I thought I would be glad that the Federal Government had reopened. Apparently not. I received in the mail information about the new Federal law that starts January 1, 2014. I went on the website and could not set up an account. I called their helpline and was told that was WHY the law was passed. The program is called the National Initiative Towards Wilderness Information Technology. It is to help forest dwelling creatures access the internet and participation is mandatory. The initials of this program says it all.
Our mentally challenged politicians have finally come to their senses (it won’t last) and our National Parks are now open again. Bears throughout the west are having events to celebrate.
Bears in Oregon are having a meet and greet at the Lodge at Crater Lake. Bears in California are having an interpretive dance festival at the Ahwahnee in Yosemite. Finally, Washington State bears are having a folk art festival at Hurricane Ridge on the Olympic Peninsula.
The CDC is shutdown! Check out the disclaimer that has been posted on their website. Now the zombies can rise up and get us. Contact your representatives and warn them of this new danger.
My brother Zelazney has informed me that because of the government shutdown, bears in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone are considering defecting to Canada! Canadian officials are said to be quite worried about this.
Elsewhere, Yosemite bears are threatening to stage a rock concert/sit-in at Yosemite Falls. Oregon bears are descending upon Portland on Saturday for a vegan cookout fundraiser. Finally, bears in Washington State are planning a march on Olympia to ask the legislature to secede from the now defunct United States.
Bears in our National Parks have been furloughed as a result of the shutdown. I urge you to send food parcels to our friends in need. Please also consider hosting a bear family until this crisis is over (black bears only-we don’t recommend grizzlies). Your help is crucial for our ursine brothers and sisters in this uncertain time.
My friend Pan the panaphobic panda has a new phobia. He is convinced that the Easter Bunny is out to get him. We offered him a chocolate egg to calm him down but it had rather the opposite effect. Time to get out his happy pills!
Despite their reputation, the authorities from the Department of Homeland Security were really rather nice about the the whole thing. I really think they were embarrassed about firing at an airship. And missing.
When Benjamin pointed out that Pan and Yaris were endangered species and that shooting at them contravened international law, these officials became positively apologetic. They even let us tether the Magellan at Hickam Field.
So here we are at the poolside of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. Austen spends his time cannonballing into the pool. Pan is asleep next to a large plate that once contained bamboo. Yaris is asleep after a Kitty rubdown. Benjamin went off to take a phone call from his English cousin Gillian. She is a scientist with the Rabbit Antarctic Survey.
All seems peaceful.
Until Benjamin came in breathlessly with news. We all clustered around him.
“Gillian has amazing news. She has found the lost Penguins of Mu! But they are in great danger. The evil Nautiloids from the Challenger Deep have awoken after eons long hibernation and are heading south to their old feeding ground in Antarctica. Gillian needs our help.”
I simply sighed as we prepared to return to the Magellan.
Our trip north in the Magellan has been pleasant. We even managed to stop in Tahiti and eat in the small bistro in Papete. Yaris liked the fruit bowl!
We all got excited as we approached Hawaii. As Pearl Harbor came into view Pan wanted to know what the silver thing coming at us was.
It was an F-18.
We all had the same thought at once. Maybe we should have notified the authorities. Particularly since the date was December 7. Oops
Yaris looked out the window: “look at the pretty ships below!”
Just then a puff of smoke obscured one of the “pretty ships.” It was a missile of course. Followed by many more. Austen remarked that they might have trouble locking on to an airship.
Without warning the missile attack stopped. We looked out the windows as the attack helicopters approached. 10 20 30.
We shoved Yaris and Pan to the cockpit and told them to start waving. They wouldn’t shoot at a tiger and panda would they?
We spent the next few days at the bungalow waiting for the eruption to die down. Yaris played with Stripes and Scooner and Pan dozed most of the time in the bamboo grove. Benjamin and Austen made observations on the eruption while I stayed in the bungalow reading. Darwin tends to make me drowsy but Huxley is always entertaining.
After a few days, Austen gathered us together and said it was time to leave. We all wondered if a boat had arrived. Austen looked amused which in my experience, is not a good sign in a rabbit.
We walked through the jungle on a new path and came to a clearing. Would there be a plane, a helicopter, or some other MODERN device to travel home on?
Of course, my fears were realized. It was an airship called the Magellan. State of the art technology circa 1922. I just about asked Austen if it was helium or hydrogen but thought the better of it. I don’t want to know.
We started to go on board. Stripes and Scooner licked Yaris goodbye and waved to us as we entered the gondola. Austen went to the helm, adjusted a few levers and away we headed north to the Hawaiian Islands.
It is turning into a comfortable journey. The Magellan is very posh with 1922 style bunks, dining table and even a kitty basket for Yaris. The food is excellent with an adequate supply of coffee. We expect a pleasant flight of a few days with Hawaii as our destination.
What could possibly go wrong?
We ran as fast as we could down the path that led us to the base of the volcano. Austen explained that due to the lower side of the cauldera, the lava would flow away from us. Probably.
We continued to run down the mountain as fast as we could. We could sense the ash rising from the volcano behind us. We eventually made it safely to the jungle and the bungalow.
Pan, Yaris and the cats were waiting for us in the clearing. We explained what had happened including Benjamin starting the whole thing by tossing a stone into the volcano. He shuffled his paws as everybody stared at him.
At Austen’s suggestions, we all trooped down to the beach for a better look at the volcano. We watched in awe as the eruption continued. Benjamin contemplated the scene and uttered what were nearly his last words.
“It was only a small stone. No real harm done.”
At that point, the mountain exploded knocking all of us down. Fortunately the force of the blast was largely in the opposite direction. We stood up and gazed at the mushroom cloud as the ash rose. Austen estimated that the ash would reach South America in a couple of days. Benjamin kept muttering:
“It was only a small stone!”