“Sure,” agreed Midge. “Lets go. I will come back to see these little guys when Duke knows you are okay.”
Midge went to the meerkat cage and Gabby flew down and sat on the top of the bars.
“Hi Duke,” greeted Midge. “what are you doing?”
“Oh Midge,” said Duke. “There is a big blue bird up there. We need to hide.”
“This is Gabby,” said Midge. “He is my friend and he won't hurt you.”
“Your friend is a bird?” asked Duke. “They are mean.”
“No,” said Midge. “Not Gabby. He is good little bluejay bird. Come over and meet him.”
Duke lowered his head and kept his eyes on Gabby as he inched his way toward Midge.
“Come on down Gabby,” said Midge.
Gabby flew down to stand next to Midge. As he landed on the ground, Duke quickly ran back to his spot on the small hill.
“Why did you run away?” asked Midge. “Come on over and meet Gabby.”
“Are you sure he is safe?” asked Duke.
“I'm sure,” said Midge.
Jake and Booker-T stood watching as Midge kept telling Duke that Gabby would not hurt him and his family. Duke slowly walked back to where Midge and Gabby stood near the bars of the cage.
“Duke,” said Midge. “This is Gabby. He is my friend.”
“Hi Duke,” greeted Gabby. “You don't have to be afraid of me. I am not a bad bird.”
“What kind of bird are you?” asked Duke. “I never saw a blue colored bird before. I only saw big brown ones.”
“I think the big brown ones you are afraid of are what they call preditors,” said Gabby. “But I am just a bird and don't prey on any animals. I like a worm now and then but usually eat nuts and fruit and some bugs.”
“You are little,” said Duke.
“Duke! Duke!” called his family. “Come back here before that bird gets you.”
“It is okay guys,” said Duke. “This is a friendly bird. We are safe from him.”
Booker-T and Jake walked over to see the giraffe while Midge and Gabby talked with Duke and his family.
“Hi Mr. Giraffe,” smiled Booker-T. “I like your color.”
“Who are you?” asked the Giraffe as he bent his neck to get a better look at this little animal show stood before him outside his cage. “Why are you not in a cage like we are?”
“We are not zoo animals,” said Jake. “We live in houses with people.”
“Can I live in a house with people too?” asked the Giraffe. “I would like that.”
“No,” said Booker-T. “I think you are supposed to be in the zoo or somewhere in the wild.”
“What is the wild?” asked the Giraffe. “I never heard of the wild. I have always lived in a zoo.”
“What is your name?” asked Jake.
“They call me Zelda,” said the giraffe. “What is your name?”
“I'm Jake and my friend is Booker-T,” said Jake.
“Hi Jake,” said Zelda. “Hi Booker-T. Is that black and white animal your friend too? I think I saw her come in with you.”
“She is my friend too,” smiled Jake. “We do things together all the time.”
“It's nice to have a friend,” said Zelda. “I don't have any friends.”
“Oh,” sighed Booker-T. “That is sad. Why don't you have any friends? Don't you talk to these animals here?”
“I never tried,” said Zelda. “We are all different. Those little guys over there and the ones next to me have friends in the cage with them, but I am alone in this cage.”
“Booker-T, Midge and I are each different,” said Jake. “And Gabby too. We are not the same but we are friends. You can be friends and talk to the other animals here.”
“Do you really think we could all be friends?” asked Zelda. “That would be so nice.”
“Hey everyone!” said Jake standing in the middle of the room. “My name is Jake and my friends are Midge, Booker-T and Gabby. Zelda there is a nice giraffe. She would like to be your friend. Would you like to be her friend too?”
“But she is different than I am,” said Hippy. “We are all different.”
“You can still be friends,” said Jake. “My friends and I are all different, but we don't care about that. We have fun together. Being different is good.”
“Hi Zelda,” greeted the elephant. “My name is Alfred.”
“Hi Alfred,” smiled Zelda.
The others greeted Zelda and told her their names. “Oh thank you Jake,” smiled Zelda. “You gave me friends I never had. I guess we can all be friends even when we are different.”