Chapter 4

Written by: Hemali Ajmera

“You work for a circus, Mister?” the older officer snidely asked Gerard.

I smirked. Surely, if there was vacancy for a clumsy clown.

By now many inquisitive neighbours have gathered outside our house to watch the panicky penguins and the imperious camel – he cares not a hoot about the attention he is receiving. The intrigued spectators are oohing and aahing about the penguins’ cuteness quotient. The excitement is palpable.   

Snory Corey, in his skimpy boxers, and a messy-haired Beatrice are trying to coax the ruminating camel away from the overgrown grass despite the fact that a big bald patch has already appeared in the unkempt lawn. 

“Corey please go and put on your pants,” I say irritably when I notice two giggling women eyeing him up.   

The younger officer is on the phone trying to get through to the wildlife helpline. A nearly hysterical Mrs. Whitman is peeking here and there around the house half-expecting to see some other exotic animal make a surprise appearance.   

“Officer, ask him about the hippos and ostriches.” Mrs. Whitman goads the older officer. 

“They are not here. I am still negotiating the terms of their lease,” Gerard says dejectedly to no one in particular.    

Animals on lease? What the hell! I wonder who exactly leased them. 

Before I could pose the question, the younger officer announces that the wildlife rescue team will arrive shortly. 

“You are charged with possession and confinement of wild animals Mister.” He addresses Gerard sternly.

The arrival of a white wildlife rescue van painted with green fauna increases the crowd’s whisperings. Two members of the rescue team, dressed in blue overalls and gumboots, focus their energies on the obdurate camel while the other two concentrate on the harried penguins. 

“How will you put that camel in the van?” Mrs. Whitman demands.

“We won’t. We'll ride him,” chuckles a young rescue worker.




Gerard calls his mother from the police station and appraises her of the events leading up to his arrest. Convinced that her son can do no wrong, Mrs. Bright Knight has driven at breakneck speed from the other side of town to be by her darling son’s side. She has conveniently concluded that my irrational demand for an expensive engagement ring is the primary reason for her son’s current trouble. So dropping by unannounced and giving me a piece of her mind is foremost on her priority list.   

“You are an ungrateful and undeserving young lady. Gerard put himself into this mess just so that he could buy an extravagant engagement ring for you,” Mrs. Knight rants.  

I want to tell her that it was not the first time her bumbling son has goofed up but I dare not confront an erupting volcano.

“Now get your act together girl and let’s go to the station. You must testify before the police that you are to blame for Gerard’s arrest. You better figure out a way to get him out or there will be hell to pay!” 



I chuckled as I read the first paragraph. You have a wonderful dry wit that is carefully managed that makes the incredible read as if it might just happen. Great stuff.
That is a great chapter to write my follow up to Hemali. It made me laugh.