Reuben had decided to go for a walk after work. So, once he'd closed up shop at tha Earl of Sandwich he prepared for himself a reuben (yes, he really was named after a sandwich) and went for a walk around the lake. He wore a jacket and a scarf as it was a little cold outside. Oh, how he missed tha tropical climate of Hawaii. Or even one of the armada's space ships with its fully functional heatin' system. If only he could find a way to escape this bizarre resort slash prison. Reuben continued his stroll, pausin' at a quiet, empty part of tha park. He sat down and was about to eat his sandwich when he heard a noise from off ta his left. "Hello?" He called out to whoever it was that was also up at this time of night.
Feeling hungry Janja was in search for his next meal. Ever since he landed in the parks all alone without his clan he had been struggling more than ever before to catch his food. Hunting had admittedly quadrupled in difficulty since it was only him doing all of the hunting without any kind of help. He only had himself to rely on in these uncertain times; which was why he was considering recruiting fellow predators to form a new clan, so he'd have not only have some help with hunting, but some company as well. He really hated to admit it, but he was feeling pretty lonely especially when he slept. Back home in the Outlands he always had someone to hang out with, but not anymore, not out here in the middle of who knows where. Luckily, whenever he failed to catch something; which sadly was most of the time, he usually was able to find something to eat; usually in trash cans and dumpsters. The hyena didn't want to brag, but lately he had been getting pretty good at scrounging for food. It wasn't so hard to do. One only needed to know where to look. The humans tended to throw out some pretty good stuff too.
But tonight, the hyena was after more...livelier prey. Yes, he was in the mood to try it again. For the past few minutes, Janja had been stalking an oryx. He had no idea how it ended up in the middle of this human place, but he wasn't about to complain. Rather he was only all too grateful for its timely presence. Now if only he could catch it. Keeping his body low to the ground and making as little noise as possible the hyena closed in on his prey using stealth tactics. Unfortunately for Janja just before he could pounce, the oryx having sensed him somehow took off running at full speed. Not wanting to give up so easily, Janja took off after it running as fast as he could after the evasive creature. Throughout the chase, Janja would try biting at the oryx's back legs at every opportunity in typical predator fashion. Few knew it, but predators always aimed for the prey's back legs to prevent them from running away.
Unfortunately, Janja was so hyperfocused on catching his prey that he failed to pay attention to his surroundings. But they were running through a human street filled with human dwellings and various shops. Closing in on the oryx and thinking this was it; his big chance, Janja leaped through the air only to run smack into something else entirely (625) knocking them both to the ground in the process. Dazed and confused, Janja glanced up in time to see his dinner escaping. Janja mentally cursed. He couldn't believe it! He was so close that time and yet his prey still managed to slip through his paws.
Groaning in pain, Janja climbed back to his feet. Shaking himself off he glanced down to see what he had run into. To both his surprise and satisfaction he saw what had to be the weirdest looking meerkat he had ever seen in his life! Fate it seemed had so generously given him a second chance in the form of...new prey. True it was no oryx, but pickers couldn't be choosers. Licking his lips, the hyena began to drool. Some of his drool might have even ended up landing on the strange creature before him. "Evening...dinner! Now then don't even think about running away from me because I did not just go through all of that trouble of chasing that oryx here only to lose it because of you getting in my way! No, no, no there is absolutely no way I am about to go home with an empty stomach! So while you are no oryx you'll do nicely," Janja threatened while continuing to drool. Wanting to prevent the 'meerkat' from escaping, Janja held him down with his paw.
For a fat, lazy experiment, Reuben had fast reflexes. He managed to clutch tha sandwich close ta his chest just in time for somethin' ta slam into him, knocking him to the ground. As he got back to his feet he could hear a groan of pain nearby. Reuben checked to make sure the sandwich was still in good condition and saw to his relief that he'd been successful in protecting the precious food item. Then he felt something sticky land on his head. He swiped some off and examined his fingers. Drool. He glanced up...slowly. "Uh...hi." He replied.
Tha creature standing before him (and drooling on him) turned out to be a hyena. A very, very, hungry hyena. Suddenly he felt its paw slam down on his chest, pinning him to tha ground. Despite, ironically, having enough strength ta defeat the hyena ten times over, Reuben was incredibly cowardly and couldn't stand fighting.
