Scamper's Tall Tales

Meet The Zookeeper


Every so often in life, you meet someone who truly surprises you.

Sometimes you prejudge people based on a reputation that precedes them. Other times, you may just feel that your life is too full to deal with new comers that will require an investment of your time.

It’s when both of those factors are at play that you are most susceptible to the friendship sneak attack. Despite your absolute certainty that you’re about to meet someone who will grate on your every nerve, surprise! Within minutes of actually speaking with them, you find yourself thinking, oh yeah, we are going to be friends.

We had that very experience just last week and needless to say, we found it to be somewhat disorienting.

Fabulous has been working his perfectly manicured fingers to the bone lately and it’s been cutting into his Scamper time. As a result, we have been in no mood to share him with anyone other than Hubby.

We always love to hear about his new projects, especially when he’s excited about them but we don’t particularly enjoy hearing about the new character who’s been taking up so much of his time.

“Oh, Scamper. I can’t wait for you to meet Zooey!”

“Oh, Scamper. You are going to love Zooey!”

“Oh, Scamper. I have to tell you what Zooey said today. You’ll die”

All we could think was, oh Fabulous, one more word about this damned Zooey person and someone will die alright… and that someone won’t be named Scamper. And what kind of a stupid name is Zooey anyway?

Unfortunately, that last part found its way from our mind to our mouth and before we realized what had happened, we had said it out loud. Oops.

Much to our tremendous irritation, Fabulous was grinning from ear to ear.

“What?!” we demanded.

“Awe. You’re jealous.”

At that moment, we knew without a shadow of a doubt that we hated Zooey with the stupid name.

Wisely, Fabulous changed the subject. He must have seen the look we shot him from beneath our sunglass disguise.

The Zooey person is the rock star of a hair and makeup stylist who’s been dolling up the models for the photo shoots of the new Fabulous clothing line. It was our ardent hope that they would get the ads done quickly so that life could return to normal.

A few days after our lunch of shame, Fabulous called. Usually, he just texts, so we picked up the phone immediately.

“Yes?”  We were still feeling a little surly.

“What are you doing in an hour?”

That question always means that he has an adventure in mind and Lord knows, Scamper loves an adventure. He had us. We were aiming for coy but fell short of the mark.

” Nothing. Where are we going?”

“An adventure”

We know by now that that was all we were going to get out of him.

An hour later, Fabulous pulled up in Raja the car and we were on our way.

Yes, the Fabulous mobile has a name and yes, it’s Raja. We all have our eccentricities.

We had been traveling East on Route 27 for about 20 min. when we developed itchy bottom syndrome. We needed to know where we were going and when we would be there.

Fabulous provided no specifics, so we started to guess.

“The American Hotel?”


“The Palm?”


When he turned to head towards Sagaponack, our spidey senses began to tingle.

” Ok Lady, what’s going on here?” We wanted answers and we wanted them fast.

Sagaponack only means one of two things. Golf course or home visit… to someone else’s home.

We were prepared for neither.

“Wait for it”

Fabulous was about a second and a half away from a pinch with a twist.

Just then we turned into a glorious driveway, lined with pear trees and dogwoods in full bloom. It was probably a mile long.

“Start talking, Mr.”

This is not the sort of surprise that tickles our fancy.

He said nothing. He simply parked the car, got out and gave us the come hither gesture as he bounded towards the front door, looking as smug as a bug in a rug.

He leaned in the door bell, which sounded more like a Chinese gong than a door bell and almost instantly an eye level square opened in the middle of the door.

Ok, we love a peep hole. We were intrigued. Then it got even better. The gravelly voice of a person that we imagined to be a rather large and somewhat intimidating woman, gruffly said, ” What’s today’s password?”

Without blinking an eye, Fabulous lowered his voice and said, ” Hooch” and with that the door swung open.

Our first thought was speakeasy and we were too excited for words. Who doesn’t love a speakeasy?

Then Fabulous flung his arms in the air and shrieked, ” Minerva!” at the top of his lungs.

Something was off.

Minerva … Minerva… hmmm… Minerva? Why did that name sound familiar?

As we were scanning our mental Rolodex, they greeted each other like old friends.

Ah ha! Got it! Minerva was the name of Zooey’s assistant.

Before the growl that was rising from deep in our throat could fully form, Minerva turned and grabbed two flutes of champagne from the table behind her. She handed one to each of us, gestured grandly towards the top of the Gone With The Wind staircase and using her very best projection voice, said,

“Scamper, welcome”.

Before we could say a word, a vision appeared at the top of the staircase. It’s a safe bet that our jaw was hanging open like a fly trap.

It had to be that Zooey with the stupid name. Only, we couldn’t hate his style.

He glided down the stairs as if he were a starlet in a musical.

White linen pants, pink Lilly Pulitzer shirt, blue blazer and lime green loafers, with tassels. No socks.

As he reached the final stair, Fabulous, who had been gauging our reaction, belted out the phrase he had long been dying to say.

“Meet the Zookeeper”

The Zookeeper took his cue and responded with,” Scamper, I’ve been so looking forward to meeting you”

We lowered our sunglass disguise just enough so that we could be sure that he saw us give him the elevator eyes.

He didn’t even flinch.


We followed that up with a subtle hand gesture designed to display our talons.

Still nothing.

Finally, we went for broke with the head to toe finger point of assessment. No one can withstand that move. It’s quite intimidating.

The Zookeeper watched and waited.

After a moment he cooed, ” Love the claws.”

There was only one thing to say.

“Oh, you’re good!”

To Be Continued…

Click here for Part 2

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The Scamper

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