by Dawn Knox
a cocktail with a cherry and umbrella
Previously: Eddie and his chums accidentally bought an island and the previous owner is about to steal their boat, the Soup John Bee, and leave them stranded in the middle of the Bouillabaisse Ocean. However, he didn’t bargain on finding Deirdre aboard…
“We’ve got to get back to Hummus-on-Sea immediately,” said Brian, “and contact the press. We… well, Deirdre, is going to make a fortune!”
“Why? It’s not like she’s the first rabbit to give birth,” said Babs with a puzzled frown.
“But she’s the first rabbit to give birth to cats,” said Brian.
“No, old thing, I think you’re mistaken. When Babs said Deirdre had six kittens, she meant baby rabbits,” said Gideon.
“Well why didn’t she say so?”
“Baby rabbits are called kittens, old thing.”
“Never mind that,” said Eddie. “Just row faster. I think I can hear shouting coming from the boat.”
A portly rat cartwheeled through the air and fell into the sea with an enormous splash, seconds later, a smaller rat followed a similar trajectory.
Before the rowing boat drew up alongside the Soup John Bee, the dripping figures of Manny and Sam were seen clambering aboard their motor boat which took off at speed, towards the Isle of Macaroon.
Eddie and the others climbed back onto the deck of the Soup John Bee, to find Deirdre with paws on hips and a scowl on her face.
“#WhatANerve! I couldn’t believe it when that big rat told me he was assuming control of the boat. I told him piracy’s against the law and that I’d be forced to take action if he continued. Well, they won’t be back in a hurry,” she said brushing her paws together.
While Babs and Deirdre looked over the contract, Eddie, Gideon, Brian and Colin kept an eye on the kittens.
“Yes, I agree with Babs,” said Deirdre, “This contract is legal. You all own the island. What I can’t understand is why Manny sold it for such a small sum.”
“That’s simple,” said Waldemeyer hopping along the railing. “He didn’t have any choice. He put his wife and young ‘uns on the last boat which passed, but other than that, no one’s been near the island for months because no one ever sails this way, so he knew he was unlikely to sell it. He didn’t have any means of getting back to Macaroon either. So, when you turned up in your boat, he thought he’d sell the island for whatever price you offered, and then take your boat and escape. He’d probably have sold the boat when he got to Hummus-on-Sea.”
“Thankfully, Deirdre bravely put a stop to that,” said Eddie, patting her on the shoulder.
“It’s a shame, but they’ll never make it back to the Isle of Macaroon in that motorboat,” said Babs.
“Who?” asked Waldemeyer.
“Manny and Sam.”
“Oh yes, of course. Don’t worry about them,” said Waldemeyer, “I’ll fly over to the coastguard and alert them.”
“The decision’s got to be unanimous,” said Eddie. “If we’re going to run the island as a holiday resort and transport guests on the Soup John Bee, we need several hands to sail the boat and the rest to look after the island. All in favour of this business enterprise, raise your hand, paw or otherwise.”
“I don’t know,” said Colin, “I still haven’t made up my mind whether or not to go travelling ̶ “
“Travelling?” asked Brian, “Haven’t you done enough travelling? We’ve only just travelled here. Anyway, are you mad? This is a fantastic opportunity, why would you even think about going somewhere else?”
“Fate,” said Colin.
“What d’you mean fate?”
“I’m trying to change my fate.”
“You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, so what’s the point of trying to change it?”
“But I do know. When I was in Treacletart at Lady Lovelace’s house, the cook read my tea leaves. My future looks bleak, unless I can change it.”
“What can possibly be so bad that you need to run away from, old chap?”
“Well, apparently, my future is going to involve anger and conflict. And even worse, it’s going to include lots of children! If I go away on my own, I may not be able to escape conflict, but I can certainly avoid having any children.”
“What a lot of rot!” said Brian.
“No!” said Eddie, “I think Colin’s right!”
“What?” squeaked Brian, “Are you mad?”
“No. I think the tea leaves were incredibly accurate… anger, conflict and children were in Colin’s future.”
“So, you think I should go travelling?” asked Colin with a sigh.
“Absolutely not! Anger, conflict and children were in your future but they’re now in your past... When you came home, Brian punched me on the beak and if you remember, there was a bit of a… ahem… scuffle. Well, that was the anger and conflict…”
“And the children,” said Gideon bouncing one of the kittens on his knee, “weren’t yours, old bean.”
“You’re right!” said Colin, a smile lighting up his face. “In that case, count me in on the island holiday resort plans.”
“Since Babs and Deirdre don’t have any sailing experience, I suggest they stay on the island and make sure everything’s ready for our first guests,” said Eddie, “they can deal with the social media and promote our new enterprise. The rest of us will go back to Macaroon, get some brochures published and hopefully take some bookings. If we bring guests at the weekend, we can still honour our fishing trip reservations during the week. We’ll make a fortune!”
