The Date With Danny Kress

The Wolves' Den at Como Zoo

Remember that date? You know—the one when you were a teen and had so much fun you'll never forget it?

At eighteen, a cute blond co-worker, Sue Larson, caught Danny Kress' eye. He asked her for a date.

"Wear running shoes," he told her. He didn't think to also tell her to wear dark clothes. She arrived in a bright yellow jacket, complementing her blond ponytail. She also brought three girlfriends.

Danny took his gang to Como Zoo. After hours. There was not much to see, since most of the animals were locked up. They went for the excitement of doing something dangerous.

As they walked along the chain-link fence to the wolves' den, one lone gray timber wolf distracted the group; they didn't notice the two wolves lying against the fence. The wolves yelped and howled at the little group. The girls screamed, turned to run, stumbled into Danny, and pinned him against the fence.

The girls ran until they reached the outer wall. Danny helped the first girl over, but as she was preparing to descend the other side, a police car came cruising by.

The front end of the car tilted forward as it came to a sudden halt.

"Run," Danny yelled.

Everyone scattered.

Danny ran through the zoo to the back and jumped the fence to freedom. Just when he thought he was in the clear, a security car came around the bend. He dove into the bush. Maybe security hadn't seen him.

The car slowly rolled up to where Danny was hiding and stopped. Through a loudspeaker, the guard said, "Danny Kress, come on out."

Busted. The police had caught the girls and they had given him up.

Once Danny was in the car, the guard asked, "Did you do any damage?"

"No."

"Then I won't press charges. I snuck in the zoo after hours to have a look around when I was a kid." The guard grinned, remembering his mischievous teen years.

Danny left his sporting goods job soon after that and never saw Sue again. He liked her and would have asked her out again, but he was afraid he'd blown it. Some years later, through a mutual friend, Danny learned Sue still fondly remembered their date. She really liked him and had so much fun she would have gone out with him again. Unfortunately, her parents were not so understanding.

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