“Well, what can I do to help, Noah?” Meredith asked.
“Dr. Henley, your expertise in predator behavior and genetics disorder is well documented and highly respected. Quite honestly, you are regarded as the expert in the studies of lion and leopard and what turns them into a man-eater. We have consulted with you in the past. This time we’d like to ask you to be even more involved,” he said.
“How do you mean, Noah?” she asked
“Well, not only do we need to end the terror these man-eaters have started, but would like to learn more about what causes this behavior, so we can do our best to stop this from happening again. Meredith, you are the Chief Veterinarian and Director of one of the greatest zoos in the world. We’d like to capture these three lions, have them transported to California, and have you lead a study to understand the man-eaters behavior patterns,” Noah replied.
“Minister, I’m flattered, but I don’t have any experience in game capture.” Meredith answered.
“Oh yes, I know. This brings me to the second part of this phone call. I am hoping you will help us employ the aid of your ex-husband, Charles, to be in charge of the tracking and capture. He certainly has the expertise we need to make this happen. He and his staff are respected as the best in game capture. It is my understanding that he has more ‘big cat’ capture experience than anyone in East Africa,” Noah said.
“Oh my, Noah, I know you are aware that he and I don’t see each other too often. We have two children, and Charlie comes to see them usually twice a year. We talk by phone and email about once a month,” she answered.
“Well, Meredith, I’m sure you remember that Charles and I had some angry words with each other last time we saw each other. The three of us were at your fund-raiser at the San Diego Zoo three years ago,” Noah said.
“Yes, as I remember, you accused him of flirting with your date,” she said. “Same old Charlie,” she added.
“Well, I still say he was, even though he denied it. Well, anyway, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t welcome a call from me,” Noah replied.
“You’re probably right, Noah, but you know Charlie, he can always be tempted by adventure. Adventure and pretty women have always been his weakness,” she said.
“You are certainly right on that point. What do you think, Meredith? Will you help us with this?” the Minister asked.
“Oh, Noah. You know I have a weakness for adventure too. It could be a fascinating study,” Meredith replied.
“It would be good press for your zoo, and Charlie could become even more of a ‘folk hero’ in East Africa. The Kenyan government will fund of the project,” Noah added.
“Yes, it would be good for my zoo, but I agree the study could be of great benefit to many,” she answered.
“Is that a yes?” he asked.
“Yes, I will contact Charlie and see if I can intrigue him with the promise of adventure and fame. Noah, you know he is a business man, and will ask about fees and expenses. How do you recommend I handle that?” she asked.
“I guess, just let him tell us what his offer is, and call me with that information. I’m just so pleased you will help,” Noah said.
“Well, I’ll call him. I can’t promise how he’ll react. I would like to help you and the country of Kenya. It would be an honor,” Meredith said.
“The honor will be ours, Dr. Henley. Can you call me back in a day or two?” Noah asked.
“Yes,” Meredith answered. “I need to call him anyway about our daughter Claire. She is finishing her masters in zoology and wants to work with me here at the San Diego Zoo. Charlie may not be very supportive of this, he wants her to teach. I was planning to call him today or tomorrow anyway to discuss it with him,” she added.
“That’s exciting news. I know you and Charles are very proud of her. Call me in a few days, please,” Noah said.
“Yes, I will Noah. Thanks for calling. It is a pleasure hearing from you,” Meredith answered.
“Asante sana. Kwa heri, Dr. Henley,” Noah said.
“Kirabu (Your welcome), Minister Mwangi, Kwa heri,” Meredith answered.
“Oh, what did I just get myself into?” she said to herself, hanging up the phone.