“What are we going to call the island?” asked Babs, “We need a name if we’re going to do the online marketing.”
“It was called Moore’s Island,” said Waldemeyer.
“Moore’s the pity!” said Eddie, “I vote we call it Eddie’s Island.”
“No! Absolutely not!” said Brian, “I think it should be Three Monkey Island.”
“That’s ridiculous!” said Colin, “People will come and expect to find three monkeys here.”
Babs and Deirdre scooped up the six kittens and crept off.
“This could take a while,” whispered Babs.
Police Sergeant McNabb and Constable Warrant had received a tip off from a passing seagull that two rats – father and son – had arrived in Hummus-on-Sea after attempting to steal a boat. The two police badgers had no luck in finding the offenders and were just about to leave the harbour and head back to Le Bunnoir for doughnuts and hot chocolate, when the sergeant spotted Eddie and the others mooring the Soup John Bee.
“Look over there, Constable, it looks like the felon we were after a few days ago.”
“I dunno, Sarge. He doesn’t look much like a fairy to me or one o’ them voice addition things. Shall we go and question him?”
“Leave this to me, Sonny.”
“Aleema!” called the sergeant.
Eddie, Brian, Gideon and Colin turned to see who’d shouted.
“Aha!” said the sergeant, “Arrest him, Warrant!”
The constable grabbed Colin by the scruff of the neck and with his other paw, he fished in his pocket for his handcuffs. Sliding them over Colin’s slender wrists, he clicked them closed.
“You can’t go around arresting innocent people!” cried Eddie.
“The suspect responded to the name Aleema,” said the Sergeant.
“We all turned round,” said Brian, “but it doesn’t mean any of us are called Aleema. And anyway, his name’s Colin.”
“That’s what they all say,” said the constable.
“What rubbish!” said Colin, “How can everyone claim to be called Colin? I don’t know anyone with that name but me.”
The handcuffs slipped over Colin’s hands and clattered to the ground.
The constable seized his collar again, “Cor, ‘e’s a slippery one all right, Sarge! Let’s get ‘im back to the station.”
“You’re not taking him anywhere,” said Eddie.
“Oh really?” said Constable McNabb, “Well, in that case, you’re all under arrest.”
“What for?” asked Eddie.
“Obstruction, accessory after the fact…”
“What are we obstructing and what fact?”
“Never you mind.”
“Arrested? What for?” asked Babs.
“I don’t know,” said Waldemeyer, “I’d just finished telling Sergeant McNabb about Manny and Sam Moore then suddenly, he and the young constable ran over to Eddie and the others, he shouted something, and then he arrested them. It all happened so fast.”
“This is a disaster,” wailed Deirdre, “unless they come back, we’re all stranded here on our own.”
“Waldemeyer,” said Babs, “you’ve got to fly back to Macaroon and find out what’s happened to them.”
“What’s happened to whom?” asked Waldemeyer.
“Eddie and the others! You just told us they’ve been arrested.”
“Have they? Well, in that case, I’d better fly back and find out what’s happening. We can’t have your cute pups starve, can we, Debbie?”
Sergeant McNabb and Constable Warrant sat on one side of the table facing Eddie, Brian, Colin and Gideon, in an interrogation room at the police station.
“So,” said Sergeant McNabb, “you claim your name is Colin, not Aleema.”
“That’s correct, Sergeant,” said Colin politely, “I’m a lemur but my name is Colin.”
“But you just said you’re not Aleema.”
“Oh, no, I’m definitely a lemur.”
The sergeant glared at Colin, “Are you trying to make a monkey out of me, Sonny Jim?”
“Oh no, Sergeant.”
“Shall I be the good cop to your bad cop, sarge?” whispered Constable Warrant.
“Just shut up and let me deal with this.”
“So,” said the sergeant, “you claim not to have any form of identification.”
“I haven’t got any with me,” said Colin, “it’s back on the boat. Can I go and get it?”
“Certainly not! You nearly escaped before. I’m not letting you out of my sight!”
“I wasn’t trying to escape; the handcuffs fell off!” said Colin.
“That’s what they all say.”
“Then if that’s what they all say, perhaps you need to take note and get smaller handcuffs,” said Colin.
“I know how to prove Colin’s identity!” said Eddie, “I’ve got a photo on my phone that’ll show who he is. Look,” he said, holding out his mobile to the police officers. “It’s a poster of the Three Wise Monkeys when they appeared at the Spudwell Music Festival.”
“I knew your faces were familiar!” said the constable excitedly, “I was at the music festival. The Three Wise Monkeys rocked! Can I take a selfie with you all?”
“Thank you, Constable, that’ll do.”
The sergeant zoomed in on the photo on Eddie’s phone. “The names on this poster say Brain and Colon.”
“Oh, yes, that’s right,” said Eddie but that’s because the printer made a mistake.”
“And these are photographs of Colon and Brain, are they? Because they look suspiciously like chimps dressed in Hawaiian shirts drinking tea, to me.”
