On October tenth, the golden season, Winslow's Park Carnival began.
Li Du and Sophie stayed for the carnival while Godzilla, Hans, and the others went back to Flagstaff.
As the sports equipment and goods were signed by the famous sports stars, they were extremely valuable. Out of careful consideration, Li Du wanted them to bring their precious finds back home first.
Hans had originally wanted to stay for the carnival, but an official from Homeland Security called him, saying that he had arrived in Flagstaff to check the eight sets of individual combat equipment for the Marines. He had to go back to Flagstaff to handle this.
Although the couple arrived early at the parking lot, there were hardly any parking spaces left.
Sophie seemed a little worried and looked kind of moody when she got out of the Hellcat.
Li Du was baffled. "What's wrong?"
Sophie's eyebrows creased. She contemplated for a moment before finally saying, "The sets of Marine equipment you've gotwill it be fine? I'm worried there might be trouble with Homeland Security."
"Don't worry," Li Du laughed. "Even if there are some problems, at most they'll just take back the equipment. They can't find fault with us. In fact, we did well by finding the equipment for them."
As Li said those words with confidence, Sophie gradually became more positive about the situation.
"I'll give my parents a call first," Li Du said. "Wait a while for me. Relax, don't worry about anything. Just have some fun with Ah Ow and Ah Meow."
It was golden October. Back at home was also the autumn harvest, and it was common to work until midnight during this period.
Li Du calculated the time difference. It was around 11 pmhe needed to get his parents to go to bed earlier.
The phone call went through and his parents were indeed still wide awakethey were helping their relatives with the harvesting.
Li Du urged them to rest but his parents were insistent on finishing their work for the day. Li told them that he now had a girlfriend. The two humble folks were so thrilled by the news of a possible daughter-in-law that they listened to their son about going to bed earlier.
Sophie had started to learn Mandarin seriously. But she had only just started and could not understand conversational Mandarin; not to mention Li Du was using a Chinese dialect to talk to his parents.
After hanging up the phone, they went in using the main entrance.
On both sides of the entrance stood several popcorn machines, and the air was filled so strongly with the sweet scent that it made Li Du feel slightly nauseous.
However, Americans loved this stuff. Some people called the American entertainment culture "popcorn culture" because the snack could be seen in any recreational activity or event.
Li Du bought a bucket of popcorn for Sophie. She chose a sugar-free rainbow flavor. Canines could not eat much sugar and chocolate was off limits to them. So, in order to take care of Ah Ow, they chose a healthier version of popcorn.
Ah Ow had grown up fast; she was growing in size every day. Sophie had some difficulty holding her for long.
Ah Ow, Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles followed behind Sophie. Whenever Sophie ate a piece of popcorn, she would also throw some popcorn for the little ones behind her. The three of them would scramble and grab the popcorn, obviously enjoying themselves.
The park allowed pets to enter. As the purpose of the carnival was to let everyone have a good time and enjoy themselves, they would not reject pets as animals could create a dynamic and lively atmosphere.
Nevertheless, there weren't many people who brought pets to the park. When people saw an ocelot, a wolf pup and a raccoon in the park, Li Du, Sophie and the pets attracted a lot of eyeballs.
The song "Take It Easy" played in the park as well. It was not playing from a device, but from a band. A few different bands at the carnival performed the song with various styles of music.
Sophie was a music person. She was able to tell Li Du the band's style when she listened to their performance:
"This is country music.
"This is jazz mixed with hip-hop. The rhythm is really cool . . ."
Li Du had originally felt that song was nice to listen to, but he had heard it so many times that he was sick of it and was not interested.
On the other hand, Sophie was excited and enjoyed the song a lot. Li reluctantly continued listening since she was enjoying herself.
Sophie was a sensitive girl and noticed his change in mood; she thoughtfully took his hand and strolled toward the park.
Li Du said, "You don't want to continue listening anymore?"
She imitated his listless expression and dragged her words. "Whoo's the one whoo doesn't want to listen? Haha."
Li Du was amused by her and laughed. "I did think that it was boring. I heard it too many times. But I can continue to stay and listen. I didn't expect you to like that song."
"No, I heard it many times as well," explained Sophie. "I was just intrigued by the many types of styles that they're using to sing it. It felt fresh to me."
To Sophie, every time they sang the song in another style it gave her a new sensation. It was like a whole new world. Li Du, who was tone-deaf and not an artistic person, was unable to experience these feelings.
But, oh well, he didn't need to feel boredthere were a lot of things to do.
The three little ones surrounded Sophie for popcorn. A few energetic young children around five to six years old saw the pets. It was no doubt the three adorable pets were irresistible to young children. They brought snacks with them and ran over.
Popcorn, grilled sausages, cotton candy, fruit salad, French fries, chipsall these snacks were full of temptation to the pets as well.
Ah Ow and Crispy Noodles were gluttons. When they saw there was food offered to them by others, they immediately went over to the children.
Ah Meow had a different attitude toward this. He looked at the young children disdainfully and stayed by Sophie with his head up in the air.
That was actually the ocelot's nature. They were unruly, independent, and couldn't be tamed by food.
Ah Ow and Crispy Noodles couldn't care less about that. They had a shy expression while eating the food the children offered.
These young children were friendly. They giggled while they fed the two pets. Occasionally, they would also eat the snacks themselves, as if they were sharing the food together with their furry friends; it was a pleasant sight to watch.
Li Du was, however, very happy with Ah Meow's character. "Ah Meow is proud and will only eat what the owner gives to him. This is a great quality of the ocelot."
"In fact, ocelots like to hunt their own food," Sophie said casually. "They don't really like to be fed by their owners either. It's just their pride."
Ah Meow seemed to understand what Sophie said. Maybe it was just that he couldn't stand the temptation of all the food around him. But after watching his little brother and sister enjoy all the good food, he felt very dissatisfied, so he took a stroll.
A child stretched out a hand to Ah Meow. On the small palm was a small piece of fried fish. "Meow, meow," said the young child. "Eat fish."
Ah Meow gave the child a sideways glance. What do you mean, little rascal? The Great Ah Meow is fully capable of hunting for food. I'm not eating your food, okay?
But Ah Meow really wanted to eat the fried fishwhat should he do?
Ah Meow walked to the child's side and jumped. With a wave of his paw, he grabbed a piece of fried fish from the paper box that the child held.
And when he landed on the ground, Ah Meow already had the fried fish inside his mouth and made a perfect landing. As if nothing had ever happened, Ah Meow continued his catwalk, with his head held high, his tail swaying, and leisurely strolled away.
That sight was caught by several onlookers, who were left with their mouths wide open. Someone gasped in exclamation, "Gosh, this kitty's really smart!"
Some children held sweet-smelling chocolate flavored popcorn. Ah Meow made another jump, grabbed some popcorn with his mouth, and made another perfect landing.
And so Ah Meow snatched food he liked as he strolled around; he was now very satisfied with himself!
Li Du looked at Sophie and said, "You're right, ocelots like to hunt their own food. Just like Ah Meow, right?"
Sophie facepalmed. "Where did Ah Meow learn this bad habit? This is hunting? No, this is plundering!"