and Men, there was only one
I will dare to say that I woke up on the
wrong side of the bed that morning, but
maybe not. I don’t think I did.
I stood on the rail overlooking what had
to be the most curious sight I had ever
seen – it was the railing of an old
sailing ship, from a century before
this, made with care during those times
before the telephone was an ordinary
household utility, so you know I was a
bit taken aback when I looked at her.
It was definitely a ‘she,’ this ship.
Her wooden deck gleamed brightly with
golden sunlight and her sails were
flying high in all their glory, as if
ready to go at any moment. I was
just stunned, as I had not expected to
find myself here when I read that note
on the step at home.
It had simply read:
Pearls, ninth slip.
How curious! I knew where the
harbor was, it was a block away, and it
took me an hour to arrive.
Previously, I had also overheard the
master of the house talking to someone
on the phone saying that his pearls were
missing. Those precious, beautiful
pearls he had bought for the Lady’s
birthday! Gone! Someone had
them! I had to try and get them back for
him, even if he didn’t have the
slightest idea of whom his benefactor
was. I would just leave them
somewhere maybe, somewhere he would see
them….maybe on his desk.
I could feel the soft warm breeze
blowing my fur a little as I stood there
with wide eyes, I’m sure.
golden ship, was what I
thought, as I stood there looking at the
exquisite woodwork and solid brass
fittings – showing off great human
brilliance in craftsmanship from days
gone by. She was well cared for, too, I
noted. How wonderful a place she
was! But in fact, I was here on a
mission and I would be done with it
quickly…or so I hoped.
If I had just gotten on the ship and
found the pearls immediately and
returned home with them, perhaps there
would be no real story to tell, I
suppose. But when I got there, I
was already amazed at the ship herself,
and engaged in much pondering about
where those pearls might be, if in fact
they were actually here. But
that’s what the note said, did it not?
This was the ninth dock or slip as they
call it – not knowing my sea-faring
words you know. Not much use for
those inside a grandfather clock, I’m
afraid. But that was how clean and
perfect this sailing ship really was.
I felt almost giddy as I jumped down off
the rail and headed toward the door,
where I hoped I would find the captain’s
quarters, perhaps below. But one
I spotted the monster as soon as I was
on the deck and scrambled under a neatly
wrapped line of hemp rope. It
smelled like fresh lacquer on the deck,
so I assumed it had been polished of
late, but it wasn’t sticky. Perhaps
that was why the giddiness! The lacquer
was making me feel funny! Yes that was
I decided that I should wait awhile and
regain my proper composure before trying
to out-wit the cat but I noticed that he
he was a bit rushed by the fresh lacquer
fumes too. He simply stretched out
his grey paws and fell asleep in the
sunlight – lucky beast!
So it was then that I made my way toward
it, mind you) the door on the far end
from where I had been stationing myself.
There were no humans in sight yet at
least. I figured they were busy
elsewhere or not on the ship at all, or
even sleeping. It was still
morning after all.
I then ran very swiftly along the outer
edge of the deck until I got there and
slid under the door, hoping no human
would suddenly pass through and bash me
into flatness with a foot. But I
was fortunate, nobody came through at
that moment, and I was now inside, going
down the small stairs below.
There seemed no end to my amazement at
this ship’s beauty – below deck was just
as well cared for and polished as it was
above, where all the world could see her
magnificence. I almost envied the
mice that lived here in this lavish
home, and wished to stay and live there
too, but no -- this was not my place, my
place was home on dry land, and right
now, it was finding those pearls for the
master of my house.
Still no sign of humans.
Puzzling! I heard an old, old
restored mariner’s clock ring out eleven
times and knew it was now eleven o’clock
so maybe they were all at lunch?
Seems they could have lunch here in
this beautiful place?
well! I darted into the next
room and found myself listening to every
tick of that marvelous clock, as I
shimmied up the base of the captain’s
chair and onto his grand desk.
What did I expect to find there? I
didn’t know. But I saw the same
handwriting as the note on the stairway,
a sort of educated sprawl that lacked
character – no doubt it was the
handiwork of the captain of this ship!
The ship’s captain must be the
thief of the pearls!
I felt my blood boil! How could anyone
with this beautiful ship be a thief?
