Humor Flash Fiction posted June 16, 2024

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We'll be famous!

by Wendy G

Stripe, have you heard the news? We’re moving. It’s happening at last! What we’ve dreamed of for so long …

     What are you talking about? What news? Tell me more!

I heard the zookeepers talking about their plans for us. They’ve seen how we yearn for more space; they know we haven’t got enough room to run really free here. It’s a fine zoo in that we’ve always been well cared for and well fed, but there’s a new zoo opening in the country, and it’s designed for animals just like us. I heard them say that we’ve been chosen to go! With three friends as well. There’ll be five of us together! We’ll be living in our natural habitat, just like our ancestors did. We’ll be free! The people will be able to observe us, but not pat us. They’ll keep their distance. I’m so excited.

     Well, Zed, that’s really quite fabulous news. But you know what? I’ve learned quite a bit while we’ve been here… and before we arrive out there in the country I’d like to take a real look at the city – or at least the nearby parts. I’ve heard some things which make me want to explore, just a little bit. And I have a fun idea!

Like what?

     Zed, we are in fact quite famous for something everyone learns about from a very young age. And knowing this fact keeps little kids safe – well, it keeps everyone safe, right up to old people. I really just want to see these things before we go.

What are you talking about now?

     Zebra crossings. They paint white stripes across the black roads – and they call them zebra crossings, because  everyone knows that zebras have black and white stripes. Now of course they aren’t really for zebras to cross, because we are here in the zoo; they’re for people to safely cross the roads. Cars must stop for people wanting to cross at a zebra crossing. Some places just call them “pedestrian crossings” but the name “zebra crossings” means kids know what we look like too, with our black and white stripes.

Stripe, what are you thinking of?

     Wouldn’t it be fun to just run away for a little while?   

I’m not sure. I would really like to go straight to the country!

     Why don’t we do a “zebra crossing crawl”?

Goodness, Stripe, now I am really confused! What on earth is THAT?

     Well, I just made it up. But – you know how some Aussies do what they call a “pub crawl’? They drink at one pub with their mates, then they all move on to the next one up the street, drink some more, and spend the whole day just “crawling” from one pub to the next. The young blokes think it’s fun. We could escape super quickly, when they’re trying to load us into the trailer – and  …

I get it! That would be fun! Yes, let's have an adventure! We can start by crossing the main road outside the zoo at the zebra crossing …

     Yes, and then we’ll run up the footpath until we get to the next zebra crossing and we can cross back. Then we can run down a different street and do that again, just crossing back and forth at all the zebra crossings. We can just do that for a few hours until we get tired! Then we’ll find a park and lie down in the shade and let them find us.

Will we get into big trouble?

     Not at all. Think about it Zed! If we only cross the roads at zebra crossings, we will be obeying the road rules every time! The people passing by will love it. They will all laugh and clap, and point at us, saying, “Look at those clever zebras, always using the proper zebra crossings.” They’ll see how smart we are. And you know what? It will make those humans happy! People don’t smile or laugh much these days. And we'll make it easy for them to catch us when we get tired.

I’ll go and tell the others, straight away. This is exciting!

     I bet we’ll even be on television, on all the news channels.

So that’s exactly what they did. Lots of people took videos on their phones of the zebras crossing at the zebra crossings, then running happily down the streets, looking for more zebra crossings. Everyone was happy. And Stripe and Zed and their friends really were on television. By the time they all arrived at their new home in in the country, they were famous all over the world!



In Australia, pedestrian crossings are generally known as zebra crossings.

Club entry for the "Why Do Zebras Run Away?" event in "Flash Fiction/Nonfiction".  Locate a writing club.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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