"AAAH!" He yelled, holding his hands up over his head and revealing tha reuben sandwich.
Licking his lips, Janja laughed as the funny looking meerkat told him, 'hi.' As though attempting small talk would be enough to protect him from the starving hyena's ravenous appetite. Yeah, no, sorry it wasn't. After all, Janja had zero interest in conversing with his food. Honestly, just what did this weird meerkat think he was anyway? A lion? Pah! Lions were known for playing with their food just before eating it and he was no lion! He never played with his food except admittedly a couple of times back when he was still a little cub and therefore didn't know any better only for his mother to scold him for it. Wistfully he sighed. Even though his mother had been gone for awhile now he still missed her. Sadly though he couldn't afford any distractions right now! He had to remain focused lest his meal might escape...again! "Hold still and I promise to make this as quick and painless as possible," he reassured the strange meerkat underneath his large paw as he opened up his mouth wide to take the first lethal bite. Hey, just because he didn't want to play with his food first didn't mean he didn't at least have the decency of mind to let his prey know that he will eat him quickly. However, before he clamped down something else caught his eye and nose. It was a strange looking thing that smelled equally delicious to the meerkat that the meerkat was holding up above his head. From the hyena's standpoint the scene was both comical and all kinds of sad. The small creature at his mercy seemed to think that this tiny, good smelling thing in his tiny hands would be more than enough to shield him again from the gluttonous hyena's appetite. 'Yeah right!' Janja sneered to himself clearly amused by this whole thing. 'Keep dreaming, meerkat!'
Still, the hyena wanted in on the supposed joke since well as a hyena he just couldn't stand not understanding a good joke even if it did come from his food! "Tell me something...meerkat, before I eat you alive what is that thing you are holding above your head? Do you really think that small, harmless thing is enough to save you from me? Well, I got news for you buddy, it's not! And to prove it, I'll eat it first and then you," Janja going against his better judgment informed his prey laughing.
Opening his mouth wide again he grabbed the small thing right out of the odd creature's hands swallowing it whole! After gulping it down the hyena's eyes grew wide. He couldn't quite place his paw on it, but that thing had to have been one of the most delicious things he has ever tasted! He just couldn't understand it! How could something so small taste so good? It tasted almost as good as zebra yet was so compact! His hyena mind was literally blown away! Just where has this thing been hiding all of his life?
Glancing down at the strange, pathetic trembling creature before him the hyena prepared to make a little deal with him. One that his prey would be a fool to refuse! "What...what do you call that thing of yours I just ate? And also because you are lucky enough to have caught me in such a good mood I am...willing to make a little deal with you! If you promise to tell me more about that thing I just ate and show me where I can find more I'll...spare you." Grinning widely his sharp hyena teeth glistened against the moonlight. "So meerkat, do we have a deal?"
To his horror, the hyena devoured his sandwich in one gulp. But Reuben didn't have enough time to lament never getting to eat it. The hyena had clearly realized just how perfect sandwiches were. He even offered Reuben a deal. The hyena would spare his life if Reuben would make more...well...reubens.
"A...reuben" He stuttered, still terrifed of being eaten. "Yes...yes!" He replied, eager not to become hyena chow. "It's back...back this way" He immediately made his way towards the sandwich shop. It was the fastest the experiment had probably walked in his lifetime. He was glad he had the key to the shop. Very...very glad. He unlocked the store, made his way inside, and immediately started work on another reuben.
Upon seeing just how terrified his strange prey was of him, Janja just threw his head back and laughed. 'Finally, I'm getting the respect I so richly deserve,' the hyena thought arrogantly to himself. In all honesty, he was getting just the tiniest bit worried that his changing sides had also made him soft. But much to the carnivore's relief he saw that just wasn't the case. He still had his tough guy attitude, so that was good at least. Yeah, the hyena didn't really see how this could potentially be a problem in his quest to make allies. After all bullies generally aren't very popular for a reason, a fact that the hyena leader will hopefully learn sooner than later.
The funny looking meerkat then answered his question regarding the small morsel he just swallowed whole. He called it a reuben whatever that was. Janja intrigued and wanting to learn even more cocked his head to the side. "Oh? What does reuben mean? I mean why do you call it that? Also for that matter what are you? Are you even a meerkat because you don't really look like one. I mean you do kind of, but not really. And I should know, there's lots of meerkats where I am from," Janja asked halfways forgetting that for his plan to work maybe he shouldn't sound so friendly.
