WORLDWIDE ADVENTURES Book No. 6
The African SafariDiscovery
CREATED BY Jeff Brown WRITTEN BY Josh Greenhut PICTURES BY Macky Pamintuan
Cover Title Page ? Chapter 1 - The Search Begins Chapter 2 - Nairobi Chapter 3 - Emergency! Chapter 4 - On Safari Chapter 5 - Down the River Chapter 6 - Dr. Livingston Fallows Chapter 7 - The Flat Skull Chapter 8 - A Souvenir ? Take a sneak peek ? Other Books Copyright About the Publisher
Chapter 1 The Search Begins
Stanley Lambchop was flattened against the wall outside the kitchen. He knew it was impolite toeavesdrop, but his mother sounded upset. And she was talking about him.
“I’m worried about Stanley,” Harriet Lambchop was saying to her husband, George. “What ifhe’s flat for the rest of his life? You know how difficult things can be for someone who’sspecial.”
Stanley thought of the morning, not long ago, when he awoke to find that the bulletin boardover his bed had fallen on him during the night. Ever since, he’d been only half an inchthick. With his new shape, Stanley could do all sorts of things most people couldn’t do, suchas travel via airmail. But his mother was right. Just yesterday, someone at school had calledhim “Boardbrains.”
“I’m sure everything will be fine, dear,” Mr. Lambchop said. “Just because Stanley has goneflat—”
“Become flat,” Mrs. Lambchop said. “Stanley hasn’t gone flat, George. He’s become flat.
You know how improper grammar makes me—” She was overcome with emotion.
Stanley peeled himself off the wall and trudged down the hall. He felt like being alone.
A moment later, he was flat on his back beneath the couch in the living room. It may have beentoo low to the ground for the vacuum cleaner, but it wasn’t too low for Stanley?.?.?. or for
how he felt.
Stanley should have been excited to find all the things that he and his little brother, Arthur,had lost under the couch. There was a dusty origami ninja star, which Stanley had made aftertraveling by mail to meet the boys’ idol, the martial arts star Oda Nobu, in Japan. There wasa hockey puck from a professional game in Canada where Stanley had recently slid across theice. There was a yellow race car that Arthur liked to run down Stanley’s body like a giantramp.
Stanley didn’t want to be flat forever. He imagined how lonely he would be if he were the onlyflat person he knew for as long as he lived.
The doorbell rang. Stanley heard his father answer it.
“Mr. Dart!” Mr. Lambchop said.
Mr. O. Jay Dart was the director of the Famous Museum and the Lambchops’ neighbor. Stanley hadhelped him foil some sneak thieves when he first became flattened. He’d had to dress up like ashepherdess in a white dress and a curly wig and pretend to be in a painting. It washumiliating.
“Good morning, George. Have you seen this morning’s paper?” Mr. Dart said as Mr. Lambchopled him into the kitchen.
A minute later, Stanley’s father called, “Stanley!”
Oh, great, thought Stanley. I must be in trouble.
“Stanley?” his father shouted again.
Stanley saw Arthur’s sneakers race into the living room. “Stanley! Stanley!”
“Stanley?” Mrs. Lambchop’s gray high-heeled shoes marched past.
Stanley!” Shoes paraded before Stanley’s eyes. Doors opened and“Stanley! Stanley? Stanley!
closed in other rooms. His family and Mr. Dart were looking everywhere for him.
“Where could that boy be?” Mrs. Lambchop returned to the living room, her toe tapping thecarpet anxiously.
“You’re sure he didn’t go out?” Mr. Dart’s brown loafers asked.
“Maybe he saw it already,” wondered Arthur’s sneakers.
Stanley slid his head out from under the couch and looked up at everyone towering over him.“Saw what?”
Mr. Dart thrust the newspaper in Stanley’s face. “Stanley, my boy, they found a flat skull inAfrica!”