Perhaps it was a hobby of his,
collecting things that didn’t belong to
him? I had no idea, but I stood there
thinking for the longest time, hearing
the clock ticking and the waves beating
softly on the sides of the vessel. Slap!
Slap! Slap! Interrupting the quiet, it
seemed. But here, the waves were
part of the quiet weren’t they?
There were certainly no other clues on
this desk! And I couldn’t open the
drawers, that is a common shortcoming of
being a mouse, there is no way a mouse
can open a heavy oak desk drawer, that’s
all there is to it.
Just then I heard voices, and scurried
over to the shadows where no one could
“The new Captain and his wife and
daughter will be aboard at three
Stated a gravelly voice. It
was accented, just like in the movies,
but still distant from where I was, so
slightly muffled, though I could hear it
“Very well then, I shall be gone until
two then.” I assumed this was the voice
of the captain, but of course, I had no
real idea, being that this was the first
I’d heard them speaking and I’d not seen
them yet. “It’s all set, correct?”
“Oh yes, it’s all set Sir.”
“Good, then two o’clock will be my
farewell.” Replied the man I assumed to
be the captain, the
“Yes, Sir.” The gravelly one agreed.
After that, there was a silence and I
started feeling hunger pangs.
There must be something I could scrap up
around here? I hoped so! And I
hoped that fat old cat was still
snoozing on the deck, but of course I
couldn’t be sure. I poked my head
out of the little corner I was hiding in
and noted where I might find food, and
surely enough, I wasn’t far from the
little ship’s kitchen. And yes,
there was one human in there, an older
woman preparing hors d'oeuvres. (They
were certainly not
here!) My stomach rumbled even more
loudly I think about then.
I found enough strength left in me to
skitter over near her feet because most
of the humans I’ve ever seen working on
food, usually lose something on the
floor….and sure enough, a mousely-sized
piece of cheese awaited my hungry belly!
Wonderful! It was Port Wine cheese, my
I gulped the last bit of it down and
found the sink very quickly, running up
the sideboard of the counter, unnoticed
by the woman, and drank a luxurious
drink of the cool water that was still
running. Very quickly mind you, so
as not to be beaten to death by a broom
or something. I surely liked it
But, again, I was on a mission and
wouldn’t be here long. I merely
left the kitchen and returned to the
captain’s quarters to continue my search
for the missing pearls for the master of
the house. Plus, not only that but
if they were expecting someone to arrive
at three o’clock, then, that must mean
this ship was prepared to
did it not? I must
the pearls and take my leave before
certainly an adventure!
I thought. I might even tell it to my
grandchildren! I’d never felt a rush
inside me quite like
even when running from a cat.
I was suddenly filled with self
importance and self- confidence; I was
going to find those pearls come heck or
high water (most likely high waters
considering I was on a boat…err
I returned to the top of the captain’s
desk and looked around more closely,
since my stomach was now full and I
wasn’t skipping brain cells from lacquer
fumes now. There were official
looking papers lying on the top of the
pile but I didn’t take the time to read
them. I simply looked around and around,
at the pencils and the pens and the
paperweight with a tiny sailing ship
inside the thick glass that held down
another piece of paper with that same
handwriting on it. It certainly
had to be the ship’s captain’s
handwriting, surely it was.
Then I looked into the shadowy area of
the desk, not far from where I had
hidden previously – there was a silvery
purple box among some wrappings, just
sitting there, I hadn’t noticed it
before. I looked around me and
then took both limbs and
opened the lid…
All three of them, sat there gleaming,
nested in the cottony soft sculptured
interior, in a row, cradled there,
beautiful and perfect. I could almost
interesting place in the bottom
of the ocean where they had originated
from. Somewhere in the sea, I
Somewhere far from here.
I pulled each one gently from its place
and slipped them into my pockets, which
were now bulging and heavy for me.
But I was thinking how happy the master
would be to be able to give those to his
lovely wife for her birthday, so the
awkwardness didn’t matter one bit. I
think I was probably ‘happy as a clam’
or maybe an oyster… at that moment!
I was feeling a bit sluggish from the
weight but carried on, I was going to go
home now, very quickly if possible, and
it wouldn’t take me more than an hour
I would then set the missing pearls on
the master’s desk well within his sights
and be done with them. Perhaps I would
watch from afar the master’s happiness!
