Previous Up Next Table of Contents
Previous:  Chapter the First -- Section 4  Up:  Chapter the First  Next:  Chapter the First -- Section 6

Chapter the First -- Section 5

After changing buses at Eubank and Central, courtesy of the nice lady, our gang of critters got off at the Gibson stop. 

“Well there it is,” stated Schlepp, “just like Peabody said it would be:  the Center for Extraterrestrial Nanotechnology.” 

“You'd think with an abbreviation like 'CENT,' it would look like a giant penny,” added Terrance.

“Of all the places where you might find a hummingbird inside, a building where they do research on very small things that fly is pretty high on Big Schlepp’s list.  Come on,” urged Little Schlepp. 

The threesome strode off across the scrubby vacant lot toward the sprawling one-story building a quarter mile away.  A curious coyote watched them briefly, but gave them no trouble.  Stuffed animals aren't edible and a box turtle is too hard to get out of his shell. 

A few moments later, Terrance, Louie, and Schlepp stood at the base of the stone wall of CENT looking for a way inside. 

The threesome reached the front door and pondered its impenetrability.  Now if you were a stuffed animal, how would you knock at a door?  Soft fur and squishable filling doesn't exactly make a good door knocker.  So Louie took Terrance's hind legs, Schlepp grabbed his front pair, and Terrance pulled his head in farther than it had ever gone before. 

“One, two, three!” counted Schlepp as they swung Terrance by his legs.  His hard shell thwacked the door frame.


“Quick, run for it!” cried Schlepp. 

Everyone scurried behind the tall ceramic ashcan just next to the door.  Moments later the security guard opened the door.  He made a puzzled sound, stepped outside to look around, and then headed off to inspect the building for that strange noise. 

As the door on its automatic hinge swung shut behind him, well, it didn't.  That is to say, it tried to close but it couldn't.  You see, there was a small western box turtle comfortably wedged in the door jam, holding the way open for Louie and Schlepp.

“Humans never look down, do they?” chuckled Terrance as he gave a heave and pulled himself loose.  While the security man was looking for whoever made that sound—probably kids causing trouble, he thought—Terrance has stolen out from behind the ashcan and used himself as a doorstop. 

“You're a turtle of many talents, Terrance,” smiled Schlepp as he patted his buddy on the shell.  “Now let's find Lightfeather.”