“Morning, Nari!” Marlene сказал(-а) one morning, excitedly nudging her habitat-mate and adoptive sister. “Come on, wake up!” she urged, eager to get out in the Monterey sun.
Nari stretched her arms and legs with a yawn as she sat up. “Marlene, the morning will still be there in ten minutes,” she complained with a smile.
Marlene laughed and pulled her arm. “Don’t be a wimp! Come on! Let’s go for a swim!”
The two went outside their cave-like room out into the California spring morning, Marlene at the lead while Nari lagged behind. Marlene голубь into their pond while Nari sat at the water’s edge.
Marlene surfaced. “Come on, Nari! Wake up!” she сказал(-а) with a laugh.
Nari yawned again. “You kept me up until three o’clock in the morning! I have, like, zero energy right now,” she said.
Marlene narrowed her eyes mischievously and голубь back under the water. A moment later, she grabbed Nari’s leg at the water’s edge and pulled her under. Both of them resurfaced a секунда later, Marlene laughing her tail off while Nari sputtered water.
“Marlene!” she complained, splashing water at her.
“Are Ты awake now?” Marlene asked, still laughing.
Nari grunted in frustration and pushed Marlene’s head under the water. Marlene reached up and pulled Nari down with her. After a few минуты of play-fighting, they both surfaced to catch their breath.
“You’re insufferable!” Nari said, shoving Marlene away from her with a smile.
Marlene laughed and floated on her back, staring up at the clouds. She really loved it here at the Monterey бухта, залив Aquarium. Little did she expect that her time here was running out.
“Okay, so which one are we taking?” a voice сказал(-а) from beyond their habitat.
Marlene and Nari looked up to see their zookeeper at the edge of their habitat with some man.
“The Asian Otter,” the zookeeper replied. “The Central Park Zoo wants her by tomorrow. They paid good money for her. I trust that you’ll make it happen?”
“Yes, ma’am,” the man said. “I’ll go get my truck.”
The two then left the habitat while Nari and Marlene just watched them in shock.
“What did they just say?” Nari said.
“I think . . . I think I’m being transferred,” Marlene said, her voice choking with fear.
“No,” Nari said, putting a paw on her shoulder, “there has to be some misunderstanding here.”
“I don’t think so!” Marlene cried. “They сказал(-а) they wanted the Asian Otter! You’re a River Otter! Nari, they’re sending me away!” She hugged Nari tight. “Don’t let them take me away!”
Nari hugged Marlene back. “Marlene, I’m not sure if there’s much I can do,” she сказал(-а) doubtfully. Then she sighed. “But I’ll try my best for sure.”
When the zookeeper and the man returned, Marlene had retreated back into the cave while Nari stood at the entrance, bracing herself for a fight. The zookeeper entered their habitat with a catch pole and the man followed behind her with the shipping crate.
“You listen here, zookeeper lady!” Nari said, pointing a finger at her. “If Ты want to get to Marlene, you’re gonna have to go through me—ah!”
Before she could even try to prevent what was happening, the zookeeper darted Nari with a mild tranquilizer. While she didn’t fall unconscious, she was too weak to even try to move. She watched helplessly as the zookeeper reached into the cave with the catch pole and, after several failed attempts, caught Marlene in the noose. She came out kicking and screaming as they put her in the crate.
“No!” Marlene cried. “Nari! I don’t want to go! Don’t take me away, please!”
Nari reached out a weak paw, but it just fell limp to the ground again. Marlene, now in tears, pounded at the sides of the клеть, ящик as they closed the lid.
“No! Please don’t take me away!” she cried again. She felt herself being loaded onto the truck and heard the doors shut her inside. She leaned against the side of the crate, bawling to herself.
Monterey бухта, залив had been her Главная since she had been born twenty-four years ago. She never knew her parents since they were separated at birth, but Nari was there. She was only three years older than her, and the two had become inseparable. It was as if they had come from the same womb, despite the age difference. Nari was there for her when she was just a pup, afraid of the new, large world around her. Now she was going who-knows-how-far away, where she would never see Nari again. She didn’t even get to say goodbye. They didn’t give her the time. They didn’t care. They only cared about themselves and their own selfish aspirations.
Marlene suddenly felt a pang of anger. The humans had no right to do this! She had feelings too! But no, that didn’t matter. She was just an otter. If someone wanted to buy her, she had no choice but to go wherever the humans so desired. Now she was going to some dump called the “Central Park Zoo,” where she would have to get used to some new environment that she knew nothing about and perform for a different kind of crowd. She may as well be sent to a foreign country—everything would be different and confusing to her. She would have to get used to new habitat-mates. или would she even have habitat-mates? She may even have to live alone. All by herself. With no friends. She broke down in tears again, feeling that her life had just gone down the drain while she remain powerless to stop it.
If only Marlene knew what exciting new adventures she would soon have and wonderful new Друзья she would soon make.