Estimated read aloud timing: 4 minutes.
(Have you read the other posts in Chapter 5 yet? If not, we recommend starting the adventure at Chapter 5, Post 1: Flapjax for Sale.)
The two humans glared down at Flapjax as he lay sprawled out on the mall floor, holding the hijacked phone in one exhausted paw.
The big human in the police uniform knelt down beside Flapjax. She picked the phone out of his paw and held it up to the human boy. Flapjax tried to grab it back, but the woman held him in a tight grip, so he could barely wiggle let alone escape.
The boy looked at the phone and then back at Flapjax. He had an odd expression on his face, almost like wonder.
“You typed in a number!”
Flapjax nodded. He had been so close!
“But you can’t type! You can’t talk! You can’t read!”
Flapjax shrugged. What did it matter what the boy thought he could or couldn’t do? He knew he would have found a way to get back to Libby. He just needed a few more seconds with the phone!
The boy looked at him curiously. “Who are you?”
Flapjax maneuvered in the officer’s arms until his tail was facing the boy, and then he bent over.
“F-L-A-P-J-A-X,” the boy read the letters stitched across Flapjax’s bottom.
The uniformed human picked Flapjax up and looked at his tail where Mom had sewn those letters back when Flapjax had first been adopted. She had also sewn in numbers below it. A phone number. It was almost like Mom knew Flapjax would need rescuing…
“Well Flapjax, I think it’s time we get you home. What do you think about that?”
Flapjax stared up at the human with teary eyes, nodded his head, and gave her a big bear hug.
Flapjax was going home, but he had to wait in Mall Jail for Libby and Mom to get there. He might have been rescued, but he was also still pretty sure he would be in quite a bit of trouble when his family heard about the mess he had made in the soap store, and the outfits he had borrowed from the shops, and of course the phone he had taken from the human boy.
He looked over at the boy who was typing away on his phone next to him. The boy looked back at Flapjax and smiled.
“Do you like Spider-Man?” the boy asked, holding out his phone to Flapjax.
Flapjax grinned and took the phone, then jumped up on the boy’s lap so they could watch together. It turned out this new human was actually pretty great after all.
“FLAPJAX!!” Libby screamed as she ran into Mall Jail where Flapjax was waiting for her. She grabbed him off the boy’s lap and hugged him tightly. “I was so, so worried, Flapjax! Why did you hide from me?”
The boy cleared his throat and Flapjax hesitantly handed over the phone. He would need to convince Libby to watch the rest of Spider-Man with him at home.
“Hey, Flapjax was trying to get back to you all day. Don’t be too hard on him. He’s a pretty clever stuffed bear,” the boy said, giving Flapjax a paw-bump.
Libby looked at the boy for the first time and raised an eyebrow. “’Clever’ isn’t the only thing he is. He is also fun, cuddly…and in BIG trouble.”
Flapjax waved to his new friend from his spot on Libby’s shoulder. The boy shrugged and waved back, then went back to watching the movie on his phone as if this big, crazy Flapjax adventure had never happened.
Mom was waiting for them at the entrance of Mall Jail looking not so happy. She smiled at the uniformed human behind the counter. “Thank goodness for Lost and Found,” she said, looking at Libby hugging Flapjax tightly.
“Thank goodness for good friends,” the uniformed human said and waved at the group as they headed for the door.
Libby glanced back at the boy who was still sitting and looking intently at his phone.
“What about him?” she asked the grown-ups.
“Oh, his parents are on their way. Flapjax isn’t the only one who escaped today,” the uniformed woman said with a narrow-eyed look at the boy who just smiled and shrugged again from his chair in the corner.
“I was never lost,” he said with a wink at Flapjax. “I was just trying to stop a bad bear from stealing my phone.”
Flapjax would have been offended, but he knew the boy was right. He thought about how horribly his little joke on Libby had gone wrong. This could have ended very badly for him. He was a lucky, lucky bear…
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