JOSEPHINE & DAPHNE’S SUMMER VACATION: PART 5

As it so happened, Marylou McBeebeard had a boat which she used to travel between the Earth and the Sun. This was apparently not so uncommon, as there were several other boats hitched near hers. They all looked essentially like mini-vans made of wood, without wheels or a roof. Also, they had a mizzen mast jutting from the trunk.
How it worked was that the boats would float along the sunbeams as if on a body of water. The trip was usually quick, though it was also usually a bit rocky. Josephine, of course, was very much thrilled by this turn of events. Daphne, of course, was very much not.
“This is my galleon, the Jacques Kozuh,” Marylou said.
Jacques Kozuh,” repeated the beard of bees in unison.
“What fun!” Josie exclaimed, climbing in. Much like a mini-van, the galleon had a sliding door, though it was made of dark wood and had a small porthole.
“Hold on, hold on. Are we sure this is safe? Floating on a sunbeam isn’t the same as riding in a hot air balloon, and this thing is much smaller than that was, so.” Daphne was examining the other boats, which bobbed up and down as though in water.
“Relax, the Jacques Kozuh is in tip-top condition, I’ve piloted her for years without incident. You have no reason to worry.”
“Worry,” repeated the beard of bees in unison, much to the chagrin of Daphne.
“Daphne, dear, I’m sure it’s perfectly safe. Besides, what other option do we have?” Josie had a point, and Daphne thought to herself that none of the so-called “dangerous” situations they had found themselves in had resulted in any danger. She took a tentative step inside the galleon, then another, and carefully sat on the wooden bench next to Josie, who applauded her courage.
Marylou McBeebeard boarded and pulled the door shut, shouting, “All aboard!”
“All aboard!” repeated the beard of bees in unison. Marylou plunked down in the bucket seat up front, and turned the steering wheel, which was wooden and resembled the wheel of a boat, only smaller. They lurched forward suddenly, causing Josie and Daphne to topple off the bench.
“Sorry,” Marylou said.
“Sorry,” repeated the beard of bees in unison. The two friends helped each other up, and sat back down. The boat glided smoothly along the sunbeam after that, and both Josie and Daphne relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. Again, they could see the stars, and at times were so close they could smell and taste the popcorniness of them.
“Marylou, tell me. Where does the name of your boat come from?” Josie asked to break the silence.
“From the famous sunbeam explorer, of course,” said Marylou.
“Of course,” repeated the beard of bees in unison.
“Gosh a’ mighty, you mean there’s something to explore in these sunbeams?” Daphne asked, peering over the boat’s edge at the light lapping against them.
“Sure! It’s like any body of water, except that its light beams as opposed to H2O. Many folks have plunged their depths, but Jacques Kozuh was the greatest.”
“The greatest!” repeated the beard of bees in unison.
“Please, enlighten us about him. Tell us of his discoveries,” Josie said.
“Why tell when you can sing?” said Marylou. And for once, the beard of bees didn’t repeat her. Instead, they began humming harmoniously, and then they all burst into song. It was a sea shanty and it went like this:
Jacques Kozuh, a wise and charming soul and a very handsome fellow,
He made his name by risking his life and swimming the sunbeam yellow.
He fought Shadow Sharks and Star Piranha and UV Ray Octopish,
While befriending and finding many jovial and pretty fish.
Like the Lightning Flounder, Pisces Pike and Constellation Carp.
And all the while he kept his cool (and looked totally sharp.)
He sadly died while exploring the Beam of Gimlitrator,
When all at once he was bitten by an Illuminous Alligator.
His memory and his work live on though he’d never brag nor boast,
And he left these beams behind, he’s not even here as a ghost.
So this is why we sing of him and feel all need to knowzuh,
Of the man, the myth, the legend of the mighty Jacques Kozuh.

Josie and Daphne both applauded. “Thank you,” the bees said in unison. Marylou had a tear in her eye.
“That song always gets to me,” she said.
“I’m surprised I’ve never heard of Jacques Kozuh,” Josie said.
“He’s legendary around these parts. You can ask anyone who steers through these sunbeams and they can tell you where they were when they learned of his death, if they were alive at the time. Elsewhere, though, he’s relatively unknown.”
“Unknown,” repeated the beard of bees in unison.
“That was a very pretty song, but shouldn’t you all be trembling in fear about the dangerous creatures lurking down there, much the way I am?” Daphne asked, inching toward the center of the bench. “I mean, Shadow Sharks? UV Ray Octopish? They sound like tough cookies, not anything I’d want to meet face to face.”
“Never fear, Daphne. Those animals are just like any other wild creature. If you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. They’re practically harmless,” Marylou assured her.
“Harmless,” repeated the beard of bees in unison.
“Just the same, I think I’ll stay here where it’s safer, so.”
Josephine giggled. “Daphne, darling, you have nothing to worry about. Have we found ourselves in any life-threatening situations yet? No! And I am positive we won’t. Everything will be just fine.”
Immediately after she said this, the Jacques Kozuh was struck by a sun wave, veered wildly off course, and began plummeting rapidly toward the Earth.

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