Chapter 11 of The Adventures of Fanny and Newt
One afternoon, a few weeks after Fanny joined *had Newt and Keeper Karl in the cozy little house behind the zoo, the two small bears had taken to wandering through the zoo. On this occasion they visited the Aviary to look at all the wonderful tropical birds. Fanny was talking with Buzz, the red Macaw who recently joined the zoo from a rehabilitation center in Brazil. Buzz explained to the two little bears that he grew up in a beautiful tree on the banks of the Amazon river. As a chick, he never left his nest and spent his days in conversation with the sloth, Watson, who lived on a nearby branch. Buzz told them about the scary and absolutely gigantic fish that lived in the Amazon river. They were all immense. And most of them were scary, except the old grandfather red tailed catfish who was larger than Keeper Karl and even perhaps older.
Old Grandfather Catfish told Buzz and his friend Watson the most wonderful tales about the legendary Macaws who were captured by humans and taken to a big city to be pets.
One of these Macaws returned to the Amazon riverbank two years later and told everyone, including Grandfather Catfish, about the fate of the other birds in the big city. He told them that he and his friends were taken to a pet shop in a place called San Francisco. This was a very, very big city with many people and other animals all living in a place with only a few trees and a lot of something the Macaw called concrete.
At first the Macaws were scared and missed their home. They ended up living in the houses of people who came to the pet store and purchased them. Most of the Macaws lived in a cage in a room of their owners house. But over time, these very clever birds escaped and found each other. Now, there was one section of this big city of concrete and houses that was completely filled with green hills, brooks of clean water, a lake, and, most importantly, many many trees!
All the escaped Macaws found a wonderful spot, called Golden Gate Park (named after a beautiful reddish-golden bridge that was on one side of the park. The weather was a little colder in San Francisco that it had been in Brazil on the banks of the Amazon river where the only concrete anyone ever saw was the few concrete boats that motored up the river in search of new animal species to understand and catalog. This little colony of Macaws enjoyed their new life in the new land and prospered. In fact many babies were born and the group thrived and grew into a strong community.
Buzz finished his story. The two little polar bears had been sitting so quietly that you might not even know that they were still there. Fanny looked up at the hills in the distance for a moment and then said, “I should quite like to see those places one day. I would love to explore the Golden Gate Park and visit the Macaw colony.”
Newt agreed “I would also like to go there one day. But I am also so curious what a sloth looks like and what Watson thinks of his life on the Amazon. Wouldn’t you also like to see those big fish in the river, Fanny?”
“Absolutely, Newt,” replied Fanny.
The two little bears said their goodbyes to Buzz and left the aviary. They set out on the winding path that led through the zoo, both of them lost in thought.
“Hello Little Ones,” came a grumbly voice right next to them. Both little bears jumped, and then looked over and began to laugh.
“Oh, Beowolf! I did not realize we had walked this far,” said Newt, “how are you?”
Before Beowolf could answer, Fanny broke in with a torrent of questions.
“Dear Beowolf. We just heard the most amazing story from Buzz over in the aviary. He told us about Macaws in the city and Golden Gates on the Amazon and …. wait, I got that wrong! But either way it is so exciting! We want to visit the Amazon river and talk to Old Grandfather Catfish and meet Watson and see the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and find the Macaws who live there and…”
“Hold on little one,” chuckled Beowolf. “You are talking so fast I can barely understand you! I do think that there is a way that we can see all those places. You must be patient though. Just wait for the next full moon.”
Newt knew exactly what Beowolf was suggesting and he smiled to himself. There was to be a new adventure!