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Morning Commute

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It was a foggy, chilly morning on the edge of the city that day. A guinea pig, turtle, and duckling quietly waited for the bus. Most days, they could have usually taken their flying space boat to work in the studio, but some preschoolers had broken many pieces of its inner workings, and until they could be replaced altogether, they had to rely on other means of transportation.

BEEP BEEP! The honk rang through the crisp air as a bus skidded to a stop in front of them. Whoosh! The door hissed open to an eccentrically dressed red-headed woman at the wheel. Thankfully, she made a habit of looking down for smaller cartoon characters; otherwise, she may have assumed no one else was there, making them miss their ride.

"All aboard! Remember your seat belts!" she called cheerfully.

After struggling up the steps, the leader of the group only gave a polite nod of acknowledgement as she handed the small fee to their driver. Though the duckling was able to fly up with ease, the guinea pig and turtle knew climbing onto the seats wouldn't be much easier than the set of stairs that would have been small for those of more moderate size.

"Need a lift?" a friendly-looking orange moose asked as he offered them his hand.

"Thanks," the guinea pig said, her breath slightly winded. The turtle and the duckling gave a nod to let him know they were thinking the same.

With her stomach growling, that reminded the guinea pig they hadn't eaten this morning. Thankfully, she thought to bring a celery stick with her to split with her team.

As the duckling ate her portion, she stared off into space, alone with her own thoughts. They could be surprisingly deep sometimes, such as wondering why a boxing ring was called a ring, when it was really a square. Or why rush hour was called 'rush hour' if everyone was moving slowly.

Suddenly, a surprising sight came to her. Her beak dropped open. Three years of working with him, and she had never noticed that about him before. Her beady black eyes had caught the moose's attention.

"Something wrong, Ming-Ming?" he asked coolly.

Shutting her beak again, she didn't know how to say this to him; what her friend did made no logical sense. Swallowing, she decided the best way to say it was just to tell him straightforward.

"Tywone...you...you put youwr hands...in your pockets...but you don't weawr any pants," the duckling whispered.

Pulling them out and onto his lap, he studied them for a moment. "Huh," Tyrone said simply. "You're right." It was nearly silent on the bus except for the sound of celery crunching. Looking back at her, he too noticed something unusual. He, however, was naturally calmer than she, and effortlessly kept his voice casual: "You know what else? You can eat a stick of celery, no problem...but you don't have any teeth."

Shocked, Ming-Ming looked down at the bite marks in her celery. She too, studied the lack of logic in his observation. "Wha-, but, how do I-" Ming-Ming dropped her celery, confused. "I don't undewsta-"

"Oh for goodness sakes!" a yellow hippo sitting across from them folded her arms. "We're all cartoons. Don't overthink it."

The two just sat there, staring her in the eyes.

"Touché, mon ami." Ming-Ming picked up her celery again and waved it in her direction. "Touché."

"What she said," Tyrone agreed.

So then Tyrone simply stuck his hands back in his no-pants pockets, and Ming-Ming continued to enjoy her celery.