JOSEPHINE & DAPHNE’S SUMMER VACATION: PART 6

Everyone was screaming and hanging on for dear life. Marylou McBeebeard tried steering the boat back on course, but it was to no avail. It was as if some unseen force had taken hold of the Jacques Kozuh and was dragging it kicking and screaming toward Earth.
As they got closer, Josie spotted a small triangular island and, over Daphne’s shrieking, shouted, “Marylou! Head for that island!”
“I’ll try my best, but I don’t have much control over this thing,” Marylou shouted back. The beard of bees did not repeat this, as they were too busy screaming. The boat began to buckle and shake as the Earth’s surface drew nearer and nearer. It pitched forward suddenly, throwing all of its occupant’s forward, and just as suddenly they all blacked out.
Josie was the first to come to. Her eyes took a moment to focus, and then she saw blue (the sky), green (the trees), and sand (the sand.) They had apparently landed on the island after all.
She slowly rose to her feet and approached Daphne, who had tucked herself into her shell. “Daphne, darling, are you hurt? Please tell me you’re all right, Daphne, please!”
Daphne poked her head out, then her arms and legs, blinked and slowly stood up. “I think the shell absorbed most of the impact,” she said. “I’m just a bit dazed, so.”
“Where’s Marylou?” Josie asked, scouring the beach. Off in the distance, they could see the Jacques Kozuh broken into three pieces.
“Help! Help!” several dozen voices shouted. Josie looked up. Marylou had landed in a tree, near the very top. She awoke slowly, looked down, then up, then down again.
“How did I- where are- what- help! Help!” she shouted.
“Help! Help!” repeated the beard of bees in unison.
“Don’t worry,” Daphne called. “We’ll help you. Somehow.” The problem was she wasn’t sure how that was going to happen. The tree was probably three times taller than Josie and Daphne put together. How were they going to get up there?
“Halloooooo!” A deep voice intoned. From a cluster of trees a head poked through. It was, improbably, a brontosaurus head. “Halloooooo!” he repeated.
“Um, over here,” Josie said, in shock. The brontosaurus rumbled forward through the trees onto the beach. He was wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt. Josie and Daphne looked at each other incredulously.
“I hope this isn’t a rude question, sir, but are you a brontosaurus?” asked Daphne.
“Yup, sure am. Name’s Todd. You folks fall out of the sky? Those’re some sizeable dents you made in the beach there.”
“Yes, we’re very sorry, we lost control of our boat,” Daphne said.
“Oh, and we’re not hurt or anything, either,” Josie added with more than a hint of sarcasm. Todd sighed.
“Hmm. The missus is not gonna like these dents in her beach. Not one bit.” He tilted his neck downward so he could whisper in Josie’s ear. “If I were you, I’d fix them up before she finds out about them. As in now.”
“What about our friend?” Josie asked, pointing up to Marylou McBeebeard in the tree. The beard of bees were still crying for help, even though Marylou had fainted at the sight of Todd the brontosaurus.
“She needs medical attention. I’ll take her to the better half. She’s a Registered Nurse, among other things. Many other things.” He lifted his head up and grasped Marylou McBeebeard in his mouth, being careful not to bite her. Then he mumbled something to the effect of, “I’d fix those dents in the beach if I were you,” and lumbered off.
Josie and Daphne looked at each other. They were utterly confused. Where were they? How were they going to get home? Where did Todd go? Who was the missus? Was she another brontosaurus, or perhaps a different dinosaur? Weren’t dinosaurs extinct? And lastly, how exactly were they supposed to “fix the dents in the beach?”
“Maybe,” said Josie, “we could use parts of the Jacques Kozuh as a makeshift shovel and fill in the holes we left or maybe…”
“And then what? Do you realize, Josie, that we’re stuck here, some strange unknown island in the middle of nowhere, which just so happens to be the home of at least one dinosaur that we know of, our friend the captain has been taken away to who-knows-where, and there’s no foreseeable way out of here? We’re trapped! We’re never getting back to the farm, we’ll spend our remaining days here and it’s all your fault!”
“All my fault? Daphne, dear, deranged Daphne, pray tell, how is any of this my fault? I didn’t send us to the wrong bus, I didn’t crash the boat, and I’m just as much in this as you are. How did I cause any of this?”
“Because you were the one who insisted we take a vacation,” Daphne fumed. “If it weren’t for you, we’d be safe and happy back on the farm, with the MerCows and DeerHen and my beloved Umbrella Tree, so. Instead, we’re stranded in the middle of nowhere, all thanks to your burning desire to get away! Well, here we are- away!”
“We might be safe, but neither of us would be happy, and you know it! We were working ourselves sick and would have collapsed from exhaustion if we didn’t take a little break. Now, I admit things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, but you have to admit that it’s been fun, at least up to this point. You enjoyed the rings of Saturn, you enjoyed the balloon ride and singing at the Dismal Demitasse. You can’t deny that, Daphne, I know that for a fact.” Now Josie was fuming.
“I’ll tell you what; the next time you need a vacation so bad, you can take it without me.” Daphne was staring her friend in the face, her own face turning a shade of red too dark for most beets.
“Oh yeah? You can go ahead and take this vacation without me, for all I care, you ungrateful tortoise!” And with that, Josephine stomped away into the jungle.
“Fine!” Daphne shouted, plunking herself down on the beach. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do, but she was in no mood to anything but sulk. And sulk she did. For almost an hour, she sat there, sulking and sulking and sulking, with the occasional brood to mix it up a little.
After a while, though, she began to miss her friend. And shortly after, that, she became concerned. It was beginning to get dark, and Josie hadn’t come back. She had stormed off into a strange jungle, which was home to at least one brontosaurus, and Daphne started to worry. What if she was in some sort of danger? Daphne decided she had better look for her, before the sun set completely. She rose to her feet and turned to leave, and promptly tripped over the little brown bunny rabbit at her feet. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you there. Are you okay?”
The bunny was wearing a tiara and holding a scepter, and was scowling up at Daphne. From her back she produced a megaphone, into which she shouted, “I am Cynthia, Queen of the Bermuda Triangle, and you are trespassing! For this, you must be punished!”

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