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Chapter 2 - Bird Seed

The jeep backed up close to Larry. Harold flicked a switch under the steering wheel and the cage in the trunk slowly opened.

"I'm too middle-aged to die!" Larry thought "Nooooo!"

Then the cage stopped opening. "So you're not my predator?"

Larry happily soft-shoed into the cage. When the whole ten feet of him was in the cage, Harold flicked the switch again and the cage snapped shut.

"I guessed wrong!"

The trucks parted to let the jeep fly, fly away, on no particular road, out of the cold winter forests, all the way to the Barns and Bales (of hay) Circus in Romania, a country in Europe. With the large trucks in toe, the jeep sped past all the scenery.

When the jeep finally stopped, a man in a suit of armor came up to the trunk of the jeep, opened it and unlocked the cage which, as Larry found, locked when Harold closed it.

"What does he think I'm going to do?" Larry thought when he saw the suit of armor "Eat him?"

The man stabbed the needle into Larry. Then Larry could not see anything but blackness and teeny white dots.

Unknown to Larry, Romania was secretly creating a medicine that would instantly tame large Siberian tigers - like Larry. The medicine worked at the animal's brain until it had to do what the humans told it to do. The man in the suit of armor had given Larry a small dose of it.

A few minutes later, Larry woke up in a cramped cage with a dinner of bird seed in front of him. Or at least he thought it was bird seed. Who did they think he was? A cardinal?

Larry sniffed the "bird seed". It smelled like a hamburger. He liked roast beef better.

Where were all the deer? Where were all the cattle? Where were all the wild pigs?

He didn't want to eat it, maybe sit on it and make it ooze through the bottom of the cage. But what's the use? They wanted him to look happy. Barns and Bales was a happy place. People are to be happy there. If everyone else was happy, Larry thought he would just look happy and eat the hamburger-flavored bird seed.

Larry looked around the room in which the cage was placed. The walls were painted an off white color; paint was peeling. In the far corner there was a defective looking desk. It was covered with papers. There was a whip hanging on a hook above it. Probably for the lion act or something.

Several posters for Barns and Bales Circus were hanging on the walls. One had a tiger on it that looked like Larry's uncle Mortimer. Another had a jocular looking clown with a big red nose. Larry looked hard at the round, squishy, red nose. He wished he could have one.

Then, without warning, maybe a knock would be more courteous, the door opened.

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