Maniac is discovered in the buffalo pen by Grayson, the zoo caretaker.
After leaving the Beale house, Maniac finds himself living in the buffalo pen at the zoo. One day the zoo's caretaker finds him.
The old man was bumping through the zoo in the park pickup when he spotted the body clumped out- side the buffalo pen. He wheeled over, got out. "A kid!" … The mother came lumbering over, nodding, as if to confirm: "A kid." (Ch. 22)
He thinks Maniac looks terrible. His clothes seem to be only rags, and his body is “bony and dirty and scratched.” He manages to pull him out of the pen into the truck and takes him to the baseball-equipment room, even though he feels he should be taking him to a doctor.
Grayson makes Maniac some “chicken noodle Cup-a-Soup” and Maniac gulps it down without a spoon, then asks for butterscotch Krimpets. Grayson tells he ought to know his name.
When Grayson asks where Maniac lives, he gives him the Beale family’s address. This confuses Grayson, who checks to see if he really is white since he said he lived in the East End.
“…Don't you want to know what I was doing at the zoo! At the buffalo pen!"
The old man sighed. "Okay, what?"
"I was living there."
"With the buffaloes?"
"Yep, with the buffaloes."
"You like buffaloes?"
"It was dark when I got there. I thought it was the deer pen." (Ch. 22)
Grayson buys Maniac a whole box of Krimpets and takes him home. Grayson lives at the Two Mills YMCA. He has Maniac shower and change. Since he only has his own clothes, he takes Maniac shopping. Maniac asks for a job, but he asks Maniac about school. Maniac says that he won’t go. He’ll just keep running.
Since it is quitting time, Grayson takes Maniac to a diner. He is still hungry. While he eats, Grayson interrogates him about the Beale family. Maniac tells him that the Beales are the same as everyone else, except for the color of their skin.
Maniac and Grayson have a good time. Grayson was an ex-ball player. Maniac teaches him to read and they are family for each other for awhile. Unfortunately, he dies right before Christmas, leaving Maniac alone again.