The summer romance between Marley (the terrier) and Boston (the labradoodle) brought six new pups to the pond neighborhood. The pups were an odd site, curly hair like their mom and short, compact bodies like dad. Of course, half the pups inherited their mom's allergy to cats and dogs. And that wasn't the only news by the pond. A new woman moved in, obsessed with birds and bunnies.
Jeri was the first to notice. "Hey guys. This woman has some kind of bird on her shoulder, walking around the neighborhood."
"It's a white cockatoo" said Marley.
"That's not all" said Boston. "Did you see the bunnies in her yard?"
"Yes. There are a half dozen, like a family. Beautiful brown and grey bunnies. A mom, dad and four baby bunnies, eating carrots in her garden. I think they come over from the woods to eat."
"Wow. She lets them eat out of her garden? No wire fence to keep them out?"
"Guess she doesn't mind. That's not all. She has those bird feeders that stick to the window, filled with bird food. Birds eat there all day long."
"So, she's a friend of wildlife?"
Jeri disagreed. "Not at all. I went over there to chase some birds and she shot water at me with the hose. I have to watch them through cracks in the fence."
"We should have Duck go check it out."
The next day, Duck met the gang at the pond with his report.
"I talked to the birds in her yard. They said she loves them and the bunnies but hates cats and dogs."
Jeri was insulted. "What's wrong with cats and dogs? We're just as lovable as birds and bunnies."
"That's not all. They told me the cockatoo wants to escape the woman. Apparently, she plays the worst music and television shows. He's losing his mind."
"He rides on her shoulder walking around the neighborhood. Why doesn't he just fly away?"
"He says there's a GPS collar on him, wired for shocking if he gets too far from her phone."
"What's the cockatoo's name?"
"Seriously, Larry Bird?"
"I told you she was cruel."
"We have to help Larry escape."
After some considerable planning, they sent Duck back to Larry to give him the details. They would help Larry go underground, living secretly near the house for food from the bird feeders, but out of the reach of the shock collar. The bunnies would play a crucial part, unlocking the collar and disposing of it. Larry would be free at last.
The woman became depressed, unable to find Larry, who had been sleeping in Jeri's house (the stoners never even noticed) and eating at the garden and bird feeders when the woman wasn't looking. The bunnies were excellent lookouts.
The next day at the pond, Boston and the pups were celebrating. Larry flew over to thank them.
"You guys are great. I'm a free bird, never again listening to Lawrence Welk music and game shows from the 1960s."
A few of the pups sneezed.
"Jeri, would you mind moving back a bit?"
"No problem Boston. They are cute though. I'll get you some antihistamine."
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