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The Great Escape

Throw it away, forget yesterday,

We'll make the great escape

They won't hear a word, face it

They won't know us anyway,

Watch it burn, let it die,

Cause we are finally free tonight

"WHEEE!"

That was Typhoo, attention-attracting extrordanaire. She had practically dragged me on the zoo's carousel. I would have been excited, except that we were the only two tall people riding. Everyone else was an over-excited munchkin. But does Typhoo take that into consideration? Heck no. Every "Whee!" and "Woo-hoo!" only attracted more stares. Everyone wanted to know what was with that bubbly, blonde freak.

"Yippee!" Typhoo yelled as the carousel FINALLY slowed down and stopped. Bouncing gleefully off her "horse," she leaped spectacularly off the fence in order to save a few paces walking to the "Exit" door. Now people were whispering and pointing. I promptly wheeled her as far away from the carousel as I could get.

"Wasn't that fun?" she squealed at me.

"Sure Typhoo, sure." I replied flatly.

"Uh-oh, someone's got there pouty face on!" Typhoo said. "Do I need to tickle you?"

"No no no!" I yelled. "I'm fine, happy, peachy! K?"

"That's what I thought." She smirked. "Come on, let's go to the lions!"

Lions is the best exhibit to visit with Typhoo, because once she made friendly with the zookeeper and he helped us name each and every lion after someone in The Lion King. Then she started singing, then I started singing, then the zookeeper started singing, then before you knew it, all the lion-watchers were belting out "The Circle of Life." It was fantastic.

A huge crowd was already at the lion exhibit, but Typhoo and I managed to squeeze up to the front of the exhibit. Oh! Another reason I like the lion exhibit! You don't look through windows, instead it is a series of rope nets. That way, you can really experience the Savanna.

I noticed him first. We were both ogling over the weenie baby lions when I noticed one of them was large, too large. I'm no expert on lions, but cubs don't grow THAT big. I pointed him out to Typhoo.

"Aw, he'd be the perfect Simba!" Typhoo gushed.

"I have a name you know," the lion said to us.

You could have knocked both of us over with a feather. "Typhoo?" I asked softly. "Did that lion just talk to you?"

"No," she replied in the same trance-like tone. "It was your imagination."

"No it wasn't!" the lion snapped.

Typhoo screamed. Several people looked at us.

"Nothing to worry about," the zookeeper said kindly. "They'll come up to the fence, but they won't attack."

"Will they attempt to make polite conversation?" Typhoo asked under her breath.

By now I had somewhat processed the idea that a lion was talking to us. I tried to be friendly. "Do you, um, have a name? Besides Simba?"

"Ruki, that's R-U-K-I."

"And how, Ruki, are you talking?"

"No idea!"

"Well you're a huge help," Typhoo snorted.

"Well I'm sorry if I can't recount every single detail of my life to you-"

"My next question," I interrupted, seeing as how Typhoo doesn't like being argued with, "is how you still look like a cub, when I'm sure you should be way past the cub stage?"

"That I can answer! You see, I was part of a scientist's experiment where they added some wierd chemical to my food. Therefore, I don't look like I age, even though I do."

I'm lost.

Ruki continued. "Except for some unknown reason I'm considerably bigger than the average cub."

I'm really lost.

Typhoo was too, because whe finally choked out an "Then how the heck are we the only ones who can understand you?" It was true, she had seen what I had failed to see, that people were wondering why we were talking to something that was only growling back. Well, only growling to them.

"I dunno," Ruki replied. "Maybe you two are just special."

"Oh trust me," I said, glancing at Typhoo. "We're pretty special."

"So we're agreeing that, me being special and you guys being special, we should all be together?"

Say what? A talking lion cub wants me and Typhoo to risk jail to help him escape from the zoo and live with us?

No. Ain't happening.

Ruki must have seen this in my face, because he added "Please? I won't cause trouble! Well, much trouble."

"I think it's a good idea!" Typhoo chimed in. Of course SHE thought it was a good idea, anything that is even the slightest bit illegal or crazy is a good idea to her.

But hey, it's just been me, Lola, and Typhoo for a while. I think it's time we had a little male blood around.

"Okay, you can come with us," I conceded, and Ruki gave me a lionish grin. "Typhoo, you distract everyone. I have a pocket-knife to cut the ropes."

This is so Typhoo's thing. She pushed her way through the crowd and stood up on the farthest bench from me and Ruki. Everyone grinned, wondering what she'd do next.

Of course she did the most stupid thing she could think of. And of course it worked flawlessly.

Typhoo began to sing. "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight!" Pretty soon she incorporated an interpretive dance to match the song. People were laughing, some cheering, until finally, a group of tourists joined in singing. That got everyone singing. Typhoo squealed with pure delight and began to direct her chorus of tourists.

Meanwhile, I was sawing off the rope fence a little at a time. Ruki helped by clawing through some. This was a really safe exhibit to place lions.

Eventually I got a big enough hole. I glanced back at the onlookers, who were still fixated on Typhoo. "Curl up into a ball," I instructed. He did as I said, then I scooped him up and shoved him under my shirt. "Try not to move," I whispered, tucking my shirt in. He punched my stomach lightly in response. I gave Typhoo a thumbs up, telling her to wrap it up.

Typhoo grinned, then jumped down off the bench screaming "Thank you fine zoo-people!" to her adoring fans. She raced over to me. "Where is he?" She asked, obviously not noticing the huge bulge in my shirt.

"Typhoo," I said loud enough for everyone to hear. "I think I'm due."

"Huh?" Typhoo asked, then noticed my "stomach." It clicked.

"OH MY GOD, MY BEST FRIEND IS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY!!!!!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. Everyone in the vicinity gasped. I acted like I was about to go into labor, gasping and doubling-over. "Oof," I choked out. "It kicked me good!"

"WE NEED TO GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE!" Typhoo grabbed me and we sprinted (well she sprinted, everyone thought I was pregnant so I had to hobble) towards the exit. People just stepped aside when they saw us.

"I think we're going to make it!" I yelled. "We just have to go through-"

We both stopped dead as the realization hit us. "Security," we groaned at the same time.

"We have to try." Typhoo dragged me towards the uniformed guards. "Excuse me sir, my friend is pregnant. Can we skip security so we can get to the hospital?"

"Sorry miss, park rules." My horrified expression was reflected in Typhoo's face. But what could we do? I crossed my fingers, then stepped under the scanner. The guard looked at the computer and frowned. "There's something wierd showing up." He bent down to examine it more closely. But before he could a huge roar reverberated across the zoo, followed by many screams.

How could I have been so stupid? If I could cut a hole big enough for Ruki to get out, what would stop the rest of the lions from escaping? My worst nightmare became true as I saw with my own eyes not just one lion, but the whole darn pride running straight for the exit.

To heck with security, me and Typhoo knew in that instant to run as fast as we could. And we did. People were screaming at us to stop, but we ignored them. I think they figured out that we were the perps.

Typhoo hastily unlocked the passenger door of her beat up hippie van rental and uncerimoniously shoved me inside. Then she climbed over me into the driver's seat, put the keys into the ignition, and stepped on the gas, hard. She didn't slow down until we were a good fifteen miles from the zoo.

"Um, Ruki?" I think you can come out now." Ruki nervously peeked his head out of the top of my shirt.

Then we all started laughing so hard you wouldn't have guessed that we had just smuggled a lion out of the zoo.

 

Typhoo showed me the headline. "FREAK AND PREGNANT GIRL OPEN LIONS CAGE!" the title blared.

"You know?" I said, sipping my morning Starbucks. "I don't really think that pink shirt suits me very well."