written by Debbie Williamson
“Oh, it is such a beautiful day today!” said Chester, peeking his head out from his home, which is located inside of an old oak tree. “I think that I should do something special.”
“I know what we can do,” said Chester’s friend, Sammy Squirrel, who was sitting at the base of Chester’s tree, stuffing his face full of acorns. “We could go check out the new aquarium in town. It is just opening up today!”
“That’s a wonderful idea,” said Chester. “Let’s do that.”
Chester and Sammy both grabbed their sunscreen, hat and jackets. They also packed a lunch of nuts and soda pop.
Walking down the street, Chester and Sammy saw quite a commotion in their little town.
“Oh, Sammy!” shouted Chester, pointing beside him. “Look over there!”
Sammy turned around to where Chester was pointing. There stood a clown with lots of balloons.
“Oh, I want a balloon,” said Sammy. “Let’s go get one, Chester.”
The two friends walked over to the clown and stood in line.
“What have we here?” snarled the clown, when it was finally Chester and Sammy’s turn. “Are you two here to see the aquarium?”
“Come on, Sammy,” whispered Chester. “Let’s get out of here.”
“There is something very strange about that clown,” said Chester to Sammy, once they were out of earshot. “Did you notice how miserable he was to us?”
“Yes,” said Sammy. “That was very weird.”
Once inside the gates of the aquarium, Chester and Sammy couldn’t believe their eyes. They had never seen anything that looked as beautiful as this place. The avenues were lined with oak and maple trees. There were several buildings and also one giant fish bowl in the centre of the park. The fish bowl must have been ten feet high and at least thirty feet wide.
“Have you ever seen anything so big!” exclaimed Sammy. “This is the biggest fish bowl that I have ever seen!”
“Wow!” said Chester. “Look at all the fish in there!”
“There is every kind of fish imaginable in that bowl,” said Sammy.
“Yes, just about,” said Chester.
Chester and Sammy walked throughout the park, visiting each building. With each new building they entered, they were amazed at the fish each one contained.
“You know, I think that I have seen every kind of fish here, but a sea horse,” said Chester.
“I think you are right,” said Sammy, as they entered the very last building. “I haven’t seen a sea horse, either. What is an aquarium without a sea horse?”
“Hey! Hey! Look down here,” a strange voice cried.
Both Chester and Sammy were startled at the strange voice.
“What was that?” asked Chester.
“I think it came from that little fish bowl over there,” said Sammy.
“Come here,” said the same voice.
“Yes,” said Chester. “It is coming from that fish bowl.”
Chester and Sammy went over to the fish bowl and were quite amazed when they saw a sea horse bobbing around in the water.
“What are you doing way in the back of this building?” asked Chester.
“I’ve just been captured,” explained the sea horse.
“Captured!” exclaimed Chester. “What are you talking about?”
“I was swimming around in my little sea yesterday, when I got caught up in a big fishing net,” said the sea horse. “Shortly after that, I was brought here.”
“That is crazy!” exclaimed Chester. “Why didn’t they just put you back into the water?”
“I guess it boils down to a matter of money,” said the sea horse. “The captain of the fishing boat was paid a hefty sum for me by the owner of this new aquarium!”
“What!” exclaimed Sammy. “You mean the owner of this aquarium bought you!”
“How do you think the rest of the fish and wildlife got here?” asked the sea horse. “We were all bought!”
“This is outrageous,” said Chester.
“There has to be something we can do to stop this,” said Sammy.
“Like what?” asked the sea horse. “We are all animals. How are we going to stop this aquarium?”
“All animals, eh,” Chester repeated. “That gives me a good idea! Sammy, you stay here with, uh, what’s your name?”
“My name is Frankie,” said the sea horse. “What are your names?”
“This is my friend, Sammy and my name is Chester,” said Chester, introducing himself and Sammy to Frankie.
Chester left the aquarium and went into the local police station. There, he told his tale to the Chief of Police, Chief Wilson.
“An animal ring,” said Chief Wilson to himself. “We’ll have to put a stop to that! Maybe you could help us out, little guy. We could use you as an undercover agent to catch these crooks in the act!”
“An undercover agent!” exclaimed Chester, excited. “This sounds like fun!” Chief Wilson explained to Chester what he wanted him to do. He asked Chester to hang around the entrance of the aquarium. He would have plenty of detectives in plain clothes, watching out for him. As soon as we see someone try anything, we will be right on top of them.
Chester stood outside the entrance to the aquarium. For a few moments, all was quiet, until that same clown that he and Sammy had seen earlier, spotted him.
“Hey look,” said Chief Wilson to a young policeman, standing beside him. “That clown is approaching Chester.”
“Yes he is,” said the young policeman. “Look! He even has a two-way radio.”
Sure enough the clown was speaking to someone on a two-way radio. A few minutes later, a white limousine pulled up into the entrance.
“Chief, take a look,” said the young policeman.
Just as Chief Wilson turned around to look, someone got out of the car and tried to grab for Chester. Chester, however, was too quick for them. Seconds later, the police had that man and the clown both under arrest.
“Good work, Chester,” said Chief Wilson. “We have apprehended the guilty parties. Now, we can get to work and put all of those fish and other wildlife back into their own habitat.”
“Thank-you so much, Chester,” said Frankie Sea Horse, the next morning as he was being transported home. “If it wasn’t for you, this ring would never have been broken.”
“That is very true,” said Chief Wilson, pinning a medal of honour to Chester’s chest. “You are a very brave chipmunk, Chester!”