A satisfied grin spread across his face as his prey agreed to his deal. "Oh good. I am so glad you are being reasonable. After all there is no reason for you to die," the hyena assured him snickering as he lifted his large paw off the weird animal. "Just remember no funny business or else," he threatened as he picked up a nearby stick and snapped it in half with his sharp teeth. He eyed the weird animal who no doubt would be trembling all over. "Got it?" he growled.
The hyena then followed the strange creature to the place that supposedly had even more reubens. The outlander was no fool though, so he kept a close eye out for any signs of deception and betrayal. He and his clan almost lost their lives once that way after Janja admittedly put way too much trust in Scar. He swore he would never allow it to happen again. In fact, the experience very nearly ruined his ability to trust anyone ever again.
The place the strange creature led him to looked a lot like one of the human dwellings; which Janja didn't like one bit. It made him nervous. Still he did not want to show any weakness nor his fear to his prey, so he tried his best to act unbothered.
Taking a deep breath, Janja followed his prey inside. Truthfully, he was not sure what he was expecting to find inside other then these reubens his strange prey promised him. But he didn't see much inside other than a bunch of strange looking logs (tables and chairs) stacked ontop of one another. Still, he kept a close eye out for trouble. The hyena didn't like being inside any human dwelling for any longer than he had to.
His nose was soon hit by a delicious smell and he followed it to the kitchen where the strange creature had went. To his surprise he saw it was this same strange little creature who was responsible for the reuben's creation. "So you make these things? Interesting... Mind if I watch? I'm curious to see how it's done. I want to know how something so small could taste so good," Janja asked his prey in more of an inquisitive tone than a threatening one.
The hyena found his torment amusin'. Reuben could tell from tha creature's distinct laugh. Though when he was asked what a reuben was Reuben calmed down a little as he was now back in familar territory.
"A reuben's a kinda sandwich." He replied enthusiastically. "There's a whole controversy about who it's named after but at the very least the guy's name was Reuben." It was weird. The hyena was askin' questions a him when only of moment earlier he was about to be it's dinner.
"No, I'm not a meerkat, I'm an experiment. There's lots of experiments from where I'm from." He said in reply when the hyena asked him what he was.
Much to his relief the hyena had finally removed its paw from his chest. And then it threatened violence if Reuben tried anything funny. Exhibit a: the stick he snapped in half with his teeth.
"G...Got it..." Reuben replied, eager to please the ferocious hyena.
It was unnerving to have tha animal so close to him, practically breathin' down his neck, even though all it wanted to do was watch him make the reuben. "Sure" he said, because he couldn't exactly refuse tha hyena's demands.
First he buttered two slices of bread and placed them into a skillet buttered sides down. Then he spread sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on the slices of bread, and placed a slice of Swiss over each bread slice. Next he placed the corned beef on one side, pressed the two sides together, and grilled the sandwich until the bread on both sides was crispy and brown. Then he turned off the stove, placed the sandwich on a plate, and served it to the ravenous hyena. "I hope you enjoy it." He said. He hoped it was to the animal's liking. Mostly because if it wasn't the hyena would wanna eat him instead.
Janja listened as the small yellow creature explained to him that a reuben was a kind of sandwich whatever a sandwich even was. And apparently Reuben was the creator's name. 'Hm...interesting. Made sense,' he supposed. The little creature then went on to tell him that he wasn't actually a meerkat, but instead something called an experiment and that there were apparently a lot of them. Of course the hyena had no idea what an experiment was, so he just narrowed his eyes at the creature in confusion. Just what kind of animal was an experiment anyway? He raised a curious, confused brow at the strange yellow creature cowering before him. "Experiment? What...just what kind of animal are you anyway? I've never heard of an experiment before. Hm, are you by chance part of the mongoose or weasel family?" he inquired revealing his confusion.
When it appeared that his fear tactics were working the hyena smirked looking pretty pleased with himself. "Good," he told the experiment as he reluctantly followed his prey inside the human establishment. After finding the small creature in the back of the establishment, Janja after receiving permission the hyena sat down nearby to watch the sandwich guru at work. Honestly, even if the creature hadn't given him the permission the hyena would still have found a way to watch the experiment make sandwiches most likely by threatening him some more and reminding him who was in charge. The hyena thought himself really good at that; the whole scare tactics and threatening creatures weaker than himself type of thing.
