In the airship’s cabin, the passengers held their breath as they looked out of the portholes at the prickly giant thistle leaves. Up above they could see the giant purple thistle heads. The jigsaw puzzle was still on the floor; almost complete now, apart from some tricky blue sky pieces.
It was dark in the thistle forest and Capt. Cookie switched on the front lamp. Giant moths the size of birds fluttered around the beam of light, sometimes crashing into the cockpit window.
An owl appeared. Capt. Cookie opened the window and called to it:
“Excuse me. Is it far?”
“It’s about three o’clock,” replied the owl.
“No, is it far to the end of the thistle forest?” said Cookie.
“No, thanks. I’ve just had lunch,” said the owl.
“Err... o.k. thanks for your help,” said the captain.
“Next Monday,” said the owl.
Capt. Cookie closed the window.
“I thought owls were supposed to be wise!” said the co-pilot.
Having committed to flying straight through the forest, they had no choice but to keep going, although the captain had to concentrate like mad to avoid touching the spiky giant thistles with the sides of the airship. Occasionally, a thistle prickle tickled the airship’s balloon, but luckily didn’t puncture it.
Eventually it started to become a little lighter and then all of a sudden they were out of the forest. The captain and co-pilot’s faces, which had been frozen in grimaces now thawed and a loud cheer came from the cabin: Hooray!
Captain Cookie switched on the windsceen wipers to remove moth-dust and visually checked the airship’s position. Then he picked up the microphone:
“Ladybirds and gentlebirdmen,” announced the captain. “Please remain seated with your seatbelts fastened, as we continue our flight to the Kola Nut Hotel. We expect to be arriving there by about tea-time.”
However, the captain didn’t tell the passengers that they now had to navigate a large swamp.
© David Severn 2012