To this day, neither mammal nor bird understood just what happened that fateful night. Hidden under the cover of nightfall, a hand lifted both animals from their habitats. A stuffy, wooden crate was their only sanctuary from the outside world.
Dusk had lifted from the sleepy world before Skipper woke from his slumber, only to see a few dabbles of sunlight here and there. "Kowalski, analysis."
Panic began to set in as Skipper realized he was alone. As he began to think he may never get out, or possibly that the Danes had finally caught him, a snore came out of nowhere. Instinctively, he yelled, setting off a chain reaction. A sleeping Marlene woke up in mid-snore.
After a moment of silence, she murmured, "Where am I?"
As realization that she was not alone hit her, she stood up, trying to find the source of the voice.
"I'm over here."
Her paws touched feathers, still somewhat damp, clearly from last night's lap training. "Skipper?"
Another awkward silence was created as Marlene hastily removed her paw and let it hang by her side. Finally she broke the silence. "Where are we?"
"I figured that out." she replied tartly.
"Mommy, where are you? I can't see anything."
"Am I dead?"
Marlene shook her head, trying to remove the memory of being transferred out of her head, when it hit her. "That's it!"
"We're being shipped to another zoo! And with every crate comes a shipping label. We can figure out where we are!" she said excitedly, trying to spot the label.
"Don't you kinda have to…read?"
"Don't underestimate me. I can recognize some words."
"You can read?" Skipper repeated.
"California taught me things." she said as she spotted the label. "California…"
An impatient Skipper huffily muttered, "Could you hurry up? Just tell me where we're going!"
"California!" Marlene screamed. "We're going to California!"