He continued to watch with curiosity as the experiment prepared the reuben. His keen nose twitched at the delicious smelling aroma that now began to fill the room. This caused the hyena to drool in anticipation. "Mmm...that smells really good," he told the pint sized chef with a crazed laugh. "Can't wait until it's done," he added wagging his tail. When the timer went off on the stove Janja instinctively jumped and looked suspiciously around them. "What...what was that? Is...is somebody else in here with us? Who is it? Answer me or else..." he growled showing his teeth, clearly paranoid. His eyes began to twitch as he waited impatiently for the yellow creature to answer him.
The hyena only started to relax some when he saw that they were indeed alone in there and that the sudden loud sound instead came from the thing (stove) that the experiment was now messing with. As a feral animal, Janja had no idea what any of these strange human devices were much less what they were even used for; which only made him overly paranoid and suspicious of everything! Ears flattened in agitation, Janja watched as the nervous experiment set his food on some human thing; which he really could have cared less about since as a feral he would have only too happily have eaten the sandwich right off the floor.
Still he was only too happy that the meal was at last complete and the starving hyena dug right in. Like before the reuben was really tasty. Janja decided this sandwich was simply too good to simply devour all at once, so he slowed down some to better savor every bite. "Mmm...it is really good," he informed the not meerkat. "How'd you learn to make this...reuben anyway? By the way, what exactly was your name? You never actually said," he asked in between bites. Of course he knew only all too well why the experiment had yet to reveal his name. It was much of the same reason he himself didn't give his own name. But the hyena decided he would now since the experiment's food was simply too good. "You can call me Janja, co-ruler of the Outlands" he introduced with pride as he finished eating the reuben. Feeling homesick for his home and for his clan he flattened his ears again. "Or at least I used to be until I ended up in this dump, so far from my home," he informed Reuben with a wistful sigh.
Sadly as tasty as they were; two reubens simply was not enough to satisfy his ravenous hunger. Licking the plate of all remaining crumbs he frowned. "Hm, I really hate to be a pest, but would you mind terribly making another? I think two more should do it," he thoughtfully mused giving himself a stretch. Oh who was he kidding? He totally meant to be a pest! Plus he was still hungry!
He expected that kinda reaction when he told tha hyena he was an experiment. They were obviously from different worlds so he expected tha animal wouldn't be in tha know.
"Experiment? What...just what kind of animal are you anyway? I've never heard of an experiment before. Hm, are you by chance part of the mongoose or weasel family?"
"Neither, I'm part of a whole knew kinda family." He replied. It was a true statement.
It stressed him out havin' tha hyena watch him prepare tha food, but what could he do?
When the timer went off on the stove Janja instinctively jumped and looked suspiciously around them. "What...what was that? Is...is somebody else in here with us? Who is it? Answer me or else..."
"It's...it's justa timer." Reuben replied, pointing to the stove. "It makes a noise when somethin's ready." He wanted ta pacify the hyena as best he could, and tha creature had clearly been agitated by the beeping.
"How'd you learn to make this...reuben anyway? By the way, what exactly was your name? You never actually said,"
"I got it from a book." He replied, then went on to explain. "It's an object that records information."
"You can call me Janja, co-ruler of the Outlands"
The hyena introduced himself, which was a good sign. The hyena seemed to expect he might one day use it, meanin' he wasn't gonna be eaten now. Once the hyena had introduced himself, Reuben knew he ought ta do the same. "My name is also Reuben." He replied.
"Or at least I used to be until I ended up in this dump, so far from my home"
Yeah, he could sympathize with that feelin'.
"Hm, I really hate to be a pest, but would you mind terribly making another? I think two more should do it," he thoughtfully mused giving himself a stretch. Oh who was he kidding? He totally meant to be a pest! Plus he was still hungry!
Reuben smiled. Janja inevitably loved the sandwiches. And he was askin' for more, actin' like a ravenous customer rather than a ravenous hyena. He could relax a little now that the hyena wans't actin' like it was about ta eat him. "Sure! Just give me a couple minutes." He replied, before he headed back to the kitchen, prepared two more reuben sandwiches, and returned, setting ta plate in front of Janja.
