Five in a boat, not counting the cat

All happy families are similar at each other, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way (с) L.N.Tolstoy

“The storm is approaching,” the captain of a vessel has noticed. “We may be not in time. We should better…”

“We will be in time!” the Mistress has unceremoniously interrupted. “If you have obeyed me three hundred and twenty-seven strokes back, we wouldn’t even be caught by it. I have been telling you, dolt, – to the south, to the south we had to row! And what did you say – we’ll go north, we’ll go north! Sail now to the east, oh my ingenious one! And don’t even dare to break our family boat!”

“Oh, don’t you start it,” the Captain got confused. “Just imagine, how beautiful the north is! The polar lights, colds, stopping the blood, wind’s howl that makes you lose your hearing, penguins on ice floes, after all…”

“Yeah, penguins are an interesting topic. I would like to see at least one of them live,” the Middle brother has interrupted the conversation.

“And I desire to go to the West,” the Elder brother said suddenly. “Life is a way better there and people are more cultural – don’t swear like some other.”

“So you’ll swim there alone, in your next life. If you have sufficient brains. And now we’ll sail to the southeast!” the Mistress was becoming even angrier.

“Heck, to the south or to the east, make up ye mind at last!” it was obvious, that Captain was already starting to feel the rage.

“At first to the south, and then to the east, wasn’t that clear enough? Or do you need an instruction for each and every stroke?”

“Don’t need,” the Сaptain has taken offense. “I’ll somehow manage it myself, move away!”

And, having this said, he has flopped on vessel’s prow and started to fiercely beat the water with oars, as if waves of salty moisture were capable to extinguish a fire, periodically inflaming his soul.

“And where are we sailing now?!” the Mistress has exclaimed both unceremoniously and pathetically five minutes after the supervision over this nonsense. “There is no north over there! You have not even turned a boat!”

“If you are such a smart one, take oars and row yourself!” the Captain bawled. “You cannot even appreciate the help!”

“I don’t want such ‘help’ even free of charge. You all are just useless, I have to do it all myself!”

And with these words, the Mistress has taken a seat on a stern and started to make elegant pirouettes on the water with oars.

A stroke. And yet again. And several tens of strokes as well. W-h-o-o-o-w-w-w-h-h-h! – and a wave, which has suddenly rolled on a vessel, washed away half of the stock, which was located there, having not spared even banal food.

“What have you made, asshole!” the Mistress cried out. “All our emergency rations were there, for evil day prepared!  The last gifts of my mother were there! Not for you, for my children all that I’ve prepared, by grains collected! What a clumsy one are you, indeed!”

“As if I had not done it for children!” the Captain frowned. “And, yeah, if that’s so important for you, you must have fastened it better!”

“So I did! Attached everything, tied it all up! Who might have known, that you will be able to wash it all away in a single flash!”

“The luggage was washed away by a wave,” the Middle has had enough time to interrupt the skirmish. “A man cannot command waves.”

“The storm is coming,” the Elder has noticed. “I can already see in on the horizon.”

“Just look at what you have done!” as though not hearing him, the Mistress continued to exclaim. “Has washed away our stock, woken the Younger.”

“Yep, yep,” the Younger brother sniffed from a boat’s corner, still opening his eyes. “Has woken, woken! Bad, nasty!”

“…And even managed to water our cat!”

“Miaow!” said the cat, who has just got out from under a seat and started to lick own wet wool extensively. “Miaow!” she has repeated once more and with a reproach in her cattish eyes stared at all the heroes of element’s triumph.

“You row in opposite directions,” the Elder has sarcastically noticed. “Are you planning to continue or going to stop right away? The storm is already close.”

“Storm, storm! Mummy, mum! Save, rescue!” the Younger began to cry.

“Now, my little one, just a moment! All these dolts have not even the slightest idea, that we must row to the south! Only mum knows it all, can do it all, predicts it all! She will help, she will rescue!”

“Miaow?” a stained cat has interrogatively stared at her.

“A storm, however, you haven’t foreseen,” the Elder hemmed. “Come on, let me replace you,” he told to the Mistress and unceremoniously took one oar. The Middle took the second.

“We will sail to the north tomorrow, three altogether,” the Elder stated, addressing the Captain. “And now let’s row to the east all as one,” the Middle has added as well. “Ok, let’s go!”

A stroke. And the next one. And several more hundreds of them.

They have almost reached the coast – but the storm has caught them nevertheless. It flanged the boat and began to whirl it, pouring with waves. It washed away another part of a luggage stock. It, finally, for the second time didn’t spare an unfortunate cat, who had already started to dry up on a wind. It struck captain’s face several times with its waves. It reached a stern with Elder and Middle brothers. It poured with water a screaming Younger one.

In short, it was rigid. But not omnipotent.

The storm has come to an end, and the coast has finally appeared. Just a two hundred meters. Just a leaking and dilapidated boat. Just a wet cat, rubbing about feet in a vain attempt to warm oneself.

“Retards!” a Mistress has shouted short after coming to her senses. “Broken a boat! Washed away the luggage! Watered the Younger one! I have no more powers, monsters!” and with these words, she has seized Younger brother and together with him has jumped overboard, strenuously swimming to a coast in a southern direction.

Three remained heroes of the day (four, considering a wet cat as a passenger) with the last bit of strength finally sailed to a coast, taking out water, accumulating in a worn out boat, in a process.

“So, where are we going to travel now?” the ex-captain interrogatively looked at them.

“To the West,” the Elder brother said confidently. “Storm warnings are usually announced there in advance.”

“Well, and I then, probably, will travel East, for the sake of variety,” the Middle one decided.

“So, well, if things are that way and my leadership is no more necessary to everybody, I will go, perhaps, to the north,” the Captain of the broken boat noticed enthusiastically. “Always dreamt of visiting the north at least once in my ex-captain’s life…”

P.S. So, and how’s cat’s destiny turned out? Living well, we guess. Having jumped out in the last moment from her recent dwelling, which has broken on its way ashore, she has indifferently curved her back and, having caved in, has splashed from herself the rest of this inutile moisture, impregnated with salt of life, mewed few times encouragingly, and run, where the tail directs. Have granted herself to the new way of life.

10.04.2010