uvia was led to a room where he was given a few moldy vegetables and a small cup of blackish liquid.
“Hello, matey, I hope I’m not intruding!”
A short, squat man who looked to be over 100 years old wobbled into Tuvia’s room. He spoke with a heavy English accent.
“The name’s Kotty, m’ boy! I’m the chronicler on this here ship, and I’m also in charge of navigation. I heard we had a new visitor aboard, and I just had to say a cheery ’ello!”
“Yes, well, ’ello to you, too! I’m so glad a youngster like yourself has decided to join us on our epic voyage to the Lost Island! We need young, fresh faces ’round ’ere. Everyone besides myself walks around like depressed pirates who’ve discovered their beer’s gone sour.”
“I-I’m not a visitor! My ship was attacked at sea, and most of the passengers were killed. My parents survived but we were separated. They’re on their way back home on an escape raft, while I’m stuck here! Please, tell the captain to turn the ship around and bring me home!”
“Oh, my. Come now, don’t cry, m’boy! Here, here, take my handkerchief. No? Oh, it is a bit, um, well used. Never mind that, then. Listen here, my young one. Captain will never turn this ship around for anyone. We’re on a mission, you ’ear? We’re going somewhere top secret where nobody’s ever been. I’d tell you the name of the place, but I’ve been sworn to silence.”
“The Lost Island?”
“Blimey! How’d you know that?”
“You just said that a minute ago.”
“Did I? Oh, eh, yes, of course I did. I meant to, of course. But don’t tell anyone I told you. They’ll probably kill me and toss my body off the boat.”
“So you’re a bunch of pirates?”
“Pirates? Oh my! All hands on deck! Weapons out! Save yourselves! HEL—”
The door to the cabin room burst open and John skidded inside, saber rattling in his hand.
“What’s going on in here?”
“N-nothing at all…” Kotty blushed furiously and scratched his long nose. “Just misheard for a moment. These old ears sometimes mistake an elephant’s bellow for a mouse’s squeak, or the whistle of the wind for an iced cake being cut ever so softl—”
“Be quiet, old man! I’ve had enough aggravation from your ridiculous navigational errors! I don’t need any more nonsense from you! It’s a mystery to me why the captain keeps you on board and tolerates your shenanigans. Get out of here, Kotty, before I decide to run you through with my saber!”
(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 798)
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