Anyway, as a kid, I was hard to please. I had everything. Everything, that is, but a zebra. And I thought a zebra was just what I needed to make my life complete because we also had lots of flies, and flies don’t like zebras because their stripes freak them out. Go ahead, Google it, if you don’t believe me.
So, I was about six. It was the early 50s, and we had a big back yard. One day I came home from school and a little zebra was in our back yard, eating our unmoved grass. I decided to call it Zebe, and, with a carrot in my hand, I called Zebe.
Did you know that zebras like to walk backward? They aren’t the best at turning around. They might do that if a lion was chasing them, but when it is a six-year-old kid with a carrot, they just walk backward.
So Zebe finally made his/her way over to me. I wasn’t sure how to tell the difference then. And Zebe saw the carrot and went for it, and my hand as well. Luckily I was a pretty fast thinking kid and I threw the carrot up in the air. Zebe caught it in mid-air.
That was cool so I ran in the house and got a baseball. Finally, I had found a friend to play catch with.
But Zebe kept eating my balls, one after another.
I came in the house and told my mom to call Sears and complain. I thought, in a just world, that Sears should replace the baseballs since it didn’t say in Zebe's instruction book not to play catch with it.
Here’s the conversation I overheard:
Mom: Hello, we just received a zebra and it has been eating baseballs.
Sears: We do warranty our products. And we do sell the finest zebras in the world.
Mom: My son is very sad after losing all his balls. How quickly can you replace them?
Tea tray to hold zebra balls
Sears: Those balls are $2.99 each. My supervisor says you need the special balls made of zebra hide. Zebras won’t eat those.
Mom: We don’t feel we should have to pay for them. We are entitled to free balls, given that there was a problem with your zebras.
Sears: Ok, we’ll send you one ball free. But after that, we can’t both stay in business and provide free balls.
Mom: (As she slammed down the phone). Thank you!
The next thing we knew, a zebra ball flew threw our picture window. That was fast, I thought.
I took the ball into the back yard and threw it at Zebe. He/she backed up to it and sniffed it. Did you know that when zebras sniff, it is like a hurricane? Anyway, Zebe sniffed the zebra ball, and upon realizing what it was, shed tears from him/her eyes. Pools of tears, enough to drench my tennis shoes.
Tomorrow: Why is Zebe growing so fast?