Disclaimer: Madagascar and its characters belong to DreamWorks. Any events that do NOT take place in the franchise anywhere belong to me :)
Where am I going? What kind of animals will be there? What if they don't like me? What I never make any friends? What if the doctors aren't certified!? Mama, why did you let them take me?
Thoughts like these had been going through Melman's head since he had left the Bronx Zoo about a half hour before. His legs already ached from trying to keep from falling every time the trailer went over a bump in the road. He wanted to lay down, but not on this, dust-covered floor. Who knows what sort of bacteria was lurking in the unsanitary hay! Not to mention the terrible sneezing his allergies would cause…
The young giraffe was dragged from his churning thoughts by the screeching of the door. Light flooded into the trailer, temporarily blinding him. Had he reached his destination already? No, surely not. He hadn't been in the trailer long. Perhaps the people had changed their mind? Yes! That had to be it! They had realized they had made a mistake, and had taken him back to the Bronx! Melman eagerly stepped out into the open, ready to reunite with his friendly keepers and his mother.
"Mama!" he exclaimed. "Mama, I'm –"
He stopped suddenly, and looked around. This wasn't the Bronx. He turned around, trying to get back into the trailer, but the door had shut behind him. There were strange keepers who he had never seen before, attempting to guide him into what must be his exhibit. Melman looked around desperately for a familiar face, but there wasn't one. One of the new keepers gently prodded him with a stick. He moved forward a few paces. And then a few more. He stepped inside of a tall, brick shelter. The keeper proceeded to poke him until he heard the gates shut behind him.
Melman looked around, slightly disoriented. So this was his new home? This tiny building? He shuddered. He hated being in small spaces. There was a net with fresh hay in it hanging from a wall, and on the ground below was a water trough. He spread his legs to take a drink, when he heard voices outside.
"Marty! What're you doin'?" a female voice cried. "Leave the poor guy alone!"
"Aww, c'mon, Glo!" another voice pleaded. "I was jus' gonna go and say hi!" Melman's ears twitched. There was more to his habitat than this. Thank heavens. He peered cautiously around the corner to see a tall doorway, where the smell of fresh air drifted in from the outdoors.
Who is Marty? Is he a giraffe like me? What about the girl? What if they don't like me?
"We know you're in there!" Marty pointed out. Then there was a loud smack! "Ow!" Melman stifled a laugh. Marty just got hit by a girl. He stuck his head outside, looking for the two animals. At first he didn't see anybody. And then a zebra foal was right in front of him. "Hi there!"
Melman yelled in fright, awkwardly skipping backwards into the safety of the shelter.
"Oops," Marty mumbled. Melman tentatively looked outside. The zebra was standing a few yards away, looking guilty. He perked up when he saw that the giraffe had made a reappearance. "Hi! You're new here, right?" Melman nodded. Marty stepped towards him. "I'm Marty! What's your name?"
"M-Melman," he stammered, not recognizing his own voice. "Melman M-Mankiewicz the th-third!" Marty seems nice, so why am I so nervous?
"Oh, that's cool," Marty said. "I'm jus' Marty. And over there is Glo-"
"Ahem! I can introduce myself!" the female interrupted him. She hopped a fence and into the giraffe exhibit. A hippo? "I'm Gloria!" she introduced herself, extending her hand. Melman slowly shook it with his hoof.
"N-n-nice to m-meet you," he greeted awkwardly. Why can't I talk? She's just a girl…who happens to have pretty eyes. Gloria smiled at him, unknowingly causing the giraffe to blush under his fur.
"Where'd ya come from?" Marty inquired. Melman blinked.
"The Bronx." The two other young animals' eyes widened.
"Ooh!" Gloria exclaimed. "My mama told me about that place once. It's a real big zoo, ain't it?" He just nodded. "I've lived here my whole life. Mama got transferred to another zoo a month or so ago, somethin' to do with the breeding program. Whatever that is."
