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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Crawford Family goes on a Cruise

Chapter One

Last night my dad came home and had tickets in his hand. We are going on a Mediterranean cruise! My dad says the ship is huge and weíll be gone a week. I have so many things to do to get ready. Mum is trying to lose weight because she wants to look good in her swimsuit. Dad is trying to get a suntan. Alec wants to take video games with him but Mum said no. He is taking books instead. Weíre even taking Ethan with us. Mum says there is a nursery on the boat for him. I plan to take a pad of paper and pencil so I can keep a journal and some paper to draw pictures of things we see.

Chapter Two

We took an airplane ride and got on the ship. It is huge, just like dad says. Our room is called a cabin. We have to sleep in bunk beds. Mum and Dad have their own room, but it connects with ours. Ethan is sleeping in a crib. Our cabin is small, but there is a porthole in the wall so we can look out and see the water. Ethan loves looking outside. When we eat meals, we get full because there is so much food. I can have anything I want. Mum said that and so did Dad. I can eat all the biscuits and pastries I want, but only after I eat a good, nutritious meal. Mum loves to eat shrimp and Dad loves the steak. Alec eats hamburgers and chips and Ethan eats lots of bananas.

Chapter Three

Today we explored the ship. Dad and I walked right up to the front  looked over the edge. I saw dolphins swimming along the side of the ship. I even saw some flying fish too. The ship has two funnels, which are big chimneys. The captain and his crew are in a room up at the top of the ship and they can look out over everything. It would be fun to be a captain of a big ship like this. Our ship is called the Whistling Serpent. Thatís a funny name for a ship, but it sort of looks like a serpent. There are rooms for dancing, rooms for movies, rooms for eating, plays, and even gambling. Ethan goes to the nursery. He loves it there. He can play with toys, swings, and blocks, and even ride in a wagon.

Chapter Four

Last night we were invited to sit at the Captainís table. He wore a uniform. The waiter brought us drinks in wine glasses, though Alec, Ethan and I had water in ours. Someone carved a whale and mermaids from ice and it sat in the middle of the table. The Captain told us tomorrow we were going to dock at an island and we would have to take a small boat to get to it. The Captain gave me a chocolate bar with a picture of the ship on it. He gave Alec a miniature ship made of metal and it looked just like the Whistling Serpent. Ethan got a rattle with a picture of the ship on it. It was fun sitting with the Captain. He told me his name was John and heíd been on this ship for twenty years. Thatís a long time to be on a ship. I wonder if he sleeps here all the time? Maybe I will ask him tomorrow.

Chapter Five

We got on the small boat and went to the island. When we got there all these women came running towards us, trying to sell us things. One woman had her arms full of flowers. They smelled so nice and sweet. After we got off the little boat we walked around the village. There were lots of shops that sold junk, at least thatís what my dad called it. I wanted to buy some pencils and a necklace to take home to my friend, Sally. Dad took Alec and Ethan and went to get ice cream cones and Mum and I looked in the shops. It was fun to be with my mum. We tried on clothes and bought matching tee shirts. Mumís was baby blue and mine was lime green. They both had pictures of whales on the front. Mum said it was okay to buy pencils, so I did. I bought a plastic dolphin too.

Chapter Six

We stayed on the island all day. We ate lunch at restaurant called ďBig Bobís Crab ShackĒ. Iíd never had crab before. Mum and Dad had lobster. They dipped it in melted butter. I tried the crab and I liked it. Alec didnít, so he had chips and a fish sandwich. Ethan ate applesauce and mashed up lobster. Dad drank a blue drink with a paper umbrella in it and Mumís drink was pink. Alec and I had to drink milk. After lunch we walked along the beach. We picked up shells and splashed in the waves. There were some men surfing. Alec said he wanted to do that when he was older. Dad laughed at him and Mum shook her head. We took the little boat back to the Whistling Serpent at night. I was so tired and went right to bed.

Chapter Seven

We stopped at other places during our cruise. We did a lot of sightseeing, but I was bored most of the time. I donít care about fancy buildings and architecture, or pretty scenery. I had the most fun when we were on the ship. After our cruise ended, Mum started to cry. She wanted to stay on the ship for another month. Dad said we couldnít. Mum hugged everyone and said goodbye and we took a taxi back to the airport. Our suitcases were heavy because we bought a lot of souvenirs. We flew home and I called Sally and asked her to come to my house. I gave her a pencil and showed her all the things Iíd bought. Mum and Dad took a lot of pictures and video so I can watch it any time I want.

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