Zora Zooms from Planet Zot
by Teresa DiNicola
“Shhh. You’ll wake your baby brother,” Mumby whispered, rocking Nog in his hover-crib.
“It’s always ‘Nog this’ or ‘Nog that.’” Zora’s heart sank. “I wanted a brother, but now that he’s here, he takes up all your time.”
Nog woke up and started crying. Mumby frowned.
Zora bolted out the door and glided to the docking bay in the spaceship yard. “I’ll show them,” she said. “I’ll zoom away from planet Zot forever in my mini-rocket pod.” Silver tears slid down her cheeks like shooting stars. “Mumby probably won’t even notice I’m gone.”
Zora strapped herself into the rocket and put on her space helmet. She flipped the control switches and prepared for takeoff. “Three…two…one…lift off!” she shouted.
WHOOOSHHH! The rocket warped into space. Meteors whizzed past as Zora peered out the sneakapeek screen. She saw Zot and the only life she knew slowly fading away.
One of Zora’s bellies rumbled. Since I’m zooming away forever, I should have packed a snack, she thought. Bet Mumby’s making yummy barbecued spiders with the food replicator right now.
Straight ahead, Zora saw Zot’s first moon. She remembered the last time there was a full moon. She and Mumby glided up the docking bay rooftop and had a picnic under the light of this moon. Now, she felt very much alone.
Move it!” Zora hollered at the cluster of crimson-colored clouds floating across the violet stratosphere. Crimson like Mumby’s skin, she thought. Violet like Nog’s third eye.
Then Zora remembered. Baby zotlings need to have their tentacles stretched every night until they’re strong enough to glide on their own. Who would help Mumby stretch Nog?
Zora made a decision. VROOM. She turned the pod around to race back home. OOPS! She yanked the throttle too fast, and the docking coordinate panel blew a circuit. With a boom and a zoom, the rocket shook, rattled and rolled! Lights blinked! Computers beeped!
The robotic voice over the computron warned, “Danger. Emergency landing on Zot indicated. Activate autopilot. Stat.”
Zora’s heart thumped wildly in her antenna as Zot grew bigger and bigger at an alarming speed. She pressed the autopilot button. The rocket pod touched down gently and skidded to a stop in the docking bay. The pod’s hatch lifted. The first thing she saw was Mumby waiting with Nog in his hover-stroller.
“Thank heavens you’re okay. Don’t EVER take off without permission again,” Mumby scolded, hugging Zora.
“Sorry I got mad and zoomed off,” Zora’s face looked like a deflated balloon.
“We’ll talk about it tomorrow, my little zotling. But tonight, I have a surprise.”
The moon was shining full and bright as they glided up the docking bay rooftop. Zora grinned at Mumby’s surprise.
After munching down a picnic of yummy barbecued spiders, they stretched out Nog’s tentacles. Later, Zora fell asleep on Mumby’s lap and nestled up next to baby Nog in the soft glow of the moonlight, feeling anything but alone.
1. Why was Zora upset?
2. How did she feel as she had her picnic under the moon?
3. How many eyes does Nog have?
4. After Zora got home, what did she eat with Mumby?