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  • Susan Stoderl

A Second Peek into Mission 1: All in a Day's Work


High above Fifth Avenue, Wahoo the Raven daydreamed on his string bag hammock. His iridescent black feathers sparkled in the sun. What now? Should he return to typing his memoir on his BlackZip™ typewriter, which he had designed, assembled, and trademarked under his BlackRaven™ brand? He could only write RavenSpeak in hieroglyphics, which no human could read, so he was forced to type his memoir in English. Maybe he should just idle away an hour until it was time to go visit Jack at the zoo.


“No, I think I’ll nap. My beak and feet are sore from typing all day,” Wahoo said aloud. He loved hearing his voice and spoke in a pseudo-Southern accent, even though he had never been farther south than New Jersey. 


When Wahoo and Jack the Polar Bear arrived in the city, Wahoo needed to find suitable living quarters. He had fashioned the elegant Casa Wahoo in an abandoned box room behind two cracked roof tiles. At Wahoo’s advanced age of eighteen, certain creature comforts were required. The ledge outside held his hammock and a side table repurposed from a spinning blue Yo-Yo top. His sophisticated palate was fine-tuned by some of the best dumpsters in the world. He would eat his favorite meal, Moroccan pigeon breast, a la tartare, but New York City pigeons had to be grilled. They were rather dirty. Wahoo had assembled a hibachi from a narrow rectangular aluminum pan liberated from a dumpster. That was to hold the charcoal. A metal grid made to measure sat on top. Charcoal was easy to “borrow” from the carts roasting chestnuts or pretzels, albeit without the owners’ knowledge. Wahoo jumped to his feet and slipped inside through the loose tile. “It’s a shame Jack is too big to invite for dinner. He’d like my setup.” He looked around his home with pride. “My, my, my, I do have an eye for décor.” The shelves held his prized shiny objects, such as an antique French parquetry and gilt clock. It was a surprise gift from Christie’s Auction House. As it was being unloaded, the antique had attached itself to his talons as he flew away. What was a gentleman raven to do if he liked pretty objects? Birds, no matter how dapper, could not stroll into Christie’s, plunk down a credit card, and tweet, “Deliver it, please!”


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