The first day of March was over and so I went to bed. While I was lying there and trying to sleep I had a great idea.

In the summer holidays I didn’t want to go away with may parents, because it would be very boring and none of my friends would go on holidays with their parents either. So I decided to do a vacation job. But which one should I choose and where could I find one. The next morning I told my mother about my plans. At first she wasn’t very enthusiastic about it but then she said that I should look in the newspaper if I wanted to find a job.

Next morning before school I cycled straight to the supermarket because the daily newspaper was already on sale. During the breaks I studied the adverts with my friends, who also thought that I had got a perfect idea, but there was no job for me in the newspaper. Should I clean toilets in an English pup?! No, that was nothing for me.

So the following 3 weeks went by without any success, but accidentally my father brought home another newspaper from his office. I read .the job adverts and suddenly I discovered one which seemed to be made just for me. It read: "Are you a young person who loves animals, and don’t you know what to do from June 21,2001 until July 21,2001, then phone Birmingham Zoo."

I was curious about the job. After my mother had read the advert, she explained that Birmingham was far away from home, that 4 weeks were a very long time and that it would be my first job....

"Oh my god, mum," I said" I’ll be in Birmingham and not in Tokyo! I’ll live in a special team-house and I’m nearly 16!"

Mum didn’t look very enthusiastic so I offered to phone the zoo and get some more information. My mother agreed, and so we phoned Birmingham Zoo, called Animals’ Paradise.

Mum talked with a very polite man who said that I could have the job, because nobody had responded to his advertisement yet.

After my mother had finished the conversation, we had a long conversation and at last mum allowed me to work there, because dad agreed, too. I jumped two meters high! Was it a dream? I couldn’t wait for the summer holidays to start. The last week at school was horrible, and I counted the hours until my plane would take off to Birmingham.

Then the longed-for day came. Early in the morning, my family took me to the airport in Dublin. It was a very short flight, but it was my first flight alone.

At the airport my parents talked and talked, but I didn’t hear anything because I was too nervous, wondering if it would become nice? Would the people be o.k.? Would I be allowed to work with wild animals?

An hour later the PA called "Passengers on Flight 786 to Birmingham, please check in!" That was my flight. I said good-bye to Mum and Dad and climbed up the stairs to the plane.

An hour later the plane landed in Birmingham. After I had collected my luggage, I left the hall and looked for someone with my name on a sign, but there was nobody. While I was looking around 2 young women rushed into the airport hall; they asked me if I knew Kristin Scott?! "That’s me", I answered. Then one woman explained, "I’m Annie and this is Christina, we’re 2 workers from Animals’ Paradise."

Some time later we arrived at the zoo. Everything looked fantastic. I think the zoo was very new. Annie, Christine and I went into a big house. This is the workers’ house, where we all sleep, eat and have fun. 2 people share in one room. "Your room is upstairs on the left" Annie said.

I went upstairs and opened the door it was a comfortable room with2 beds ,a TV and a cupboard. One bed wasn’t made, so I put my suitcase onto the free bed near the window.

After I got to know the other workers Alex, my roommate, showed me the zoo, which wasn’t very big. She told me that it only kept animals that should have been killed.

We stayed at the penguin enclosure, when a small bear jumped on us. I ran away, but Alex laughed and called me back. The bear’s name was Balu. He was very cute, and his mother was dead, so Balu was everybody’s darling. I stroked the babybear for a short time and then we walked on. It was a really nice zoological garden.

At dinner our boss Mr.Booker, a small friendly man, gave us the work schedule. I had to clean the elephant and monkey enclosures every day. Alex, who was 18, helped me a bit. It was cool, because Zora, the elephant girl, liked me very much and she always wanted to protect me. Chimpy, the monkey boy loved Pixy the monkey girl, but she couldn’t stand him, so she threw bananas at him all day long.

After one week our boss fell ill, so we had to work independently. Because of an expensive, renovation of animal’s paradise the zoo was very poor. So we decided to raise money for the animal food, but what could we do? Suddenly I had an idea and everybody was delighted.

At first we wrote a big sign which we put up on the zoo wall. The next day I took Zora out of her small enclosure. She was very friendly so it was no problem to lead her at a rope. At 3’clock the first visitors came for …….Attention!……elephant riding.

A little boy wanted to ride on her first. He looked very nervous, but I explained that Zora was the friendliest elephant I’d ever seen. (She was the only one too!). When Zora slowly walked through the zoo, the small boy got happy; he even started talking to her and I think she answered. After 10 minutes the tour was over. So the boy had to say good-bye. He was very unhappy, but Alex promised that he could visit her again the following week. Our business went very well, we raised a lot of money.

In the evening after closing time I entered Zora’s enclosure but I didn’t see her anywhere. Suddenly Zoras trunk picked me up. I got afraid, then the XXL girl put me onto her back and rushed outside. I was very anxious, but Zora went slowly around the Zoo. Some time later we said good night to each other and I went to bed. Something like that had never happened to me before, it was great.

The next morning Alex called me very early. She looked scared, so I jumped out of bed, and rushed to the breakfast. Mr. Booker was back and he was very angry because of our elephant riding the day before. We tried to apologise but it didn’t help. Then Annie showed Mr. Booker our earnings. He was shocked" 500 pounds", he said! "I’m very happy that all of you have helped animal’s paradise, but I don’t want you to do such a dangerous action again! Promised?" Promised!

Chimpy was still in love and Balu often came to get stroked.

But most of my time I spent with Zora, and we became best friends. One very warm day I gave her fresh water. But I had hardly turned my head, Zora had already splashed the water over it. "Zora!" I screamed angrily and looked round, but she looked at me with her tender eyes, so that I couldn’t be angry.

On my last evening I went to every enclosure to say good-.bye. Chimpy made me a present of an apple, it was very sweet. At last I went to Zora. I was very unhappy and perhaps so was she, too. I stroked her, but then I had to go to bed. Next morning everybody said good-bye. Mr. Booker promised that I was allowed to come again the next year. Immediately I hugged him.

At twelve o’clock Chris and I arrived at the airport. We hugged each other and then I got on the plane, because the plane wouldn’t wait for me. As the plane was taking off, I heard a voice calling me from a distance "Kristin, Kristin Scott, please wake up you must go to school. "It was my mothers voice and my hole adventure had only been a dream .

 

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