It was a bright, warm morning at the zoo. The animals were all waking up and the sounds of everyone grunting and hooting and crowing filled the day.
A tall man wearing dirty blue coveralls trudged along the main path leading from a nice cottage towards the animal cages. He was still tired from staying up late the night before to settle in the new baby animal that had been shipped from the zoo’s Artic research station. As he passed the monkey cage, the man said, “Why good morning, Gertrude? How are you and your fine children faring this morning?” The momma monkey grunted in reply and patted her nearest little one on the head.
At the center of the zoo was a round building with five doors. The man in the blue coveralls went into this building, grabbing a metal pail as he entered. The inside of the round building was a massive kitchen decked out with sinks and chopping boards and refrigerators, and a long, wide metal table. The man walked up to the refrigerator and pulled out a package of steaks. He placed the meat into his bucket and left the round building, headed for a nearby cage.
When the man got to this particular cage, which was bigger than the rest and had a large cold pool in the middle, he entered through a back door that was painted to look like a stone, and entered a small room.
Inside the small room, the man with the blue coveralls, plopped down his bucket and tossed the meat that was in the bucket through the bars into the large cage and into the water in the pool. Then he called out through the bars, “Breakfast!”
Without waiting for a reply, the man went back near the door, grabbed a stool, sat down, and began talking.
“Hello! How are you today little one?”
The man was looking into a small interior holding cage in the small room.
“You came in very late last night and I certainly hope that you got a good, quiet rest.”
The animal in the cage stirred.
“Are you ready to try a little breakfast?”
The animal, snowy white and fluffy, poked a shiny black nose out from under his paw and blinked slowly.
“I know it can be really hard to travel, especially for a bear, and you must miss your mamma something fierce. I am very sorry that she is gone, but I will take care of you and you will live with me.”
The little white bear unwrapped himself and stretched. Then he walked over to the holding cage bars and, sticking his white snout through the bars, gave the man with the blue coveralls a sniff and then, with a twinkle of happiness in his black eyes, he gave the man a lick.
Life was going to be happy from now on, thought Newt.
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