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Foghorn Flattery and the Vanishing Rhinos

Foghorn Flattery and the Vanishing Rhinos

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Foghorn Flattery and the Vanishing Rhinos

132 Seiten
1 Stunde
Jul 8, 2014


The Flattery siblings put their heads together to figure out who’s poaching rhinos in a Kenyan wildlife park

Foghorn Flattery may be a twelve-year-old genius, but to his sister C.C., he’s just her know-it-all big brother. Foghorn can be annoying, but when they’re faced with a mystery, he is definitely someone C.C. wants on her side. Their father takes them to Kenya, where he’s doing research for an article about rhinoceros preservation, and the family discovers that a group of poachers is killing rhinos at a wildlife park. What’s worse, it appears that one of the park’s workers may be helping the criminals!

The Flattery siblings are determined to save the park’s two new baby rhinos and catch the bad guys. With Foghorn’s big brain and C.C.’s big heart, these two make a great team. However, protecting the rhinos may put Foghorn and C.C. in more danger than they ever imagined.
Jul 8, 2014

Über den Autor

Barbara Steiner (1934–2014) was an acclaimed author known for her books for children and young adults. Steiner authored over seventy titles, including picture books, early chapter books, mysteries, young adult thrillers, historical novels, and romances. In her lifetime, Steiner visited more than ninety-four countries and all seven continents, and many of her books were inspired by her travels. She lived in Boulder with her family until her death in January 2014.

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Foghorn Flattery and the Vanishing Rhinos - Barbara Steiner



Way to go, C.C.! From the sidelines Foghorn’s hoarse voice blasted across the playground. Now, come on, hurry!

I smiled. There was no mistaking who it was that was celebrating our victory over Mrs. Pinchly’s fifth grade. My brother was living up to his nickname. I waved and made a fist, then turned it into a number one as Foghorn came toward me.

Congratulations on being your usual patient self, Mr. Flattery. Grinning, I teased Foghorn. Actually, he was usually very patient, but today was a special day. I was as excited to get home and find Dad as Foghorn was. Untying the rope from around my waist, I jumped ten times in hot-pepper rhythm.

I sat here and watched your game, didn’t I? Put that rope away and come on! Foghorn started jogging toward the parking lot. It was the most exercise I’d seen him get for weeks. I skipped the rope to keep up.

You sat there and read that book on Egypt. How many batters did I fan? I put Foghorn on the spot.

Twelve. You let two base hits, four foul balls, but two were caught for outs—

Okay, okay. You have an eight-track mind. You read and watched, and—what else did you do?

I learned some basic Egyptian phrases and made a list of the possibilities.

Do you think Dad’s assignment will be Egypt?

All the clues I’ve been able to find in the house this past week leave me with three possibilities: Egypt, Africa, or Brazil—possibly the Amazon. But since our class is studying Egypt, and since I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt—

You’re guessing. I like animals better than dead mummies. I’d rather go to Africa. Besides, the Amazon is scary. It’s still pretty primitive.

But you’d go there, wouldn’t you? Foghorn grinned at me. It was the only time he came close to being cute. Even if he is my own brother, I’d be the first to admit he’s not very good-looking. He keeps his curly red hair short, so dealing with it in the morning won’t take any time away from his reading. He’s getting taller every day, which makes him seem even skinnier than he really is. He’s worn glasses since kindergarten, and his green eyes, which now teased me, look huge behind them.

I guess so. I knew so. I love to travel.

And dead mummies is redundant. They didn’t wrap people up until they were dead.

I didn’t take time to make a smart remark. Our old green station wagon was barreling up the street. I started to run.

You look like a winner, C.C. Dad pulled up beside us just as we reached the school parking lot. Am I right?

They’re the fifth-grade champions. C.C. fanned the last three batters, said Foghorn, opening the door and climbing in beside Dad.

I was in a hurry. We’re going to beat the sixth grade, too. I looked at Foghorn, but got no reaction. He wouldn’t care if we beat his class. He wasn’t on the team. Dad, you’re feeling really pleased. You got your assignment today, didn’t you? I have this great ability to read people’s minds, but anyone would have noticed Dad was bursting with news.

Foghorn closed his book with a snap and sat up straighter. Where are we going?

You kids are getting much too sharp. I can’t keep anything secret from you.

Why do you want to? You said you thought you’d hear from your editor, Mr. Stafford, today. I wiggled, sitting on the edge of my seat so I wouldn’t miss anything Dad said. Almost every time he gets a magazine or newspaper assignment, he takes Foghorn and me with him. In the last few years we’ve been all over the world.

Buckle your seat belt, C.C. Dad pretended to be gruff. I’ll tell you when we get home. Then I can tell Mrs. Briggs at the same time. That’s more efficient, and since I know Foghorn is an efficiency expert, I wouldn’t want him disappointed in me.

