Zephyr World Zoo

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Chapter XVI

Robin Zerda

Robin flopped down onto a sunlit patch of grass, warming her body. That concrete room really sapped the warmth from a person’s bones. Her paws stuck straight up in the air, and she yawned widely.

Try as she might to ignore him, she could still see Rick from the corner of her half-closed eyes. He looked... ridiculous, to say the least. He hadn’t acted like that even when he was a tiny Fennec kit. These people really had turned him into a dog begging for scraps. With the large ears and small body of their kind, he looked a bit like a yappy chihuahua.

He had been much more natural and cute when they’d played as children, dashing around the yard or climbing over things in the house. Back when he’d actually been having fun. It was easy for her to tell that Rick wasn’t enjoying this. He looked mortified, though he hid it well.

Robin’s heart lurched uncomfortably in her chest as she watched him, until she couldn’t take it anymore.

The things she did for love...

Robin kicked her feet into the air, wriggling on her back in the grass before flipping back onto her paws. Her twin was just starting his second round of humiliating puppy-like antics when she got him in the face with a clump of grass. Then she dashed off with a chittering purr that was their kind’s version of laughter, to hop around the giant flat sunning stone near the middle of the exhibit.

Rick looked stunned for a moment after the grass hit him, but then he got into it, yipping and chasing after her, beginning to act like he had when they were small.

She played and scuffled with her brother, jumping down on top of him when he got close to the big rock. Then she ducked behind it, her small body hugging the ground. The long tufts of grass were adequate to hide her tiny frame from view of Rick, but the visitors were able to see her as she waited, butt in the air, to spring.

As she saw his perked ears slowly approaching her hiding place, she leapt out at him.

‘Got you! You can’t catch me!’

Guests snapped pictures and laughed at the two playful foxes, but she ignored it all. All she wanted to do was make sure that her brother looked like her brother again, happy and carefree. At least for a little while.

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