(C) The Sunny Zoo 陽光動物園 2017
At the dining table, Mr Keeper and Mrs Keeper are looking over the zoo accounts, while the kids are doing their homework. The guinea pigs and Knobby the bearded dragon have gone to sleep; Ellie the parrot has been covered up (and therefore SILENT, for the first time today). But Marbles the gecko, Banana the python, and the frogs are all lazing about and watching their human employees with great interest. The fish take micro-second naps, so they are probably still awake.
Mrs Keeper groans, "Oh dear, we have to buy more crickets again!"
Marbles is immediately defensive, "It's not me, I hardly eat any! It's Knobby, he eats like 30, 40 crickets all the time!"
The frogs chirp up: "That's right! That's right! That's right!"
"I wasn't blaming you, Marbles." Mrs Keeper rolls her eyes. "But crickets ARE pretty expensive."
Mr Keeper sighs, "Especially since we aren't terribly efficient at breeding them."
Mrs Keeper does more calculations on paper, "We need to work on our budgeting, guys."
Marbles sniffs, "If I'm such a burden to all of you, I can always go back to Port Nelson where I came from. It's a long walk.... but I'm sure I could do it! I'll think of you all.... and I'll miss you..... You won't miss me I know...." He sniffs again for good effect.
Mr Keeper laughs and tickles him under the chin, "Don't be silly Marbles! How can we live without you? Anyway, what we need is that legendary golden goose! You know, the one that lays golden eggs."
Mrs Keeper laughs too, "Well, we have so many animals living here, we'd hardly notice an extra goose! We could do with some golden eggs!"
Banana the python, who has been quiet and contemplative all this time, suddenly remarks, "You know, I don't get why humans always want a goose that lays golden eggs. What's the point? It's not very cost-effective. You should be breeding more snakes instead!"
Mr Keeper is quite taken aback, "Breeding more snakes???? Why????"
Banana ever patiently explains, "Well, one goose egg is about 5oz. To work out how much a 5oz golden egg is worth, you find out how much 5oz of gold is worth. I think it's around AU$2,500. So a golden goose egg is worth $2,500. Are you with me so far?"
Everyone else nods, except the frogs, who have lost interest and gone off to search for crickets.
Banana goes on, "Say a goose lays 5 eggs in one clutch, so a clutch of golden eggs is worth AU$12,500. But a green tree python lays 20 eggs in a clutch, and each baby python fetches around AU$900 each! So a clutch of green python eggs would be worth AU$18,000! So ultimately, keeping snakes is more profitable than keeping geese that lay golden eggs."
There is silence around the table as everyone struggles to work it out. The thought of 20 baby green tree pythons streaking around the house and hanging off backs of chairs is simply mind-boggling.
Mrs Keeper looks at Banana sternly, "Banana, remember you're not allowed to date until you are 21. In the mean time, bedtime for you kids! Good night everyone!"
As Little Kid packs up her books, she asks Big Kid, "How does Banana know all this stuff about gold prices and goose eggs?"
Big Kid replies, "I think she uses Dad's computer at night to surf the Net when we're all asleep. I wish I could do that!"
Postscript: Banana's figures are a bit out-of-date. The price of 5oz of gold is currently about AU$8,150, and a clutch of 5 eggs would be worth AU$40,750, so it would definitely be more worthwhile to keep a golden goose (if there were one)! Banana's gold price has not been seen since her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents' time. The human employees suspect she's just trying to trick them into letting her get a boyfriend.
The Sunny Zoo
The animals at the Sunny Zoo enjoy their many freedoms, including having access to the Internet and a blog.
(C) The Sunny Zoo 陽光動物園 2017