Chapter 11

Cap’n Lesko rose bright and early, and in good mood. He leaned on the railing, getting the scent of the sea. He noticed Whiptail coming toward him and raised a paw in hailing. Whiptail smashed Lesko’s face into the railing, slaying him instantly. Whiptail turned to the astonished crew. “All who challenge your new Captain, step forward now!”

None did.

“First mate Cooper!”


“Set sail west!”

Many nights Whiptail and Simu spent in the crows’ nest, exchanging life stories and enjoying their favorite treat. Whiptail couldn’t say what they were until one night when Simu said it for him.

“We’re friends, right, Whiptail?”

He had never heard that word before and had no idea of its meaning. But judging from his relationship in comparison to others, he made one for himself: ‘Friends are creatures that have ice cream together.’

Well past midnight, a storm the likes of which had never been seen hit the Waveblade. There was nothing nobeast could do. All fell into the water, save Whiptail and Simu, who had made the right decision by bolting the galley doors inwards so that no matter what, it couldn’t be torn open. But it made no difference. As the vessel rolled to one side, a large table came rushing at them, knocking both into unconsciousness.

The first thing Whiptail was aware of was sand- lots of it. The second was several splinters buried in his flesh and fur. He stood, brushing off driftwood and planks and inspected the wreckage. The Waveblade had been half-sunk with the stern sticking out. There were no survivors from his former crew. Suddenly, a terrible thought entered his head.

Where was Simu?

He dashed frantically to and fro, searching frantically. It was only a muffled groan that caused him to turn around.

Simu’s entire torso had been buried in sand, his legs wiggling frantically. Whiptail heaved, again and again, and finally he popped out, covered in a blanket of sand and sneezing as if a hornet’s nest were in his nose. As he gradually recovered, he began to chuckle. Soon Whiptail joined him. Before long, they were both rolling over with loud merriment.

But Simu stopped suddenly as he took stock of his surroundings, looking right and left.

“C’mon matey, I know this country. We better git goin’ afore we’re seen.”

“Seen by who?”

He stared Whiptail seriously in the eye. “By the Badger Lord of Salamandastron. This is the Western Coast!”

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