Chapter 4 A Canoe on the Loose

The 3 Gateros sleep long and deep. Suddenly, in the pitch of night, they are rudely awakened by a loud gushing noise, followed by the shock of their lives. The canoe had tipped onto its side, and was careering down river, gathering speed rapidly and tossing on the swirls of the current. The sultry stream had become a raging river!

Faster and faster the canoe bucketed, swinging round and round on the torrent, the poor gateros drenched and trapped inside. Bobby was frightened and covered his eyes with his paws, “Millou..!”

Lillith puts a reassuring arm around him, “..Hold on everyone..!”

For what seems like an eternity they sail along, mile after mile, through villages and towns, past shocked bystanders, who had never seen three drenched cats in a red canoe before.

Finally the tumbling tide begins to still, the canoe slows to a bouyant bobbing, coming to rest against a row of paddle boats tied to a pier. Lillith thought about her newly crimpted fur, now ruined. With sighs of relief the three clamber out of the upturned canoe, and onto the wooden planked pier.

“Now what, Millou?”, says Bobby.

“Let’s drip dry”, Millou replies.

They stretch out in the mid-morning sunshine, and before long slip into a peaceful snooze. They awake to the ominous rumble of distant thunder clouds. The charcoal sky scowls overhead, streaked now and then by a flash of lightning. Taking shelter from overhanging verandas, they skirt the stinging darts of rain, dodging shoppers with umbrellas raised, intent on dashing home before the downpour.

After some time, the 3 Gateros reach the town centre, the clouds begin to clear, and they see an enormous green with brightly coloured trailers. Past the trailers there are marquees, tents and carousels, with sharp shooter stalls and candy floss booths. They wind their way through the arcades, and Bobby’s eyes widen in delight as he spots the goldfish circling in clear plastic bags. One of those would definitely suffice for lunch.

“Let’s try for a couple of those Millou!”, he squeals in delight.. “I’m hungry!”. Lillith daintily nibbles a stick of candy floss, watching the other two hurl bad eggs at an effigy of Tony Blair. A double bonus when they hit bullseye, and lunchtime snacks for them both to boot.

Millou grabs each of their paws and makes a beeline for the dodgem cars. Lillith tucks in to a toffee apple, as Bobby and Millou spin and twist in their dodgems, Bobby squealing in delight. Nibbling candy floss and frolicking on the dodgems, the day slowly melts into night.

“Come on, you two”, calls Lillith, turning and making her way towards a pryamid shaped tent, with a picture of a camel on the entrance, “The Egyptian Experience” etched against the backdrop of desert sand.

As they enter they step on to warm soft golden sand, into the dazzling light, and the errie echo of distant pipes of envelope them.

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