Zucchini is a ferret born in the Bronx Zoo but certain from the start that there is more to life--and ""somewhere else."" When he learns that his real home is the Western prairie near Oklahoma, he manages an escape--by subway and bus--but ends up confined once again at the 92nd St. ASPCA. There he finds a sympathetic adult who keeps him in the mail bin (because he doesn't like cages) and a shy boy named Billy who visits regularly but, because of his fear of attention, refuses to claim Zucchini as his subject when his children's group plans reports on the animals. So Zucchini, hurt by the supposed slight, runs away again, stowing away with a couple flying to Oklahoma, then heading west on Route 40. He is sure that he is almost home when he remembers an unkept promise to a crow at the ASPCA and swiftly retraces his steps . . . to end up with a joyous Billy, who will take him to Billy's family's new home in the country. Dana tells the story of Zucchini, who discovers that home is where his friend is, and Billy, who overcomes his shyness to inquire about the lost Zucchini, with low-keyed empathy and with an ear for the inflections of colloquial speech--between people on the bus, Billy and his little sister, or Zucchini and the other animals--that keeps you smiling.