Janja snorted. "Yeah? And what's that supposed to mean?" he rudely sneered with an amused chuckle.
When the yellow explained that the loud beeping sound that went off was only the result of the stove's timer going off Janja's face turned a bright red. Clearly he was embarrassed by his own paranoid, jumpy behavior. 'Oh if only I had a better understanding of this place and of its many human devices then maybe I could avoid making silly mistakes like this one in the future and then maybe just maybe I wouldn't make such a fool out of myself! I feel like such a furbrain! But then again even they seemed oblivious of their own stupidity, so maybe I don't feel quite like them. But close enough to realize that I need to swallow my pride and learn all I can about the world of man, so I can have an easier time navigating my way around this place,' Janja informed himself.
Feeling embarrassed by his mistake, Janja turned to the experiment wearing a guilty expression on his face. "Oh sorry for being so jumpy! Guess I'm still not quite used to living amongst the humans! I um don't really know what any of this stuff does much less what it even is. We didn't exactly have all this human junk in the wilds of Africa," Janja apologized. "Tell me something, are all human devices as noisy as this one?" he asked turning to the stove and giving it a quick sniff. The only thing he could smell was the smell of freshly cooked reuben still lingering in the air causing the ravenous hyena to drool. He licked his lips in anticipation at the incoming meal and wagged his tail.
Janja's interest in books was certainly piqued when the small creature explained he learned how to make sandwiches from a cookbook. He smiled and nodded at the experiment. "Oh. yeah that's...that's great! Back home there's this crazy monkey that paints...certain events on the walls of caves. Guess that's our version of books or the closest thing to it anyway," the hyena informed the strange creature with a shrug.
Janja couldn't help, but laugh when the experiment introduced himself as Reuben. "Ah Reuben! I really should have realized. Your name so suits you!"
The hyena smiled when Reuben agreed to make more sandwiches. "Thanks!" he said as he sat down to wait for more food. This time Janja didn't jump at the timer going off since the hyena reminded himself it was only the strange human device making the loud noise revealing he was a bit of a fast learner. He dug right into his meal after Reuben finished making it and brought it out to him. "I don't believe it!" he excitedly exclaimed in between bites. "These are just great! even better than the last one. But how...How is that even possible?" he questioned. "I know you mentioned...books, but I can't help feeling it's more than that," Janja astutely guessed. "Either way, you are really good at making these things; reubens you call them," he complimented as he continued to eat Reuben's delicious reubens.
As he ate his mind suddenly returned to books of all things! "Books? Say now that we've been properly introducted, would you mind terribly telling me some more about these...books? They're a human thing, I take it? Well no matter. Do you um happen to have one of these books with you that I can take a quick peek at?" he asked the talented sandwich chef out of curiosity as he finished up the sandwiches. Once done he licked the plate clean of all the crumbs. He then proceeded to lick his front paws in an almost feline like way.
"We were created, not born." He replied. It amused him that tha loud beeping noise cause tha hyena's face ta go bright red. Huh. He'd never seen a blushin' hyena before. That was certainly new. But he maintained a poker face. He didn't want ta give tha hyena a reason ta eat him. To his surprise, the hyena's face suddenly took on a guilty expression and he apologized for not understandin' tha human's devices. That was also new. Reuben was secretly glad tha hyena was feelin' guilty. It meant he wouldn't have enough room ta feel hungry or angry instead.
"Tell me something, are all human devices as noisy as this one?"
"No, not all of them. The beepin' just happens ta be useful ta tell me when whatever I'm cookin' is ready ta eat."
"Oh. yeah that's...that's great! Back home there's this crazy monkey that paints...certain events on the walls of caves. Guess that's our version of books or the closest thing to it anyway"
"What's tha monkey's name?" He asked. He wanted ta keep tha hyena in a conversational mood.
Janja couldn't help, but laugh when the experiment introduced himself as Reuben. "Ah Reuben! I really should have realized. Your name so suits you!"
Yeah, tha laugh was inevitable. "Yeah, that's what tha girl who named me thought." He replied.
"No problem." He said.
"Books? Say now that we've been properly introducted, would you mind terribly telling me some more about these...books? They're a human thing, I take it? Well no matter. Do you um happen to have one of these books with you that I can take a quick peek at?"
