“Not happening! Both of you are in lockdown after your shenanigans this spring. All of that was enough for one lifetime. Neither of you will do anything! Zilch! Nada! I’ve instructed the librarians about the content you’re allowed to check out: no off-color talk, adult subjects, or violence. And no investigative research involving plots or conspiracies! Even if you think you can hoodwink them, you can’t con me. I have bugged your phone, computer, and bags with the help of Henry and Lionel—and if I have to, I’ll put you both in ankle monitors. Your sleuthing almost gave me a heart attack!”
Zelda let out a loud screech. Oh, poor you! You’re not the only ones who are bored! There are no cute mice until it gets cold, and it’s not hot and wet enough for a fat, juicy water bug.
I should hope not, you mangy cat. I run a tight ship here. Sophia telepathed with Zelda so that Mr. O’D would not hear.
You are going to take me and my fish treats to Central Park Zoo, or you might find melted ice cream dripping out of the freezer door! I want to visit the new baby snow tiger. He’s a distant relative of mine, as evidenced by our white coats bearing distinctive black markings. Zelda modeled her tail and facial markings as if she were showing fine jewelry at a fashion show.
I don’t think a Nike swoosh on your face and three black rings around your tail make you related to a snow tiger from India! However, we should check up on Sal, Henry, and Vlad.
Wahoo thought Jack might be back today. Pedro prudently introduced the idea that seeing all of their zoo friends would help their boredom be bearable.
“Why don’t you go visit the zoo?” asked Mr. O’D. “Only with one caveat: try not to cause an international disturbance while you’re there. Meanwhile, I’ll go to the store. I don’t know why a little red-headed girl can’t hang out with friends her age. None of your human buddies are under sixty, except for Pedro and Lionel. And Lionel is thirty-nine!”
“Simple. Kids my age are creepy or boring. I choose reliable, interesting, stable friends who appreciate my finer qualities. Think of Sal, Henry, Lionel, and Mr. Woo, then compare them to Cruella, Suzy Snodgrass, and Brad-the-Block. I rest my case!”
“You got that right, girlfriend!” said Pedro.