“Hey Jake,” called Midge as she and Booker-T strolled up the sidewalk to the front porch where Jake was resting on the swing. “What are you doing?”
“Hi Midge,” smiled Jake. “I was sitting here thinking of something to do today.”
“What do you want to do?” asked Midge.
“I'm not sure yet,” said Jake. “Do you have any ideas.”
“Why don't we go to the zoo and see what animals are there,” said Booker-T. “Maybe they got a big tiger there now. I like Tigers.”
“Do you want to go to the zoo, Jake?” asked Midge.
“Sure,” agreed Jake. “We can see what animals they have there now.”
The three agreed on the trip to the zoo and started down the sidewalk. They looked both ways and then hurried across the street into the parking lot of the zoo.
“Wow,” smiled Midge. “We have some new ones today.”
“There is Arty in the corner,” said Jake.
“Are you sure it is Arty?” asked Booker-T. “Maybe it is a different polar bear with a different name.”
“I guess that could be true,” said Midge. “We can ask him.”
The three wandered from one cage to the other and checked the names on the plaques attached to the bars of the cages. This day, the zoo area has a polar bear, an antelope, a couple of ferrets, a lemur and a panda bear. Jake read the sign on the polar bear's cage and this polar bear was named, Snowball.
“This is a different bear,” said Jake. “His name is Snowball.”
“Snowball,” said Midge. “That's a cute name. Wonder how he got that name?”
“Some kids gave me that name,” said Snowball. “Hi, what are your names?”
“I'm Jake, this is Midge, said Jake. “And over there, looking at the Panda bear,
“You don't live in a cage like we do?” asked Snowball.
“No,” said Midge. “We are little pets who belong to people.”
“Why did a kid give you the name Snowball?” asked Jake.
“When I was just a little cub,” said Snowball.
“You were a cub?” interrupted Midge. “You weren't a bear?”
“A cub is a baby bear,” said Snowball.
“Oh, okay,” smiled Midge. “Think that is like Jake and I.”
“You were cubs too?” asked Snowball. “But you don't look like bears.”
“We are dogs,” said Jake. “But when we were babies, they called us puppies.”
“When I was a cub, I lost my mother and some people found me laying beside her in the deep snow,” said Snowball. “They carried me back to their shelter and kept me warm and gave me something to eat. There was a little boy who lived there too and he used to play with me and he called me Snowball. In a few months, they packed up to go back to where they live all the time and they carried me to some people who had a zoo. They gave me a nice place to stay with lot of water, rocks and food and things for me.”
“Do you like it where you are?” asked Jake.
“It is nice,” said Snowball. “Kids come to see me every day and big people too some to see.”
“Am sorry you lost your mother,” said Midge. “How did you lose her?”
“I don't know,” said Snowball. “I was too young, but think the people said she was sick.”
“That is sad,” said Midge.
“Did you lose your mother too?” asked Snowball.
“Not really,” said Midge. “When we got older, our mother's owners gave us away to families who wanted a dog. We don't know where our mothers are now.”
“Why are you going to a different zoo?” asked Jake.
“I heard them say they are sending me to a bigger zoo to be with some other polar bears,” said Snowball. “Where I was staying, I was the only polar bear and it was lonely being by myself.”
“I'm glad you will have friends now to spend time with,” said Midge. “We three are friends and we are always together.”
“That's nice,” smiled Snowball. “It is nice to have friends. Some of the other zoo animals where I was had friends and some didn't, like me.”
“You will be happier with friends,” said Jake. “We always have fun together and Midge is always thinking of something new to do.”
“Did you know any of these other animals before you came here?” asked Midge.
“Those little ferrets over there were at the same place I was,” said Snowball. “They are Benny and Tillie and the panda bear is Ling-Ling.”
“And the others?” asked Jake.
“The other two are Lester the Lemur,” smiled Snowball. “And Baxter the antelope. They came from a different place, but we are all going to the same zoo.”
“That's nice you met some new friends,” said Midge.
“I've never been friends with anyone before,” said Snowball. “Except the little boy at the shelter before they took me to the small zoo. He was a nice little boy. Do you live with a little boy too?”
“No,” said Jake. “We both live with a grown up big person.”
“They are nice,” said Midge. “And take care of us every day. They give us good food and fresh water all the time and they pet us and give us a warm place to sleep.”
“I'd like that too,” said Snowball. “But I have to live in a cage where people come to see us, but we can't be outside the cage with them. People like to see us but they are afraid of us and call us wild animals. Are you wild animals too?”
“No,” said Midge.
“I heard someone say we were something called domestic,” said Jake. “I don't know what domestic means, but I think that is what we are.”
“What is wild?” asked Midge.
“I don't know that either,” said Snowball.
“I hope you will like your new home and new friends,” said Jake.
“Maybe you can come to see me there,” said Snowball.
“The zoo you are going to is too far for us to go to,” said Midge. “Enjoy your new home.”
“Thanks you guys,” smiled Snowball.
“Now, we have to go,” said Jake. “Good-bye Snowball.”
“Good-bye guys,” said Snowball.