"Sure!" Reuben exclaimed. He went to a shelf, pulled out a cookbook, and flipped to tha correct page. It featured a picture of a reuben sandwich and provided a list of ingredients and directions for preparin' it. Though he was certain tha hyena wouldn't be able ta understand any of tha words.
Still majorly confused, Janja frowning just stared at the strange little yellow creature before him. His little mind raced with many questions and no answers to any of them. How could a living creature be made and not born? Just made no sense to the hyena king. Then again plants were very much alive, that much he knew, but they weren't born. He didn't think plants made either. They just grew from the ground, after all. "You were...made? Someone...made you? But...but how and why? And who? Whoever made you must have been even smarter than...than Mufasa," he gasped in sudden realization.
He was about to say Scar, but reminded himself what a jerk he turned out to be and so as smart as the old lion may have been Janja refused to give him any more attention and credit. And so he remembered another lion who was perhaps even wiser than Scar, the great and powerful Mufasa. The hyena may never had the honor of meeting Mufasa, but he has heard many things about the great king; his high intellect being one of them. Naturally even Scar had a few things to say about his older brother; none of them good. Janja used to believe Scar's obvious lies, but now he has trouble believing anything Scar's evil ghost once told him. The hyena had doubts that anything Scar said about Mufasa was true.
Even so surely someone with the ability to create life is automatically more intelligent than those who can't. Smart as both Mufasa and Scar were neither of them could create life the way Reuben's creator did. In short, Reuben's creator certainly impressed him and he wasn't even there!
Janja nodded when Reuben explained that not all human inventions were noisy. Well that was good to know. "I...suppose I can understand why such a terrible sound could come in handy. Still annoying though," he admitted to the clever experiment.
Janja was surprised when Reuben asked him for the crazy mandrill's name. He didn't see the relevance in knowing names of those you probably won't meet anyway. Still, he obliged the creature's curiosity by answering. "Oh it's Rafiki and if you want to get technical he's a mandrill," the hyena casually replied. "He works for the king of the Pridelands," he added for not particular reason. 'Now Reuben's going to ask you about that next! Just you wait,' he told himself not that it really bothered him if Reuben asked him about Simba or not. He was just glad he didn't mention Scar this time because he was not in the mood to talk about that guy.
"Yeah, that's what tha girl who named me thought."
"Oh the girl that named you, what's she like? Does she know your creator?" he inquired voicing his own curiosity.
The hyena then watched with interest as Reuben removed a cookbook from a shelf and then he watched as the yellow experiment flipped to the page about the reuben sandwiches. His eyes widened at the pictures. Having seen Rafiki's cave paintings Janja knew only all too well what drawings were. But he frowned at the strange looking markings (words) beside the pictures. Having never seen such funny looking markings before, Janja had no idea what they were much less what they meant. He just groaned in frustration. "Hey Reuben what are these strange looking markings beside the pictures? Ugh don't tell me, let me guess this is the human language? This...this is just terrible! How am I supposed to understand anything in this book if I can't even translate it?" he asked clearly annoyed with his ears flattening in disappointment.
"You were...made? Someone...made you? But...but how and why? And who?"
Some were always confused when he talked about how he was made rather than born. [/b]"Yep!"[/b] He replied. "I'd rather not get into tha details though, it might confuse ya even more." He said.
Whoever made you must have been even smarter than...than Mufasa"
"And crazier too..." He replied, his thoughts briefly driftin' back ta Jumba.
"I...suppose I can understand why such a terrible sound could come in handy. Still annoying though," he admitted to the clever experiment.
"Personally, I think an annoying noise stands out more than a regular one." He said.
"Oh it's Rafiki and if you want to get technical he's a mandrill,"
"What's a mandrill?" Reuben asked the hyena.
"Oh the girl that named you, what's she like? Does she know your creator?"
"She's...well I'm not really sure what ta say about her. But yea, she knows my creator." He replied.
"Hey Reuben what are these strange looking markings beside the pictures? Ugh don't tell me, let me guess this is the human language? This...this is just terrible! How am I supposed to understand anything in this book if I can't even translate it?"
"Words." He replied. "They're a way of communicatin' tha human language." He responded. "I can speak tha words out for ya, if you like." He added. Reuben could have said "read" the words, but if Janja didn't know what words were, he likely wouldn't know what reading was either.