One morning over breakfast, before Zak had moved into his new apartment, Willie was reading the Beantown Bugle, the town's newspaper. "Look here, Zak!" he exclaimed. "Another prize calf is missing from Mrs. Parker's farm! And she suspects it was taken by a mountain lion!"
"How many prize calves does that woman own, anyway?" grumbled Zak. This remark surprised Willie, because Zak never had a bad word to say about anyone. "Don't you like Mrs. Parker?" he asked around a mouthful of Cheerios.
Zak looked at Willie. "It's not that I don't like her. Listen, I'm not going to say anything more about this until I've talked to someone first."
"Who?" Willie inquired.
"I'm not going to tell you yet! Now let's quit worrying about this. Want to take Flop and Jonah out to the beach? It'll be our last chance for a while, since you have to start school soon, and I have to start my new job."
The two dogs had become best friends, although Flop was sometimes too energetic for old Jonah. "Let's stop at Grace's house and see if she can come too."
They collected up various leashes and frisbees and set off down the street with the dogs. At Grace's house, Miguel, her brother answered the door.
"Miguel! I didn't know you were home from the Navy!" He gave the young man a hug. "Miguel, meet our new friend, Zak Cooper. He's going to be working at Dad's hardware store."
Zak and Miguel shook hands. Grace came to the door, and it was decided that all four humans would go to the beach with the dogs.