8 April 1933 / Germany

I need to backtrack because it’s been a busy week.

When I began volunteering at the local animal rescue league, I was told most cases involved coaxing a raccoon out of Mrs. Luce’s bedroom or perhaps retrieving a dog from out of Mrs. Luce’s defective septic tank. It was immediate to me that these “rescues” were more for Mrs. Luce’s sake than for the animals—they obviously chose those locations to either nest or unwind after a long day. Why would they need rescue? No matter, though, I was only there to help.

But on my first day, after my third visit to Mrs. Luce’s house, to retrieve a pigeon that was merely napping in her hair, no less, I convinced her that she shouldn’t be so quick to rid the wild kingdom from her dwelling, that they may end up saving her life someday. (I retold the story of the Hawaiian goat that dragged me from some lava flows while I slept.)

I also left her with an ominous observation that it’s very possible the animals she’s chasing away will team and rise up against her in violent retaliation. Upon hearing this, she noted the revenge-y looks an opossum had given her last month as it was being led away.

Now, without Mrs. Luce to keep the rescue league busy, management hastily decided there was less of a need for volunteers. But there are animals out there that needed REAL rescuing! I spat at them in my mind. I quickly fired all of my superiors, bum-rushing them out the door, sweeping up a few volunteers in the process, and took over the whole operation.

What was left of the outfit was myself and an 11-year-old boy named Skip or something. While Skip had a real handle on some wonderful knock-knock jokes, some of them involving animals, we were going to need more help with the rescuing.

So within the day, I had sent clear word out through various channels to the legions of international drifters I know: Be on the look out for animals whose lives are in danger. I don’t want to hear anything like the shit Mrs. Luce called us in for.

It wasn’t long before I received word of some exotic animals being held captive by some of those awful weirdo Germans in Berlin. And so that’s where I found myself this morning.

From just stepping off the train, one could feel how much this place is becoming filled with pricks. It’s a real shame. Germany used to be a place where one could enjoy some good draughts and a lively weeklong match of Bavarian finger wrestling. Or you could just set off into any given forest to spy on some woodland fairy creatures. Now, I fear all that’s in danger.

But I had no time to think about that this morning. I had some animals to rescue.

I was supposed to meet my contact near a pretzel maker’s cart, yet when I arrived at the coordinates, in its place was now a bullet lather’s cart. Just another example of the bizarre changes around here, I guess.

My contact was nowhere to be found. So I waited. Eventually, to avoid looking suspicious, I ordered up a bag of bullets. It was while paying that my eyes drifted past the cart to the garish poster glued to the bullet lather’s apron and neck.

It was for a circus. A Nazi circus. And on this poster featured a line up of exotic animals striking militantly heroic poses. Needless to say, I was disgusted. These surely were my animals and there was no time to lose.

In the blink of an eye, I was at this so-called “circus,” which was nothing more than a political party’s ego publically stroking itself. And the animal display was part of this peculiar attempt at glorification. Look, I know everyone goes through a phase where they feel the need to pound their chests and declare Look at me! I’m important! Look at all the things I have! I remember when I behaved like that. I was three. But again, I’m being sidetracked here…

There was a bunch of animals on display in cages, from toucans to panthers to gorillas. All of them were obviously there under duress, all of them needing rescue.

I looked at them, my rage boiling angrily inside my brain, the steam blurring my vision. I imagined myself in the jungle, releasing these animals back into their habitat, the toucan not wanting to leave me, but me saying, No. You must go.

When I flashed out of this daydream, I was in the middle of loading up a lion into a modified sidecar of some sort while wearing a zoo-keeper’s uniform. Not sure how all that happened. But I couldn’t stop. I hopped into the driver’s seat and sped off while pricks everywhere were shouting German obscenities at us.

I looked behind me and saw the rest of the animals fleeing to safety and/or pooping on patrons. There was a chase--there always is, of course--and at one point, I found myself rounding a short-angled track being pursued by another zoo-keeper on a motorcycle. After a few hours, I finally remembered that bag of bullets I bought and threw them at my hunter. He promptly crashed and exploded.

The lion and I are now safely on our way to Austria, where I believe I’ll find passage for both of us back to America. I’ve been thinking he’ll find nice refuge in Mrs. Luce’s backyard. Oh, and I’ve just realized I have no idea where Skip is. The last I saw him we were in Switzerland.