A little while later the alien was unplugged from the Professor’s apparatus and left to wander the house with Lady Jenny and Miss Maddie as guards or escorts or hosts.
Roberta and the Professor joined Terrance, Schlepp, Louie and Lightfeather.
“You wear shoes?” Roberta asked Lightfeather.
“No,” replied Lightfeather. “Why do you ask?”
“Unser neue friend says that there is Unobtainium in hummingbirds.
“What does that have to do with shoes?” queried Louie.
“All he say is ‘insoles’,” answered Roberta. “What it mean?”
“Shoe inserts?!” enjoined Schlepp. “Maybe you misunderstood.”
“He say ‘insoles’,” insisted Roberta.
Schlepp continued to mutter to himself, “Insoles? Ensoles? In soles? An soales? …”
“Der must be Unobtainium inside hummingbirds, aber where?” asked Herr Professor.
“… Shoe soles? Sole proprietorship? Metatarsal support? Sole ownership? Baked sole? …”
At that moment Frannie Annie, the biggest and whitest and quietest rabbit in the Bears’ Home Front Brigade, spoke up from her spot on the highest shelf. “You seem to have some kind of riddle down there,” Fran observed innocently.
“… Stuffed sole? Society of Logistics Engineers? Orthodics? …”
“Wir mussen, we must learn where the Unobtainium is inside of hummingbirds. Der alien sagt, says that it is ‘Insoles’, but we don’t understand.”
“… Insolation? Insolia? Doug Insole? Insolence? …” continued Schlepp.
“Oh,” exclaimed Fran, “That’s easy--in their souls.”
“Inso…” Schlepp froze in mid-syllable. Fran was exactly right. The Unobtainium was in the hummingbirds’ tiny but brave souls.
Not a sound could be heard. Terrance, Louie, Roberta, Newport, Lightfeather, and Schlepp were transfixed with the simple correctness of the idea.
“How you know?” asked Roberta when she was able to engage her lips to speak.
“When I was a young rabbit at the Baba Center in Myrtle Beach, we meditated often about Meher Baba and how to understand without speaking. You know he went for 44 years without uttering a sound. We learned to hear the inner meanings of things.”