They all gathered around the open ‘Window’ to the archeological site.
“So you went in there, turned left, walked until you came back around and popped out here?” Alise said.
“That, as they say,” replied Mr. Rabbit, “is the long and the short of it.”
“But your friend – another chicken – disappeared when she touched a living, floating firework type thing.” Denise said, rather disbelieving.
“Yes,” said Nebraska Rooster. “And she’s a hen.”
“Right,” said Denise, “hen.”
“Listen,” said Maurice, “I think we should go in there and go back the way you came, to see if we can go to the alternate reality.”
“It’s a good plan,” said the Gray Squirrel, “but what if it takes you somewhere else entirely?”
“I think it’s a risk we have to take.” Deloris Squirrel was all but ready to walk back down the corridor. “I think we need to know how all this works, and we’ll never get there unless we try some things out.”
Nebraska chimed in, “Well, I suggest we stick together as a group, that way, if we do end up somewhere else, we’re not separated further into different realities. If we do end up somewhere else, we’ll be no worse off than we are now as long as we’re all together.”
“Do you mean, all of us?” asked Maurice. “Or just the animals.”
“You have to stop referring to us in such coarse terms, we have lives, concerns, friends, loved ones,” said Mr. Rabbit, “we’re far more than simple animals.”
“Right, uh,” stammered Maurice, “I didn’t mean any disrespect, it’s just . . . it’s just, it’s hard to get used to the right uh, nouns.”
“Well,” said Mr. Rabbit simply, “instead of trying to use the ‘right’ nouns, try thinking about what the ‘respectful’ nouns might be.”
Maurice looked puzzled but didn’t seem to have a problem with that.
“The real question,” said Nebraska Rooster, “is whether you lot are going to come with us or not.”
The scientists looked among themselves blankly.
“Well,” said Dr. McCleese, “s-someone needs to stay at camp, to, you know, be a control.”
“Yes,” said Denise, “and that person will likely need an assistant, right professor?”
Dr. McCleese nodded his head vigorously. “Yes, indeed, my dear. So true.”
Maurice looked at Alise and shrugged his shoulders. “I guess I’m going with the anim – I ur, I mean with this lot.”
Alise smiled. “I’ll go too, what the hey-ho.”
The little group went into the tunnel. “Lights on,” Nebraska said, and they all flicked on their lights. “This way.” He walked purposefully in the opposite direction they had walked the first time around.
Walking swiftly, with purpose, the little group made good time. Soon the opening came into view again. In a few moments, they were facing the opening.
“Ack!!” Shouted Maurice.
“Aah!” Yelled Alise.
“Dear goodness!” Nebraska Rooster whisper-shouted.
“Gah!” Deloris Squirrel exclaimed.
“Yikes!” cried the Gray Squirrel.
“Well, I’ll be darned,” said Mr. Rabbit.