“Oh yes,” said Eddie, “that’s right, I forgot to send Brian and Colin’s photos to the printer, so they used stock photos ̶ “
“So, in fact,” said the sergeant, “this poster doesn’t help me at all.”
“Well, if you put it like that, I suppose not,” said Eddie.
“But, sarge, I’m pretty sure they are who they say they are. The Three Wise Monkeys were the headline act at Spudwell. Colin and Brian are brilliant musicians! The chicken did a great moonwalk and there were two jive bunnies. You should’ve seen the stage act! That parachute was absolutely amazing ̶ “
“Enough!” said the sergeant, “We’re not getting anywhere and I need to wrap this up and get home early tonight to pick up Mrs. McNabb.”
“Oh, yes, it’s the Policeman’s Ball tonight. I’ve got an idea, sarge, let’s get the Three Wise Monkeys to perform at the ball. If Colin isn’t who he says he is, we’ll soon know.”
“Brilliant, son, simply brilliant! I’ve trained you well.”
The Chief Constable shook Eddie’s wing, “Let’s hear it for the Three Wise Monkeys!” he shouted into the microphone “What an amazing performance!”
The glittering guests at the ball cheered and shouted for more, while, on the stage, Eddie, Brian, Colin and Gideon bowed. Gideon’s claim that he was quite accomplished on the flute, had turned out to be correct and despite not having rehearsed with Colin and Brian before, the music was surprisingly melodic.
“Where are the jive bunnies?” someone shouted from the back of the ballroom.
The Chief Constable handed Eddie the microphone, “We didn’t realise we’d be performing for you tonight, so the jive bunnies aren’t here but if you’d like to see more of the Three Wise Monkeys and the jive bunnies, there will be a gig each Saturday on the… er… island…” Eddie paused for a moment. The name that had been agreed upon was Paradise Island but it hadn’t been Eddie’s choice. He decided to make an executive decision. “Yes, as I was saying, a gig each Saturday on Eagles’ Rest. For those of you who’ve never heard of Eagles’ Rest, it’s a brand-new luxury holiday resort. And for anyone who’s interested, I have colour brochures here.”
The guests stampeded towards the stage to get the brochures, which saved Eddie from a punch on the beak from Brian.
“Oh Deirdre! #AreWeDoomed?” wailed Babs, “No one’s answering their phone and Waldemeyer should’ve been back hours ago. We’re going to die here all on our own.”
“#TakeHeart. They’ll be back, I’m sure of it. In fact,” She rubbed her eyes, “I think there’s a boat on the horizon.”
“Where? Yes! I think you’re right! #Saved. I am going to give that Eddie such a piece of my mind when he sets foot on this island!”
“Look at all the people on the Soup John Bee! It’s packed! You don’t think they’re guests, do you?”
“They must be!”
“Oh no! They’re wearing police uniforms. D’you think it’s a police raid?”
Waldemeyer landed unseen amongst the palm trees and waddled along the beach towards the two rabbits and kittens, “Good afternoon, ladies and pups! Well, that’s a fine sight, isn’t it?”
“Why are the police coming here?” asked Babs.
“They’ve booked a week’s stay on Eagles’ Rest.”
“Here,” said Waldemeyer, “It’s this island. Eddie renamed it.”
“I bet that wasn’t a popular decision,” said Babs.
“What?” asked Waldemeyer.
“Never mind,” said Babs. “We’d better go down to the jetty and welcome the first boatload of guests.”
The two rabbits stood side by side, each holding three kittens.
“Our lives have never been the same since that day we rescued Eddie, Colin and Brian from the Custard River, have they?” said Babs.
“#AintThatTheTruth,” said Deirdre, “And it looks like things are going to get a whole lot more interesting. Are we ready for this?”
“#BringItOn,” said Babs waving to the incoming guests.
Links to previous stories in The Macaroon Chronicles series
- The Macaroon Chronicles Prologue and the Three Wise Monkeys - http://cafelitcreativecfe.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-macaroon-chronicles-prologue-and.html?m=0
- #ChickenInCustard - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/02/chickenincustard.html
- The Fine Print - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-fine-print.html
- French for Cheese - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/02/french-for-cheese.html
- (Lies and Spies) – https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/03/porkies-and-espiggy-onage-lies-and-spies.html
- Nearly Death by Chocolate - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/03/nearly-death-by-chocolate.html
- Waxing Lyrical - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/03/waxing-lyrical.html
- Seduced by Zeros - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/04/seduced-by-zeros.html
- Soup-Legs - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/04/soup-legs.html
- The Year’s Most Popular Christmas Toy - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-years-most-popular-christmas-toy.html
- Holey Night - https://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/05/holey-night.html
- Aleema - http://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/05/aleema.html
- Heading Home - http://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/05/heading-home.html
- Moore’s the Pity - http://cafelitcreativecafe.blogspot.com/2020/06/moores-pity.html