Today is a very exciting day for Emma. She and her family are at Wellington Zoo!
Peyton held Emma’s hand. All of the animals were scary, but not to Emma.
There were otters and gorillas and giraffes and even roaring lions!
Emma, Peyton, her mummy and her daddy were waiting under the big zoo sign.
“Where have your cousins got to?” said Mummy.
Emma did not know. There was Harry and there was Jordan, and Ben and Mia, and Lucas and Gabby too, but none of them were anywhere to be seen.
“They must have got lost,” said Daddy.
“Let’s try and find them!” said Emma.
And so off they went with Mummy holding Emma’s hand and Emma holding Peyton’s.
There were so many people at Wellington zoo, it was packed!
First they came to the otter exhibit. They were so cute. Emma loved to watch them swim around. Her cousins would have loved it too, Emma knew. If only there were here…
Then Peyton tried to climb in to the exhibit and swim with the otters! Emma grabbed her nappy just in time and saved her.
Peyton always liked to copy her cousins, Emma knew.
“Peyton! That is dangerous,” said Mummy, who picked up Peyton in her arms.
Emma was curious as to why Peyton tried to jump in. Emma looked into the otter exhibit and saw Cousin Mia swimming with the critters! She put her hand out. “Mia, quick!”
Mia grabbed Emma’s hand and together they pulled her to safety.
“Thank you for rescuing me Emma,” Said Mia.
But Emma was busy thinking. “Mummy,” Emma said. “I think I know how to find my cousins!”
And Emma ran off to the next exhibit at Wellington Zoo.
She went through people’s legs, and dodged between them. When Emma got there she put her hands on the rails of the next exhibit. She saw a shiny red hair strand. One of her cousins was here!
The big mother gorilla in the exhibit walked over to Emma and Emma stared right up at its face. And there, clung to its back like a gorilla’s baby was Cousin Ben!
Emma moved out the way and let Ben jump through the rails.
He came flying through, leaping off the Gorillas back like he was in a jungle, and Emma put her hands out to stop him from falling over.
“Thank you, Emma!” He said. “I was frightened and you helped me.” Ben gave her a big hug.
“This way,” she said. Emma led Ben to the next exhibit, with Daddy and Mummy holding Peyton in her arms running close behind her.
Up high in the sky the giraffes were stretching for the leaves. But they were just a little too short.
Emma felt sorry for them. And then she saw that there, sitting on the two giraffe’s heads, were Cousins Gabby and Lucas.
They stretched their arms out as high as they could and grabbed the leaves from the trees. Then the big giraffe tongues curled round their mouths and over their heads and swept up the leaves from the Gabby and Lucas’ hands.
Emma knew that her Mummy would be terrified to see them up so high on the giraffes. “Mummy,” she said. “Look at this!” She put her lips into a circle and put her palms on her cheeks with her fingers flowing like gills.
“I’m a fish!” Emma did her best impression and her Mummy and Daddy and little Peyton burst out laughing. They had no idea that Gabby and Lucas were sliding down the necks of the giraffes behind them.
On Emma’s signal they crawled together under the Giraffe’s fence and joined the family.
“Where have you been?” said Mummy. “And where are the rest of you?”
Emma grinned from ear to ear. She always knew her cousins were like wild monkeys. That’s why they loved the zoo so much. And now there was only Harry and Jordan left to find.
And then Emma heard a roar so loud that Mummy had to cover Peyton’s ears. The lions were out and about and they were the Kings of the zoo.
Emma went running over. Her cousins were bound to be there.
“Be careful Emma!” said Daddy.
But Emma was excited. The lion Kings were about to meet their Queen.
When she got there, panting for breath, the lions were standing proud on a big rock looking over the entire zoo.
They roared again and Emma had to cover her ears. People ran away. But Emma did not. She was going to stay. She had to find her cousins!
The lions roared even louder. But Emma poked her head through the fence and saw that the lions were prowling towards the back of the exhibit. Harry and Jordan were trapped! The zookeepers had ran away scared. It was up to Emma to save her cousins before the lions ate them up for their dinner.
“Hey!” Emma shouted. But it was so quiet the lions paid no attention.
“Hey! Over here!” She shouted as loud as she could… but still the lions ignored her.
Harry and Jordan were surrounded now, hugging each other as the lions moved in. Emma could hear the lion Kings growling.
And she knew there was only one thing to do. Emma took a deep breath. And then another one. And then she opened her mouth big and wide and ROARED with all her might!
The Lion King’s jaws dropped – terrified! – and they scampered away under the might of…
Harry and Jordan came running over as fast as they could.
“You saved us, Emma!” They picked her up in a big hug.
The whole family came running over and scooped Emma high into the air. They threw her up and down with three big cheers.
“I think that’s enough zoo for one day,” said Mummy.
Emma looked at her family. Mia was soaking wet and Ben was covered in gorilla hair and Gabby and Lucas were covered in big brown giraffe spots and Harry and Jordan’s hair was all frazzled like a lion’s mane.
And now they looked at Emma.
“Oh no,” said Emma. She was the only one not dirty from the animals.
Suddenly all of her cousins grabbed her tight and squeezed her in a big hug and soon she was the messiest little girl in the whole zoo. And she loved it as much as Emma’s family loved her.