At last she daw a dim wavering reddish light, ahead and to the right, and tried to walk in that direction. It disappeared as the fog thickened again, and she walked into a tree. ‘Drat!’ she muttered, and groped around with her foot to find the path again. Her feet solidly set on the path, she moved forward, searching for the elusive light. Once again she spotted it, and kept walking, as the path seemed to be turning in that direction. She began to hear voices, shouting, singing and laughing, and very vaguely saw shapes that seemed to be dancing around the light. What were they? Demons dancing around in hell fire? She shuddered, and prayed that that was not the case.
The fog thinned, and she could see more clearly. It was a campfire, the people were men. They seemed to be celebrating something; they kept shouting ‘We got her! We got her!’ and laughing. They were on the shore of a wide river, with a ship’s boat pulled up on the sand.
Now that she could see better, she moved into the woods on the left, and moved very slowly and quietly forward. She got close enough to see them clearly; a group of rough looking men dressed in what sailors wore in the 1800s. Who were they? And who had they caught?
She moved a step or two closer, and saw a ship, a two masted brig at anchor in the river. As she watched, a man wearing clothes from the same era and a cocked hat with a big egret plume came out on deck. He leaned over the side and shouted.
“Smee! Get those scurvy dogs settled down. They are keeping me awake.” He raised a hand and pointed at the men around the fire. Misty noticed something odd about the hand, then realised it wasn’t a hand, but a hook. ‘OH, no, I’m in Neverland! That’s Captain Hook and the pirates!’ She carefully moved closer, keeping within the trees, until she was able to move closer by moving behind some big rocks on the shore.
“Yes, Cap’n,” Smee replied. “And we put tiger Lily on Bear Island, like you ordered, sir.” Hook nodded “Fine, we’ll pick her up tomorrow. Now quiet the men down, I need my sleep.” He turned and headed back to his cabin.
‘Hmmm…’ Misty thought. ‘Maybe I can have some fun, and help tiger Lily at the same time.’ She started making the sound of a clock tick tock, tick tock, slowly moving closer to the ship, still hidden by the rocks.
Captain Hook suddenly froze, then turned frantically to the rail again. “Smee, Smee, get everyone on board now! Never mind the stuff, on board now! Never mind the stuff, or the fire, just get back aboard. I want this ship moving immediately. Can’t you hear the ticking? That crocodile is after me again!” He was terrified, and the men grabbed what they could and ran to the small the boat. They scrambled aboard, ignoring the fact the it was badly overcrowded, and rowed toward the ship. It was a zigzag course they followed, due to the overcrowding and the fact that they were all drunk.
Misty watched as they reached the boat and tried to climb the rope ladders hanging over the side. Several fell in and were helped by the others, and finally they all staggered aboard, and scattered.
“Everyone to stations,” Hook bellowed, and the men stumbled around until they were sorted out. Smee was about to order the sails raised, when he realised that there was a dead calm.
“There’s no wind, Captain,” Smee said.
“Where are your brains? Man the oars! Just get us out of here.”
Misty stifled a giggle and continued going tick tock, getting closer and louder. Hook was clinging to the rail, searching all around for the crocodile, as the men raced around, stumbling and fumbling as they tried to ready the oars. At last they managed, Smee raised the anchor, and the ship moved drunkenly away from shore. It moved erratically downstream as the drunken sailors rowed. Hook was still watching over the rail as they disappeared in the fog. Misty stopped making the sound when the ship became an indistinct blur in the fog, and leaned on the rock and giggled.
“How did you do that?” a voice asked. Misty jumped, turned and saw five Indian girls standing just at the edge of the woods.
“Do what? Oh, you mean make the clock sound? I do it all the time, when my brother is being slow; he hates it. I do it with my tongue, like this.” She demonstrated tick tock tick tock. She giggled. It sure did old Captain Hook in, didn’t it?” She moved toward the girls. “Are you looking for Tiger Lily? I know where they took her.”
The girls moved forward a bit, and one came even closer. “You do? Where is she? We need to find her and get back to our village.”
“Come over to the fire, where we can see each other better. I’m Mistalia Moretta Merriweather, but everyone calls me Misty.”
The girls walked to the fire and joined Misty. They were all older than Misty, in their mid to late teens, and beautiful. “Where is our princess?” the one who seemed to be leader asked. “I am Running Deer, and these are Jumping Hare, Red Fox, Killdeer, Bluebird and Wood Thrush.” She pointed to each in turn, and the one named nodded and smiled.
“I am very happy to meet you. I want to help tiger Lily, but I don’t know anything about this land. I was brought here by some kind of magic. But I heard Smee say they had left her on Bear Island.”
Just then something flew over them, turned and swooped down; it was Peter Pan, and he landed by the fire. “Hello,” he said to the Indian girls, “What are you doing here? And who is this?” He pointed at Misty.
They all explained, and when they were done, he started laughing. He had Misty demonstrate her tick tock, and laughed even harder. “Hook has outdone himself this time!” he exclaimed. “It’s low tide, Tiger Lilly can free herself.”
Bluebird asked “What do you mean, Peter? She is on an island.”
“Bear Island is an island only at high tide. At low tide there is a narrow spit of land that joins it to the shore. All tiger Lily has to do is walk to shore and she is free.”
“But what if they felt her tied up?” Killdeer said. “She wouldn’t be able to walk anywhere. We have to go and see.
“Oh, that’s true, they could have. Ok, I’ll go and check up. If she’s bound, I’ll free her and lead her to safety. You can go upriver and meet us opposite the island.” He leapt, and went soaring off. Misty and the Indian girls hurried off upstream. They arrived at the spot across from the island and saw Peter and Tiger Lily approaching the spit of land. Soon they were reunited, and Peter was about to take off.
“Peter,” Misty said. “Please wait. I need to go home, but I don’t know how. I don’t even know how I got here, or to Wonderland. Please, can you help me?”
He looked at her, his face full of wonder. “But Misty, you have the means to get home. It’s the same thing that brought you here, and to Wonderland.” He pointed to her umbrella. “That is the magic that carried you here. It will carry you to wherever you want to go. All you have to do is think about it, and you will go there.”
Misty stared at him, then lifted the umbrella a bit and stared at it. “But it’s just an umbrella!”
“No, Misty, it’s the umbrella that carried Mary Poppins wherever she wanted to go.” He answered.
She stared, her moth an O, as she thought of the family legend her mother had told them. Mom said the umbrella had a very interesting history, and to be careful what they thought about when they were using it. Mostly, they used modern folding umbrellas, as Mom didn’t like them taking this one. |But Misty had been angry and defiant when she left home, and ignored the ban.
“Ok, thanks Peter. I will be off, then. Goodbye. It was nice meeting you, and I did enjoy scaring Captain Hook!” she giggled, and unfurled the umbrella. They all said goodbye and thanks, as the fog closed in around her and her feet no longer touched the ground.