But first things first…on my way up the
steps, I encountered the cat….or I could
see him, he could not see me, but he was
sensing me, somehow.
I stopped in place and froze for a
moment’s time and pondered what to do.
My pockets were bulging with an
unfamiliar weight and I felt heavy.
I glanced over into the shadows again
and hid myself even better.
“It’s nearly two o’clock; the captain
should be returning, Mrs. Fine.”
Announced the same gravelly voice from
earlier. His head
was sticking inside the door but
didn’t walk fully in, so I couldn’t see
his face or gather his scent but he was
darkening the shadows that I hid within
and I could feel his presence above me.
“Thanks Sir! I’ll be ready!” The woman
in the kitchen yelled back.
The cat seemed mostly clueless, and I
breathed more quietly than ever so as
not to raise his instincts any more than
they already were. I felt my
whiskers twitch when I saw his
twitching; he could sense me but he was
not getting it, thank goodness! (My
kind of kitty!)
Time passed, probably just moments but
the cat walked away and into the
kitchen, and I was able to scurry again
under the bottom of the door and make my
way back out onto the deck.
The pearls were
heavy now! I didn’t know what
to make of that, I felt weary and
settled down not far beyond the doorway
and thought about the whole thing.
Hoping that the
master of my home would be pleased when
he saw his missing pearls again.
That was the ultimate goal here! It must
have been the lacquer fumes there on the
wood, because I felt faint and then
thought of nothing for a time.
I suddenly felt myself
back into consciousness as I heard
merrymaking on the ship’s deck not far
from me. There was music now and
some humans aboard were dancing, though
just a few of them, and I was again
taken aback, by the time of day it
seemed to be, as the sun was now
beginning to set. Oh my! I had
passed out and lost
The ship had set sail and I was still on
it! I was gasping with upset! How would
I get home again? Where were they going?
Then I remembered the master’s pearls
and I still had them! How could I return
them to the master now? I nearly fainted
again from my own internal devastation.
How could this happen? What would
become of me now?
I sat for awhile and tried to regain my
personal composure, figuring that I was
still fairly safe, since I hadn’t been
eaten in my sleep or shuffled off into
the ocean while unconscious. Then
I merely watched the festivities.
“Soon I shall give you a special gift my
lovely wife!” Announced a familiar
“Pardon me, Captain Sir, but I have
something to tell you.”
“What is it?”
“The gift is missing from your desk, I
just checked, Sir. I’m very sorry.”
“Missing again? OH my!”
I would have fell off my chair had I
been in one…it was the
master’s voice! Instead, I just
stumbled a bit into the wall.
The two men hurried passed and down into
the captain’s quarters, and sure enough,
it was the master from my home. He
was the new Ship’s Captain, as
apparently he had longed to sail the
seas with his wife and daughter, and I
taken his precious pearls!
I was the only “thief” here it seemed!
I gasped for breath again and
contemplated how I would return them
quickly and unnoticed!
The evidence of my crime bulged from my
pockets and there was so much activity
aboard the ship now that I had no idea
if I would be squashed on the way to
returning the precious pearls to their
purplish box on the desk. I
shuddered, and noted I was also hungry
In the meantime, the master came back
through and announced to his wife that
the special gift had been misplaced and
that it would be found shortly, since he
had already told her that there was in
fact, a gift waiting for her. I assumed
that life aboard this magnificent ship
was also a gift but at this moment, the
three pearls were all that mattered.
I got under the door and rushed down the
stairs, not caring if the clueless
monster of a cat saw me or not – with
all my bulges, he might have thought I
was something other than a mouse anyway!
Quickly, I found another way to conquer
the climb up the desk, finding a side
way to accommodate the extra weight I
was handling, and emerged onto it, and
just in the nick of time, replaced the
beautiful pearls back in their precious
box. I was no longer a ‘thief’, and now
the master could stop sweating it out
and finally gift his wife with those
Then I found myself a place inside the
cabin near a porthole so I could watch
the master giving them to his lady on
As of this writing, we have sailed under
great white sails on open waters for
days and endless starry nights unknown
to me, and have been to many faraway
places to which we may or may not return
again, but I am alive and well and
living on the Ship of Dreams known as
“The Three Pearls.” Imagine that?