FLAT SKULL DISCOVERED IN AFRICA
Scientists claimed to make a startling discovery yesterday when they unearthed a flat skull inremote Tanzania. The skull is highly unusual due to its shape. Scientists believe that this maybe the missing link between flat creatures and regular ones. The discovery was nearly lostforever after a group of local children tried to play a game similar to “Frisbee” with it.
Everyone took a seat around the kitchen table.
“I hereby call this special session of the Lambchop family meeting to order,” announced Mr.Lambchop.
“Let’s begin by welcoming our esteemed guest,” said Mrs. Lambchop. “Mr. Dart, would youlike a snack?” She slid a bowl across the table. It was filled with chips sprinkled with thesecret ingredient that Stanley had recently retrieved from Mexico.
Stanley stared at his hands. He was thinking that he should go to Africa to see the flat skull.Maybe he wasn’t so alone after all.
“I want to get mailed to Africa,” he declared.
“Absolutely not,” said Mrs. Lambchop. “It’s one thing to fly airmail to a major city likeTokyo, Cairo, or Mexico City. Who knows how often mail is delivered in the most remote regionsof Africa?”
“Your mother is right, Stanley,” said Mr. Lambchop. “It isn’t safe.”
“But I have to! What if that skull is the same as me?”
Mr. and Mrs. Lambchop exchanged looks.
“No way,” Arthur blurted, as if reading their minds. “I am NOT missing another bigadventure. Stanley gets to circle the globe, while I have to stay home and miss all the fun. Itisn’t fair!”
“These are the most delicious chips I’ve ever tasted!” said Mr. Dart, shoveling anotherhandful into his mouth.
“Maybe we should all go,” Mr. Lambchop suggested.
“I can’t, George,” said Mrs. Lambchop. “I’m hosting my fund-raiser for the Grammar Society
i’s and cross the t’s on all of the place cards.on Saturday. I still have to dot the
Besides, how could we possibly afford airplane tickets to Africa?”
“Perhaps you could fly courtesy of the Famous Museum,” said Mr. Dart. “After all,investigating a major archaeological find would qualify as official museum business. It’s theleast we could do for you, Stanley, after all your help.
“Of course, we could justify only two airplane tickets to our board of directors,” added Mr.Dart.
Arthur groaned. “That figures.”
“I could stay folded in the pocket on the back of the airplane seat,” Stanley offered, “soboth you and Dad could come.”
“You would do that?” said Arthur.
“Sure,” said Stanley. “I’d only slip out from under the seat belt anyway.”
“That settles it,” decided Mr. Lambchop. “Boys, pack your bags for Africa!”
Chapter 2 Nairobi
Since becoming flat, Stanley had grown used to traveling long distances in small spaces. Butthe flight to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, was particularly difficult. The flight attendanthad insisted that Stanley could not be folded into a seat pocket—“That boy is nearly the sizeof a small sleeping bag, sir,” she had said. “It’s unsafe.” Despite Mr. Lambchop’sprotests, she demanded that Stanley be checked underneath the cabin with the passenger baggage.
As a result, Stanley had spent the entire flight in the noisy belly of the airplane, with noone to talk to except a very frightened caged poodle, a set of golf clubs, and many largesuitcases. Stanley had a great deal of time during his trip to ponder how hard a life offlatness could be.
Needless to say, he was very relieved when the rubber flaps on the baggage conveyor beltbrushed his forehead, and he emerged into the bright light of the airport.
“There he is!” cried Arthur. Mr. Lambchop ran up and pulled Stanley off the baggage carousel.It felt awfully good to stretch out.
The moment they stepped outside, the three Lambchops were surrounded by people offering to takethem wherever they wanted to go.
Mr. Lambchop pursed his lips and peered around, looking lost. This made people shout moreloudly. Someone yelling, “You need a taxi!” almost knocked Stanley over like a piece of
“Stanley, where’s your brother?” Mr. Lambchop asked suddenly in a panicked voice. Stanleyglanced around and saw nothing but a sea of arms waving in his face. “Lift me up,” he said,and Mr. Lambchop raised him over the crowd like a periscope. Stanley saw Arthur making his waythrough the crowd, followed by an African boy about Arthur’s age.
“Here he is,” said Stanley matter-of-factly.
“Arthur Lambchop,” scolded Mr. Lambchop, “how dare you wander off in a strange country!”
“But this boy can help us,” said Arthur. “His name is Odinga.”
Odinga smiled brightly at Stanley.
“Hello,” said Stanley and Mr. Lambchop.
Odinga said nothing.
“He doesn’t speak English,” explained Arthur.
“Arthur,” said Mr. Lambchop, “what have I told you about going off with strangers?”
“But I know we can trust Odinga,” said Arthur.
“How?” Mr. Lambchop crossed his arms.
Arthur pointed to Odinga’s T-shirt. The picture on it was very faded, and Stanley had to leancloser to see. He was surprised to find a picture of himself in a ninja outfit flying throughthe air with his leg thrust outward. It had been taken when he was in Japan, and brieflyassociated with the movie business.
Odinga gave Stanley two very enthusiastic thumbs-up.
Stanley felt his cheeks turn red. It must be the Kenyan heat.
“Show him the newspaper, Dad,” prodded Arthur.
Mr. Lambchop reached into his pocket and unfolded the article he had clipped two days before.He held it out to Odinga, pointing to the map with the X on it, which marked the place wherethe flat skull had been discovered.
Odinga looked at the piece of paper, turned on his heel, and walked away.
Mr. Lambchop raised his eyebrows at Arthur as if to say, “I told you so.” Then Odingareappeared and grabbed Arthur’s arm. He wanted the Lambchops to follow him.
Walking quickly, Odinga led them through the crowd to an old minivan waiting by the curb. Itwas already full of people. Standing beside it was a girl who looked not much older thanStanley. Odinga went up to her and said something in Swahili. She approached the Lambchops.
“I am Bisa,” she said in heavily accented English. “My brother tells me you need to go toTanzania.”
Once again, Mr. Lambchop held out the newspaper clipping.
“Why do you want to go there?” Bisa asked. “It is very far.”
Stanley stepped forward. He turned sideways to show how flat he was. Then he turned to face heragain. “I’m looking for answers,” he said simply.
Bisa said, “What if you do not like the answers you find?”
Stanley could only shrug.
“I understand,” she said quietly. “Come,” she declared with sudden excitement. “My fatherwill help you. He is a good pilot.”
As the minibus bounced through the streets of Nairobi, Stanley’s entire face was pressedagainst the window. This was because so many people were squeezed into the minibus with him.Apart from Arthur, Mr. Lambchop, Odinga, and Bisa, passengers were constantly jumping on andoff.
Nairobi was a big city. Bisa said that three million people lived there. Everywhere, thestreets were teeming with traffic. They passed open-air markets filled with fruits andvegetables of every color. People were cooking on the side of the road. Skyscrapers toweredover the city.
“Look, Arthur!” Stanley said, elbowing his brother as they passed a man with a giant bird onhis shoulder.
Arthur squeezed his face beside Stanley’s.
Finally, Bisa and Odinga jumped out of the open door of the minivan, and the Lambchops rushedto follow. Bisa waved for them to hurry up as she climbed the steps of a building.
Mr. Lambchop grabbed Stanley and Arthur’s arms suddenly. He pointed to a sign next to thedoor: NAIROBI POLICE DEPARTMENT.
“It’s a setup!” Mr. Lambchop gulped.
Stanley and Arthur looked at each other.
“What is wrong?” Bisa asked.
“I demand to see my attorney,” blurted Mr. Lambchop.
Bisa looked confused. Then she burst into laughter. “Nobody is going to arrest you, Mr.Lambchop,” she said. “You misunderstand. My father is a pilot for the police force!”