The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt

Free The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

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Authors: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
name right away because we both lived in Sage.
    “Hey, Moxie,” she said, smiling. She turned to the person behind her. “I want you to meet my roommate. Reagan, this is the girl I was telling you about—the one who crewed on the sloop this summer to publicize the plight of the sea cow.”
    Reagan shot into view next to Sage. It was a good thing I’d just gone over the Personality Log. The sloop scenario was nothing if not detail-heavy, and the name “sea cow” had popped into my head so randomly I could never come up with it again without notes.
    “Hey, I’ve been dying to meet you!” she exclaimed.
    She was of medium height and build, with shoulder-length brown hair and large intelligent eyes behind thick glasses. I didn’t get an immediate read on her. Her glasses said brain. Her Bean boots said preppie. Her black T-shirt said possibly prone to brooding.The wide silver cuff bracelet on her wrist said expensive. On her dinner tray she was carrying a small glass bowl containing two little fish. That said . . . eccentric. I couldn’t stop myself from staring at the bowl as the fish swam in lazy little circles.
    “I didn’t want to leave them alone in my room,” Reagan explained when she saw me looking at the fish. “I decided to take them for a walk so they could experience other life forms. They’ve had a very difficult day.”
    “What constitutes a difficult day for your fish?” I asked.
    “They’re not my fish,” Reagan stated.
    “Oh. Okay. I thought you said . . .”
    “The fish and I are together. But they are not my fish.”
    I didn’t say anything, which is often an excellent tactic when you have no idea what someone is talking about.
    “Reagan doesn’t believe that humans should assert ownership over animals,” Sage explained. “She won’t even eat meat.”
    “Oh, of course. No. Me neither. Right! But where’d you get them?” I asked. “I mean, how did they come into your company?”
    “I liberated them from a flea market in town yesterday,” Reagan said. “I spent my last five dollars trying to toss three Ping-Pong balls into one of their bowls to ‘win them,’ as the vendor put it. As far as I’m concerned, they won me. So these fish and I are temporarily hanging together until I can reintroduce them into the wild.”
    “That’s great!” I exclaimed.
    This was kind of along the lines of my old plan to liberate lobsters from fish sellers. As far as I was concerned, Reagan was good people.
    “So I want to hear about your experience on the sloop!” Reagan said eagerly. “What did you do?”
    We had reached the selection of entrees. I bought some time by examining the meatloaf with a serious eye.
    “Well, I was an apprentice. Apprentice to the . . . swabber.”
    “I know beans about sailing, sorry,” Reagan said. “What’s a swabber do?”
    I shook my head, like it was all too technical to get into.
    “Just basic, you know. Swabbing. Everything needs swabbing in the salt air, right?”
    “I could never swab,” Sage said, a little ruefully. “I’d get seasick.”
    “Me neither. But the sea cow . . . I’ve never heard of them. Are they an endangered species?” Reagan asked. She knitted her eyebrows in a worried way.
    Without giving it any real thought, I took a piece of meatloaf and dropped it onto my plate. It made kind of a smacking sound, followed by a resounding silence. I looked up to see Reagan watching me with a confused frown. Had I splattered her with gravy? Taken too large a slice? Was there something wrong with the meatlo . . . Meatloaf. Meat. I was a vegetarian sea cow activist, committing the ultimate sin. Think fast, think fast!
    “The tofu-loaf looks a little weird, doesn’t it?” I asked. It was a shame I wasn’t wearing my “I Love Tofu” T-shirt to lend some helpful weight to my words.
    A look of relief crossed Reagan’s face. “Oh, Moxie, that isn’t tofu-loaf. It’s actually meat,” she said.
    I stared at the plate in

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