Dad, stop being mysterious! It drives me crazy. I leaned back and sighed while we headed toward home. Dad loves teasing me and Foghorn. His green eyes sparkled behind his glasses. Running his hand through his red hair, darker than mine or Foghorn’s, he smiled at me in the mirror and maneuvered the car into the garage.

When we got into the house, Foghorn looked at me with his smug, solved-the-mystery face. Try to be patient, C.C. You know there’s no use begging Dad for information.

I ignored him and ran up the stairs to wash for dinner. Another adventure was on the horizon. I could barely wait fifteen more minutes to hear about it.

Texas! Foghorn roared. He nearly blasted us all away from the dinner table when Dad announced his trip plans. You’re only going to Texas?

I’ll stay home. I looked at my plate. I didn’t want Dad to know how disappointed I was. There’s nothing wrong with Texas, except that I’ve been there several times.

Well, thank the Lord, that’s good news. Lola Briggs, our cook, housekeeper, and surrogate mother, breathed a sigh of relief. You two children should stay here with me every time your father travels. But I can never convince him of that.

Now, Lola, you know I believe that education outside the classroom is just as valuable as going to school every day. Foghorn and C.C. benefit by meeting people from other cultures.

Dad, Foghorn reminded him, Texas isn’t another culture. He looked at me and grinned. Or is it?

Y’all come back now, you hear. I forgot my disappointment and burst out laughing. My statement was the parting remark from the stewardess the last time we’d flown from Dallas.

Dad took a big bite of his spinach lasagna, one of Mrs. Briggs’ special dishes. He watched Foghorn and me and waited. Pretty soon I realized he was teasing us again.

What aren’t you telling us? I asked.

Did I say Texas was the only place we were going?

You let us assume it. Foghorn helped himself to seconds on garlic bread.

"That’s funny. You don’t usually jump to conclusions, Foghorn. I assumed you always thought things through before taking them as fact."

All the facts weren’t on the table.

They still aren’t. Da-a-a-d, come on. I don’t have a lot of patience with Foghorn or my father. Standing, I tugged off my jump rope belt and started to bounce.

C.C.! Mrs. Briggs frowned at me. Stop that. Haven’t I told you not to bring that jump rope to meals?

I have a lot of nervous energy. I repeated what adults have been saying to me since I was three years old. But I sat back down. Mrs. Briggs could think of ways to help me burn off my energy, and I didn’t want extra chores tonight. Tell us the rest of your news, Dad.

Dad grinned. We’re going to a ranch.

That’s better. I took a big bite of lettuce and sprouts covered with Mrs. Briggs’ tangy French dressing. What kind of ranch? I wish we lived on a ranch.

A rhino ranch. Dad put down his fork and waited for our questions to fly.

A rhino ranch? I repeated. Like in rhinoceros?

A black rhino? Foghorn liked to know small details.

Are there all colors? I wanted to jump up and down without my rope, but I didn’t dare. I didn’t care what color the rhinos were. I half-stood by my chair, one knee in the seat, but I continued to eat. Hardly anything keeps me from eating. I’ve only seen gray.

Both black and white rhinos are really dull gray, said Foghorn. The use of color to identify them is inaccurate. Since they like to take dust baths, they are often the color of the ground where they live.

I looked at my dad and grinned. He winked and grinned back. It’s not easy living with a twelve-year-old genius. We both have to put up with Foghorn’s spoutings of knowledge. Dad waited patiently until the rhino lecture was over. I tried, but I had to do a lot of bouncing to be patient. I could feel my hair bouncing with me. It’s thick and curly and usually tangled, so it’s a lot of trouble.

There are five species of rhino left in the world, Foghorn continued, "but the rarest is probably the Javan rhino. Rhinoceros sondaicus. Estimates place its number at sixty-five. The rhino is one of the oldest life forms on earth, and while the modern rhino probably evolved about ten million years ago, their ancestors date from the Eocene Epoch, when horses were the sizes of dogs. About fifty-five million years ago."

Thank you, Professor Flattery, said Dad, smiling.

I didn’t know horses were once the size of dogs. What kind of dogs? I always learned from Foghorn, even if, on occasion, I had to put up with his enormous ego to do so.

Oh, probably a large Doberman. Foghorn moved a small notebook to cover the book on Egypt he’d been carrying. He probably didn’t want me to remember he’d guessed wrong.

Land sakes, Dexter, said Mrs. Briggs. You sure know a lot of things. Mrs. Briggs insisted on calling Foghorn by his real name, Dexter Irwin. If my name was Dexter Irwin, I’d have a nickname, too. Well, I do have a nickname, but Carly Catherine is such a mouthful, it just got shortened.

Maybe I should interview you before I bother doing any research for my article, said Dad. I knew he wasn’t entirely joking this time. Foghorn does nothing but read all day long, and he remembers everything he reads.

"When your editor asks for documentation of your information,

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