Andrew, Joe, Rob, Ross, and Zubin all excitedly scramble through the entrance to the zoo. Each grabs a map of the place and immediately set about figuring out how to see everything in one day. The possibilities seem endless and leave the boys a little dizzy with ideas.
“I want to see the leopards,” Ross announces proudly.
“We have to see the monkeys,” Joe states that like it is a fact.
“Elephants are always fun to watch,” Rob comments confidently.
“They have giant snapping turtles in the reptile house,” Zubin informs the rest.
“I have always liked the penguins,” Andrew quietly says.
They all look at each other in disbelief. There was not one suggestion that more than one of the friends had in common. This was a crucial moment in their friendship. They could only see one thing at a time. How would they ever choose who would go first? The silence stretches on and the tension grows.
“Since Ross spoke up before the rest of us, we should go the big cat area first,” Andrew cautiously tries for a peaceful resolution.
“I guess,” Joe, Rob, and Zubin mumble in unison.
With a direction to start in, the five boys start off their zoo experience. Ross bounds ahead of the others who drag their feet. In the face of seeing that there was an all black leopard, Ross becomes exuberant. His excitement is too infectious for the others to hold their grudges about not seeing what they wanted to first. The reptile house was close by so Zubin gets his wish. While the snapping turtles are amazing, the real draw of the boys’ attention was the sign next to the habitat. It was an x-ray of one of the turtles that showed change and a key that had gotten thrown in or fallen in and gotten eaten.
The monkeys were next on their tour. Joe leans so far over the outer fence that he looks like he might just tumble over it. Rob jumps towards his friend with a loud shout to try and make him fall. Joe jumps, but stays firmly on his perch. Rob leads the way to the elephants. All the way there he makes elephant noises and flaps his arm like a trunk. After some light teasing, the other four join in.
Towards the end of the day, they finally make it all the way to the penguins. Andrew has been very patient all day long and now he gets to see what he wants. All five of the boys race there. They settle into the benches to watch the swimming area. Soon, Andrew is the only one awake. He watches the penguins and hums a little tune that he is making up as he goes. Rob is flopped out on the floor. Joe is drooling on a bench. Zubin and Ross prop each other up while they snore in harmony. Andrew looks around at his friends and smiles as he switches to whistling his tune.