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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)

TITLE: All Aboard
By Gregory Kane


"No, no, squeeze the elephants into the starboard compartment; the hippos and rhinos are already bedded down on the port side. What, the door's too narrow? What idiot did that? Then cut the tusks off. I left a ripsaw over there under the eaves. Yes, of course they'll grow back. What did you say? You want to carve an ivory figurehead for the front of the boat? If you really must. Nooo, get that giraffe UPstairs. He'll only get his head stuck if you put him in the lower decks. Honestly, must I think of everything?"

"It ate what? The male or the female? Can you see if she's pregnant? Wait, belay that order. She's a rabbit - of course she's expecting. No harm done, another month and this place will be crawling with fluffy bunnies. But do keep an eye on that carnivore. What did you say it was? A velociraptor. What in the three hundred nephilim is one of those? A two-legged lizard with teeth, you have got to be kidding me. What, the guinea pigs too? Right, over the side with it. I'm not having such truculence on my watch. Huh? I don't know - use a big stick or something."

"Listen, son, you're pushing your luck. Your goldfish will just have to fend for itself. Yes, I know, some shark might gobble it up. That's life. So what if it's a freshwater animal? Thank you, I am aware that the sea is salty. I wasn't born yesterday. More like six centuries ago. Look, I'm sure that the Judge has this all in hand. Of course we'll have to fish while we're afloat. We can't exactly order take-away pizza, can we? All right then, I'll speak to your brothers. If anyone should catch a goldfish, we'll be sure to throw it back. Now, get that ugly fish tank off my boat!"

"How are we doing? Another half-day? I'm not sure we'll make it. I don't like the look of those clouds one jot. No, stupid, that's not a cow, it's a moose. I said a moose, not a mouse. Get your mother to pull some wax out of your ears. Hey, why are those cheetahs heading for the canines' enclosure; get them back in with the other felines at once. Are you out of your tiny mind? Any minute now, it'll be raining cats and dogs on the outside. That's going to be bad enough without having the fur flying below decks."

"Are you sure? Did you check the insects? What about the spiders? Did anyone think to count the slugs? Good job, everyone. I can't believe we made it. I say, where's that ghastly creaking sound coming from? Well I never, our massive timber door is shutting all by itself. And to think that hydraulics haven't even been invented yet. And do you hear that pitter-patter? We're underway, my hearties. Batten down the hatches; splice the mainbrace! No, I'm not quite sure what I'm talking about either. But it sure sounds good, doesn't it?"

"What's so desperately important? I've just cracked open an amphora of sparkling white from the Shinar valley. Do you have any idea how expensive this stuff is! No, you're having me on. We didn't, did we? You sure it isn't that velocipede thingamajig? It's got what? Claws that gimble and teeth that whiffle. And you say that it's burbling along as it galumphs behind the boat. Some sort of bandersnatch? I better see this. Oh horrors, my father, Lamech, spake once of this fiend: 'tis called a Jabberwock. No, certainly not. It'll tear us all to ribbons without a second thought - better to let it drown. No one need ever know. Besides, even if you tried to describe such a manxome beast, people would think you were just making it up."

with a nod and a wink to Lewis Carroll.

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This article has been read 605 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst02/18/10
Oh, what fun! Plenty of "phew" moments in this floating zoo. Loved the MC's voice.
Barbara Lynn Culler02/21/10
Entertaining story.
Some of the words in the end were foreign to me
I really don't understand what the creature is in the ending, but it probably should be a COCKROACH!
I am sure that it reality, the embarking onto the Ark must have been a chaotic circus!
Chely Roach02/22/10
What a great voice, and spot on topic. Hats off to your last paragraph; I had to read it through a few times to catch all of your allusions to Lewis Carroll’s “jabberwocky” (made up, nonsensical, combined words). I don’t think I spotted my personal favorite: “slithy” (a combination of slimy and lithe). This took me waaay back to Through the Looking-Glass…
Way out of the box. Kudos.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/23/10
I laughed and enjoyed it thoroughly. The only point of contention would be Noah calling his family names. But other than that I loved every other part and smiled throughout. You always do a good job of making me smile and scratch my head in awe.
Beth LaBuff 02/23/10
You have a lot of fun stuff in this. I smiled at the concern over the rabbits. :) and then "counting the slugs" LOL!

…and thank you, thank you, thank you for answering the age-old question of "Were there dinosaurs on the ark?" :)
Rachel Phelps02/23/10
This was so out of the box and wonderfully done! I LOVED the Carroll references.
Mariane Holbrook 02/24/10
I had to haul out my dusty dictionary to read this one, particularly when it came to "Claws that gimble and teeth that whiffle. And you say that it's burbling along as it galumphs behind the boat. Some sort of bandersnatch?" I love that and have no idea what it even means! Great entry!
Yvonne Blake 02/24/10
Ha ha ha...love it!...especially this part: "We're underway, my hearties. Batten down the hatches; splice the mainbrace! No, I'm not quite sure what I'm talking about either. But it sure sounds good, doesn't it?"

Our high school English teacher had us diagram on line of the Jabberwocky.
Lollie Hofer02/24/10
This is the most unique take on the theme I've read yet. What fun! You must have laughed out loud several times. You did a good job of capturing the chaos of the ark.
Amanda Brogan02/24/10
This one had me cracking up all throughout! I don't think I could pick a favorite part, it's all so hilarious! The last part had me scratching my head as I've never read Lewis Carol, but other people's comments helped with that. I thought it was funny that you ended with Noah getting rid of the weird beast. Thankfully it will never ravage the present world thanks to him! ;)
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/02/10
Amazing story! I love it!