When Christopher heard Gordo shout "Gotcha!" his heart sank. However, his mood lifted a moment later when he saw Gordo emerging from the alley, empty-handed and muttering darkly. Christopher ducked behind a chimney as the bully stalked past him in disgust.
Christopher felt a tug on his pant leg. He looked down to see Buster, who was holding his rear foot as if it were hurt.
"What's wrong with your foot?"
"You mean Buster's foot?"
"OK. Buster's foot. Does it hurt you?"
"Then does it matter whose foot it is?" Christopher scooped up Buster and carried him off. "We're going to the vet."
"As long as we go to the librarian after that. I'm running out of time."
"What happens if you don't complete your mission within 48 hours?"
"You don't want to know."
The vet, Dr. Peterson, examined Buster's leg problem. Even though it appeared to be a simple sprain, he wanted to keep him overnight--just to be sure the silly bunny hadn't done himself a more serious injury.
His ears flopping madly, Buster was carried away from Christopher to be put in a cage. Even though Buster knew enough by now not to speak in front of the veterinary assistants, Christopher could still tell that he was horrified that he would miss his deadline.
Somehow, Christopher had to rescue him.
Later, when the assistants were having lunch, Christopher sneaked into the vet's back room, passing cages full of dogs and cats--none of whom said a word to him.
It turned out, however, that Buster was not the only talking animal in town. In fact, he was having a deep, detailed conversation with a large bullfrog that was sitting in the next cage.
When he saw Christopher approaching, Buster smiled. "Christopher Tootsfield, meet the librarian."
Friday: Now that the alien possessing Buster has met "the librarian," will his mission be complete?
Alan Swayze once had a rabbit. As far as he knew, the rabbit never took orders from anyone. This story will be on The Times' Web site at http://www.latimes.com/kids.