by Lesley Scott
What would it feel like to be Dr. Doolittle at an aquarium?
|Quit tapping on the glass!
On a crowded Sunday morning, the volunteers were working on the new Lemur habitat. "Opps!' One of the volunteers mumbled under his breath. His name was Jim and he had long hair he kept in a pony tail. Inadvertantly, a small amount of the chemical used to stimulate the Lemur's appetite spilled into the main tank. It shouldn't be harmful, he guessed.
Though the stimulant didn't bother Lemurs, what could it do in the main tank? Jim said a silent prayer, just in case. No one really knew about the new chemical, "Will it kill the fish?"Tony asked Jim. Jim thought about the spillage for about ten minutes.
"Naw," Jim replied, "there are tons of water in the tank. The chemicals will be diluted." That was a relief to the volunteers. Was it his imagination, or did he hear a tv on by the tank? "Maybe they are entertaining the fish," said Jim with a laugh. The animals and fish in the tank looked good when Jim checked on them and found nothing amiss.
Before he finished his laugh, a little girl with pigtails pulled on Jim's overalls. "The fish are talking!" Jim and Tony stepped lively, wondering why the child would make up something to goof on them. But as the men moved closer to the main tank, it was true!
The tourists crowded around the tank, asking questions. "Lets find out what they are trying to say," a bald, chubby man gave his opinion. The crowd was growing and the marine life became quiet. They didn't seem to like crowds. So the volunteers put on their, "We know what to do," attitudes.
"Ma'm, you need to gather up your kids and wait outside. Sir, you and your friends need to go outside until we get a marine biologist to check this out. All of you should wait outside for the moment,"Tony explained to the people to make them leave. Tony and Jim approached the big tank full of fish,a turtle and some dolphins. "Okay, the crowd is gone," Tony gently explained to the marine animals. They came out of their hiding places.
" What do you think you're doing?" Asked, the turtle. " I am a Kemps Ridley Turtle, very endangered and could be extinct before too long," he told the men, "Also, please do something to keep idiots from tapping on the glass," It gives me a monster migraine!" He swished back and forth inside of the huge tank.
The two men heard a rough voice as a Grouper eased out from under a rock. " I am tired of this shallow water. I am also sick of those fools tapping on the glass. Were they raised by wolves? No consideration!" The Grouper yawned and his fierce teeth were huge and sharp. "Remind me not to get in the tank with him!" Tony said,with fear on his face.
Soon a bottle nosed dolphin glided up to the glass where the men tried to make sense out of this phenomina. "What's up, Dudes?" the marine mammal said in a pleasant voice. After all of the shouting and complaining, this was a relief.
"Those Bosoes want to teach me to perform unnatural tricks!" The dolphin was agitated, " They reward me with squid, of all things! I hate squid!" He told the dudes he wanted fish. "Also," the dolphin added," Tell those stupid people to stop tapping the glass. Sound carries in here!" He put his face right in front of the workers' faces, which were agaped.
"Okay," Jim told them all, "we'll see what we can do. We are only volunteers. The two men listened and the tank was quiet again. The chemical wore off. Now all Jim and Tony had were complaints. "We'll talk to them now .Get them a marine biologist." He could think of nothing else to do at the time.
Carlyle, the very tall and friendly marine biologist, listened intently. At least he didn't laugh."I have been after those goons to do their jobs and don't let anyone tap the glass. I am working on the foolish Director to let the dolphins play and eat more than just squid. They need a varied diet. So much needs to be done!" He sighed. "Hey! How do you know this?"
"A turtle told us," replied Jim as he walked away, swearing he must be having an acid flashback.