"My daddy was from there!" Marty boasted, his head held unnaturally high. Gloria giggled at her friend's pride. Melman felt himself smiling, too, enjoying the company of the friendly zebra and hippo. Maybe this place wouldn't be so bad after all. "I mean, I never met him, but Ma said he was from there…" His teal eyes saddened for a moment as he remembered his mother. He shook his head quickly, as if trying to return to his positive mood. "Sometimes I like to imagine –" He stopped suddenly, his muzzle twitching with fright. "Vet!" he yelled, jumping over a wall and into his own exhibit across from Melman's. "Save yourselves!"
"What?" Melman asked Gloria, confused. Gloria rolled her eyes.
"Marty doesn't like the vet," she explained. Melman tilted his head. Who didn't like the vet? The vet team was one of the greatest groups of humans alive – sacrificing their time to make sure animals didn't fall victim to illness. The Bronx Zoo vets were some of Melman's best friends, always making sure he stayed healthy and that his habitat was clean and disease-free. But what if the Central Park Zoo vets were different? What if they were really mean? Perhaps Marty had a reason to be afraid. Gloria noticed his terrified expression. "Melman," she said gently, trying to reassure him, "there's nothin' to be afraid of. Marty just gets a little nervous about stuff like that."
Her voice sounded so calm and confident; Melman felt himself relax. Yeah. That made sense. A lot of young animals were afraid of the vet, and even some adult ones, too. And what was there to be afraid of, anyways? Needles? He himself had had plenty of vaccines in his lifetime, including one for lyme disease, and another one for chicken pox. Could giraffes even contract chicken pox? Better safe than sorry.
"I gotta go, Melman!" Gloria apologized, heading back to her habitat. "Sometimes the humans don't really like us visiting… Good luck with the vet!" He waved goodbye to her, sorry that she had to go so soon. She was really nice, but being around her made his stomach feel…weird. It felt like butterflies were inside, fighting desperately against each other to escape. Maybe the vets would find something. Like a stomach virus, or maybe –
"Hey there, little guy!" a man greeted cheerfully. He walked up to the worried giraffe, preparing to listen to his heartbeat and breathing. A woman checked his ears, eyes , and gums. Another man carefully felt up and down his neck, putting pressure on different areas.
"Dr. Goldberg," the second man said to the woman, "take a blood sample so we can send it to the lab for testing!" Dr. Goldberg nodded.
"Yes sir, Dr. Maneesh!" She took a syringe out of a black case. "Okay, little dude, you're gonna feel a little pinch." Melman braced himself, only wincing a little when he felt the needle pierce his skin.
"His vital signs seem to be normal, although his heartbeat is a little fast. We'll see what the results of the blood test are in a week!" The first man offered the giraffe a carrot, which he accepted eagerly. Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Maneesh gave him friendly pats, and the three of them left the enclosure. Melman raised an eyebrow. That was it? He laughed to himself. That had been a piece of cake!
"Goodnight, Melman! Goodnight, Marty!" Gloria called from her enclosure. Melman stuck his head outside. In the darkness he could barely make out her form, silhouetted by the silvery moonlight.
"Night, Glo!" Marty shouted. "Night, Melman!"
"Goodnight, guys!" Melman yelled back. He sighed, beginning to like his new home. Marty and Gloria would make great friends, he just knew it. He lay down on the bed of hay in the corner of the brick shelter. He recalled that his mother could sleep standing up, but he didn't know how she managed to do so. He wondered what she was doing. Was she still awake? Was she thinking of him, too?
What is this? Does Melman have a crush? Hm? hehehe ;)
Okay, so, first of all, I apologize. I wrote this chapter the same day I wrote the first one, but I didn't like it so I kept rewriting it. And I just started high school, so for awhile I was, like, SUPER stressed out. But anywho, I'm starting to get used to things so the chapters may (no promises) be up faster than this. I tried to keep everybody in character. I'm sorry if it seems rushed or ramble-ish or whatever, but I had to get it done tonight. I just had to X3
Thanks to my awesome reviewer(s) who keep asking for another chapter. I just wanna know that I appreciate it :D