We ran down a path through the jungle with the spiders hot on our trail. We soon came to a small bridge over a stream which we crossed while Austen reloaded and fired again. He crossed behind us and the spiders did not follow. Austen said that the stream marked the end of their territory.
We continued on through the jungle until we came to clearing. It contained a fair sized bungalow and a lot more cats. Stripes and Scooner set Pan and Yaris down. To my surprise, Pan did not faint but exclaimed “bamboo” and headed to a clump of bamboo at the side of the clearing. Yaris got a lot of attention from the cats but as it was clearly friendly he seemed unbothered. Soon, his feline nature took over and he started playing with his new friends.
We followed Austen inside and gazed at the sight we saw. It was as if we had stepped back in time to the Victorian Age. Austen explained that the cats kept the bungalow in the same condition as when Professor Horace Holly lived there. Austen led us into the study which was crammed with books and Victorian scientific equipment. Benjamin examined a beautiful Victorian microscope while I gazed at the book collection. Amongst many other titles were Darwin’s Origin of Species and Voyage of the Beagle. I looked through an early edition of Lyell’s Principles of Geology.
Austen explained that the Rabbit Geographic Society of Australia wanted to know if Mount Kettle was going to erupt soon. We would visit the volcano TOMORROW! I think we might tell Yaris and Pan about that AFTER breakfast.
Austen told us to relax and that the two enourmous cats were just being friendly. He said their names were Scooner and Stripes and that they were his friends.Yaris and Pan eyed them suspiciously as they circled our group and purred. Benjamin went up to Stripes and petted him under the chin. Stripes purred contentedly. Scooner went up to Pan hoping for the same treatment to no avail. I petted Scooner while Yaris cowered by my side.
Austen invited us back to his bungalow where he was staying. He explained that the Rabbit Geographic Society of Australia had sent him to Me-Ow to take measurements of the volcano to see when it would next erupt. The volcano was named Mt. Kettle. It had been named by its discoverer, Professor Horace Holly because it reminded him of a tea kettle boiling over. Victorians!
As we walked through the jungle, we heard a clicking sound. Austen looked alarmed and Scooner and Stripes started hissing. The clicking got louder and Austen unslung his rifle and aimed at the direction the clicking was coming from. Without warning he fired both barrels and yelled “run.” Stripes grabbed Yaris like a cub with his teeth and Scooner did likewise with Pan. As we ran through through the jungle I looked behind us and saw spiders. Lots and lots of really large angry spiders!
I am taking a break from work and going on a short vacation. Benjamin thought it would be good if we took Yaris the tiger and Pan the panda to a self-help conference in Maui. Yaris has a phobia about feline predators, particularly other tigers. Pan, being panaphobic, is afraid of just about everything. Hopefully this conference will help.
Benjamin got some really cheap airline tickets online. Some new low fare airline serving the South Pacific. It is called Gilligan’s Airline. What could possibly go wrong?