After visiting Louis at the Philadelphia Zoo, Sam realizes he was destined to work in a zoo some day. Sam discusses Louis and Serena’s perdictament with the Head Birdman in Charge, who agrees to not clip Serena’s wings in return for Louis giving him a cygnet. The Head Birdman in Charge asks Sam how much money Louis has in his money pouch, and he says that Louis has $4,691.75. Louis plans to give all of the money to the music storeowner for the trumpet and damages. Louis has more money than he needs to pay the storeowner, but considering that he has no use for money anymore, he’s giving it ALL to the storeowner.
Louis and Serena leave for Red Rock Lakes to fly back to Louis’ family. His family congratulates the happy couple, and Louis surrenders the money pouch to his father with a note to the storeowner inside. Louis’ mother tells his father to be careful, since the storeowner will likely think that he’s going to crash through his window again. Sure enough, the storeowner sees the Cob coming and shoots him in the shoulder. Once the Cob falls to the ground, the storeowner sees the money pouch and note. A policeman starts trying to clear the crowd from the scene. A game warden suddenly appears and tells the storeowner that he’s under arrest because trumpeter swans are protected by the law. That’s when HE notices the money pouch. The storeowner, policeman, and game warden start arguing about who is going to keep the money and who is under arrest. A judge walks up and decides to hear the case. He decides that the money belongs to the storeowner, the Cob should be in the custody of the game warden, and that the storeowner should NOT be under arrest because he acted instinctively based on what the Cob had done to his store last time. After a short recovery period in the hospital, the Cob returns home to his family.
Louis and Serena return to the lake in Canada where they first met. Louis is relieved to be free of the burden of the money pouch. Louis and Serena soon began hatching cygnets, and throughout the years Louis would take his family to see all of his old friends—the campers at Camp Kookooskoos, the boat man in Boston, the Head Birdman in Charge in Philadelphia. True to his word, he occasionally gives a cygnet to the Philadelphia Zoo.
Years later, Sam Beaver and his father were at the lake in Canada. After dinner they heard what sounded like a trumpet. Sam’s father wondered if it might have been Louis, which made Sam chuckle because he had never told his father about seeing the Cob, the swan, and Baby Louis that one day long ago. Louis, Serena, Sam, and Sam’s father all go to sleep that night, content with the wonderful lives ahead of them.
- Why do you think Louis turned al of his money into the store owner event though it’s more than what he needed to cover the damage to the music store?
- Possible answers: He had no need for money after repaying his debts. He wanted to be free from the burden of carrying it around. He was content with what he had, and he didn’t need money to buy more.
- What are the benefits of having more money and possessions than you need? What are negatives of having more money and possessions that you need?
- Possible answers: Benefits include never wanting for anything, having enough money to survive, living comfortably, ect. Negatives include always wanting more & not being content with what you have (i.e. nothing is ever “good enough,” there is always something better), and not appreciating what others with less money are going through.
- What is your favorite animal at the Zoo and why?
- When Sam left Philadelphia, Louis and Serena went with him to the airport to say goodbye. The pilots on the runway “raised a terrible fuss.” Can you think of a reason why?
- Possible Answers: Bird strikes, when a bird hits a plane while it’s in flight, can be very dangerous. Usually bird strikes cause only minor damage, but they CAN cause major engine damage. Louis and Serena were both big bird, and big birds are more likely to cause more extensive damage.
- When the Cob returned the money to the music store, the storeowner, the police officer, and the game warden got in a fight over who should keep the money. Who do YOU think should have gotten the money?
- What did you think of the book? What was your favorite part? Your least favorite part?
- Who was your favorite character? Why?
- Was there any character you didn’t like? Why?