by Alexander Silver
My Daddy came home for his summer vacation. Mostly he stays in a quiet place with his pair of noids, which are bad things. They make him act weird. The doctors try to help him, but they can’t. I asked Mommy why they don’t send the pair of noids home. She says it’s not that easy. They make Mommy cry when she talks about them.
My little sister Ashley just turned five. I’m seven. We went to the zoo with Daddy. We never go anywhere alone with him. Mommy says it’s not safe.
When Mommy left for work, Daddy dressed us up because he said we should look nice.
I didn’t know how we would get to the zoo because the pair of noids keep Daddy from driving. I’ve never seen them, but I would kick them if I did.
We walked a long way. Ashley couldn’t. It was very hot. Daddy carried her, but I walked all the way.
When we got to the zoo, Daddy bought us hot dogs and pop. He told us stories about when Grandpa took him to the zoo.
We saw lions and tigers. They scared Ashley, but not me. The seals played with a ball. That’s when Daddy said a man was following us. I didn’t see anyone.
We went to the monkey house to see the arangatangs (I think I spelled that wrong, Miss Moore) and the chimps. Daddy said to keep moving.
I asked him if the pair of noids was following us. He laughed and kept looking all around. He accidentally pushed Ashley and she fell. She hurt her knee. Daddy said he was sorry.
He told me to take Ashley and hide behind a trash can. “The man will follow me. Don’t be afraid. I’ll be back to get you.” That’s what he said.
Ashley started to cry, but I didn’t. He kissed us both and said, “I love you two. Alex, you take care of your sister. You’re the big brother.”
I held Ashley’s hand and we hid. I watched Daddy run away, but didn’t see anyone follow him. We stayed behind the trash can for a long time until Ashley had to go potty. I took her to the bathroom and waited outside. Boys can’t go in the girl’s bathrooms unless their mothers tell them to.
Later I bought us some lemonade. We sat on a bench and drank it. Ashley wanted to go home. I did too, but Daddy has said he would come back for us.
A man with a badge and a gun asked us who we were. Mommy has told us not to talk to strangers, but he looked like a policeman. Mommy says we can talk to policeman. I told him our names, where we lived, and our phone number. He was nice. He called Mommy and she picked us up. She was crying.
When I asked where Daddy was, she said that his pair of noids acted up. Another nice policeman had taken him back to the place he stays when he isn’t at home with us.
We spent the rest of the summer at the babysitter’s house. We did fun things. I wish Daddy could have had a longer summer vacation.