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Jolly Solly: Full Report

R. Atkins

The inspector thought he might be able to stir up a bit of trouble. If all went according to plan, he could have Eli’s place shut down

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

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E li the animal trainer’s place was very popular, attracting lots of visitors. The animals were clean and well-cared for, and the place well-run. Mr. Ingleton, the eagle-eyed environmental inspector, had yet to find a single valid complaint — much to his disappointment.

Mr. Ingleton hadn’t given up, though. He particularly disliked Gimpel the goat, who had once chewed up a document of Eli’s, leaving the inspector without evidence. Mr. Ingleton flipped through his precious handbook of environmental regulations, and slowly, an idea began to form in his mind.

There would be grounds for action if the neighbors complained. No neighbors had actually complained, but the inspector thought he could find some complaints anyway. If his plan was successful, he could have Eli’s place shut down — forever!

The inspector pinned on his official badge, and set off on his mission.

“Good afternoon, sir,” the inspector said to the neighbor on Eli’s left. “I’m here to help protect the environment. Now, what can you tell me about the animal center next door?”

The neighbor shrugged. “Well, I must say, it’s a very well-kept place, “he replied. “The animals seem happy and well-cared for.”

The inspector frowned. This wasn’t what he wanted to hear.

“What about litter? Is there any trash lying around the place? Or even leaves?”

“The only leaves are on the tr—”

“Aha! So you admit there are leaves, “crowed the inspector, making a note on his clipboard. “Good day, sir, and thank you for your help.”

Next he approached the neighbor on the right. This time, he focused on the issue of noise.

“Do you get a lot of noise from next door?” he asked.

“Not really,” said the neighbor. “Just normal animal noises, which is to be expected. I don’t mind in the least.”

“Hmm. No roosters waking you up before dawn?”

“Eli doesn’t have any roosters,” pointed out the neighbor. “The only birds he has are Pinny the peacock and Tuki the parrot. Tuki sings the most marvelous songs. I enjoy listening to him every evening.”

The inspector hid a smirk. Just the evidence he needed!

“Problem with noise pollution,” he wrote busily, “Parrot noisy at night.”

Ignoring the neighbor’s comments about what a delightful, clever bird Tuki was, that never caused any trouble, the inspector marched off without so much a goodbye. He had work to do!

By the very next morning, his report lay on the mayor’s desk. The inspector requested that Eli’s place be closed down, due to complaints from the neighbors about litter and noise, a breach of environmental regulations.

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