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Friday, 8 June 2012

day forty-seven and fourteen-fifteenths

After the magic lantern show, the penguins invited me to join them for a game of cards. They have the same deck but the suits are cubes, peaks, hats and fish. The game they played was complicated, a bit like crackit, and for a long time I lost game after game. I was finally getting the hang of it when suddenly the airship lurched to one side and the card table, cards, chairs and penguins all went tumbling. Amid the squawking the Captain's voice came on: "Please fasten you seatbelts. There is no need to panic, but we seem to be being attacked slightly by some bandits*." The squawking got louder and the seals started honking.

* The bandits are long-haired snow mice who have fallen off the mantelpiece of civilisation. These renegades are the scourge of the airlines. They fly around in rubber-band-powered cups, shooting snowballs mostly, but sometimes smelly sludgeballs or spiky sea-urchins.

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