Chapter 3: Weevils Wobble but They Don’t Fall Down
Salt spied the rat sitting up pretty as you please with one of the passengers’ hard biscuits between his paws. Salt hunched down as low as he could and slunk slowly, ears flat, paw-over-paw toward the rat. Without making a sound, he pounced on the unsuspecting rodent. Grasping it firmly by the back of the neck, he gave it a violent shake and broke its neck before it had time to let out one squeal.
Salt had already had his dinner. In fact food was so plentiful on this ship that Salt was afraid of becoming as fat as Toady. The place was crawling with rats, mice, and insects of all kinds. Yum!
Now who should he give this juicy rat too? He tried to give Mr. Gates a fresh mouse once. But the man who was to be the next Governor of Jamestown had promptly thrown the mouse overboard, and then proceeded to throw up all of his dinner. He’d tried to bring a tasty lizard to Mr. and Mrs. Rolfe, but the pregnant woman had screamed and run up on deck where she too threw up. In fact, it seemed to Salt like most of the passengers threw up all of the time. There were always rows of people leaning over the railings throwing up. They had even taken over the beakhead.
The beakhead used to be Salt’s favorite part of the ship even after his close call with Twenty-seven. Being on the beakhead was the closest thing to flying a cat could ever get. He liked to go so far forward that only open ocean was in front of him. When the ship was moving under sail, Salt imagined that he was like the birds that he loved to chase. The clean air ruffled through his white fur, and the spray left tiny flecks of salt all over him that he could lick off later. Sometimes he would look down and see dolphins racing ahead of the ship. They would leap into the air and crisscross in front of the bow.
Unfortunately, the many passengers using the beak head as their toilet spoiled it. The only choice the passengers had was to squat over the holes in the beakhead, or use buckets placed in the ‘tween decks for that purpose. Salt could never understand the way other animals, including humans discarded their waste. Lucky for Salt, there were plenty of piles of sand lying about on deck for him to bury his waste in. That was the only civilized way to handle things in Salt’s opinion.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish