It is hard to know what is true and what is not true.
That is why, The Lodi Press, went straight to the source.
To get to the bottom of a rumor that is circulating the Midwest.
We received an anonymous tip that the king of the Jungle over there in the Harmony Grove area has been quarantined to the lower level of his castle.
And now live from his royal highness' front porch is news reporter, Bridgette Noseyheimer, and Hunter, king of the jungle, keeping a socially responsible safe distance of six feet.
"Your Majesty, we are all concerned. Is it true that you have you contracted the virus?"
"The Corona Virus. We received an anonymous tip that you are currently under quarantine."
"What? That was me who called. I didn't say I was under quarantine. I said that my parents have locked me downstairs."
"They put up a baby gate."
"A baby gate?"
"Yeah. They stuck a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs."
"They were upset because they thought I was stuck on the landing the other day. I was just napping there. Now they won't let me go upstairs anymore."
"But, were you stuck?"
"Well, you know how it is. It's easier to go up then down. Especially when everybody else goes up first. You don't want to be the only guy down there at the bottom. When you got those goosebumps running along your neck you can easily fly up a flight of stairs."
"Well, it is scary down there. I mean with all the creaks and groans that go on. Not to mention the ghost. I may be king of the jungle but I get the creeps like anybody else. So."
"Give me a coyote that is down and out and can't get up and I will taunt him. Give me a turtle that is trying to lay her eggs and I will make that delivery horrifying. Give me a mink and I will bring it home. But a ghost? Creaks and groans? The dark? Not for me."
"Are your parents home?"
"Yeah. Of course they are. They don't go anywhere anymore."
"Perhaps you could get one to come and talk to me?"
"Sure. I guess I could go and dig one up."
"Dig one up?"
"It is just an expression."
Folks, the king of the jungle has gone inside his castle to find a parent.
"Here comes somebody now. Oh my God. Turn the cameras off!"
Hunter's mother, Millie Noe, did not want to be interviewed live on TV, as she did not know we were coming and she is still wearing yesterday's outfit that she said was actually the day before's outfit as well. And she said she doesn't usually comb her hair till after noon these days.
But, she was kind enough to answer a few questions. To clear the air about whether or not the King of the Jungle is under some kind of a quarantine.
"He said what?" she said.
It turns out that his royal highness has had a bit of difficulty navigating the stairs recently and according to Millie, "The idiot got stuck on the landing the other day. He followed his dad up there. This was shortly after I spent twenty minutes trying to coax him to come down for breakfast. There was no reason for him to go back up there. All Sven was going to do was read a book on the couch by the window."
Millie said something to the affect of trying to bribe Hunter with a half a package of hot dogs and he still wouldn't budge from that landing. So when he finally did manage to make his way down while she was off to town stocking up on flip chips, she and her sweet Sven decided it was time for Hunter to move into the guest bedroom and the steps were barricaded.
"So, this has nothing to do with the virus. And his highness is not under a quarantine?"
"No. No quarantine," she said. "As a matter of fact, we have all moved to the lower-level guest bedroom just to keep him from whining."
I asked Millie about the ghost.
"Well, let me put it this way," she said. "I am not going to the bathroom in the middle of the night down there. Not unless Sven is awake."
"So then, there is a ghost?"
"I have learned over the years to deny, deny, deny. No. No ghost. Not here. The more you let a ghost know that you are on to him. The more that ghost is going to be on to you. And frankly, I don't have the time for a ghost," she said. "Well, actually I have the time. But."
"What you are saying then is, there is a ghost."
"No. I just said, no. No ghost."
"Well, let me get this straight. None of you go upstairs in the castle anymore?"
"Oh, sure we go up there. That is where my puzzle is. And my exercise mat. I am going to drag that thing out pretty soon. Pretty soon I say. And that is where I shower. And our clothes are up there. We put a baby gate at the bottom so that Hunter doesn't accidentally wander up. We don't want to have to call the fire department to get him back down the next time."
"And you said that you and Sven are also sleeping in the guest bedroom?"
"Yeah, Tuna is too. We are a tight knit group. And that king of the jungle is afraid of the dark. We couldn't leave him downstairs all by himself."
Well, there you have it folks.
I would like to report that the king of the jungle has not contracted the virus. He is not under quarantine.
"Oh, and by the way," Millie said, "Just for the record, Hunter has not flown up those stairs for a long time. I don't care how fast he thinks he was moving. I could wash my face, brush my teeth and throw on my pajamas in the amount of time it took him to get up to the master bedroom."