STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) _ Raymond Mullan won't have any hesitation if his teacher asks him to write an essay about how he spent his summer vacation.

''I did some swimming and bike riding, but I don't like video games. They take too much money,'' said the 8-year-old boy. ''I'd rather be listening to a felony case.''

Raymond spent the better part of his summer at the San Joaquin County courthouse after his father, Frank, decided the boy should learn the difference between real-life justice and that served up on television.

Raymond also learned the value of money by hanging around court.

''A private investigator hired me to feed dimes into the parking meter for him all day because he kept getting tickets,'' the boy said. ''He pays me $2.32.''

His unemployed father had the time to take him to court but underestimated the boy's interest in the affairs of government.

''I thought if I took him to see the real thing, he'd get bored to death,'' Mullan said. ''But he didn't. He wants to know what makes people tick.''

Raymond, who can correctly cite several Penal Code sections, now wants to become a prosecutor.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Zoo Director Jack Hanna is following animals around these days in hopes of saving his marriage.

He thinks his wife's diamond may have provided the roughage for at least one of the zoo's permanent residents.

''This could go through the entire chain of evolution,'' Hanna said Wednesday of his search for the missing gem.

Hanna said his wife, Suzi, was playing with a white tiger cub at the zoo Sunday and later discovered the diamond from her engagement ring, appraised at $9,000 in 1981, was missing.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Hannah cut the grass in the tiger enclosure on her hands and knees, using hand clippers. She raked the clippings and bagged them so she and her husband could sift them. But a groundskeeper picked up the clippings and fed them to the elephants.

''I told her, 'Don't cry, diamonds can be replaced,''' Hanna said. ''Just because it may be replaced with one costing $100, the sentiment will still be there.'

''That made her mad, and everything I did after that made her mad,'' he said.

Hanna said he figures either the tiger or the elephants ate the diamond, so he is following the animals around in hopes it shows up. He said he also is worried that birds follow the elephants and could get the gem before he does.

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CHICAGO (AP) - The Quaker Oats Co. has taken Cap'n Horatio Crunch off the box of its leading brand of cereal, officials said Wednesday.

But the character who's been on 1.2 billion boxes of cereal in 22 years will be back after the $3 billion corporation completes its current promotion: a $1 million contest to discover Cap'n's whereabouts.

Quaker will award $100 each to 10,000 entrants who solve the mystery of Cap'n Crunch's disappearance, the company said in a news release Tuesday.

Three clues are provided to help find the missing character, but there's only one clue on each box. Included inside is what Quaker calls a ''crunch squad detective kit,'' to help entrants use the clues.

Deadline for entries is Dec. 13, and winners will be drawn at random from all entries that solve the puzzle, Quaker said.

Such a promotion probably won't have a material impact on Quaker's profit, said John Bierbusse, a Quaker stock analyst with Duff & Phelps.

But it will help the company, which ranks fourth nationally in the sale of breakfast cereal, maintain product exposure in the face of recent massive spending by Kellogg, the industry leader, Bierbusse said.