FOLLOW THAT GULL!
MEET SALLY and WHATSIT.
Fuchsia lived in a hot air balloon- a very odd address for an elf you might think- but Fuchsia’s job was to cheer up unhappy children. A jaunt up Dunlaoghaire pier dropping free-range eggs on Lycra legged joggers, chill-axed skateboarders and bespectacled grannies usually did the trick. Fuchsia got no petrol allowance, but he did get mischief mileage expenses. So when he saw the red haired girl scowling in the middle of Herbert Park Fuchsia started thinking about mileage.
He was saving up for a trip Down Under to visit his cousin Eucalyptus. But what with the new baggage charges with Elfan Air, he was struggling to come up with the fare. He’d need flippers, snorkel, wetsuits, a ton of factor 50 sun cream, a designer collection of togs, fly swats and anti mosquito spray. 10 elf kilos just wouldn’t suffice. He’d almost have to charter an Elfan Boeing for himself the more he read about the Australian outback. He could, of course, take a chance and fly himself in his hot air balloon. But there were some dangerous winds to consider on route, the hot dry Sirocco and the strong cold Mistral. And besides, his pilot licence wasn’t valid south of the equator. Daring as Fuchsia was, he didn’t want to risk penalty points.
Beneath him now a small crowd was gathering beside the red headed girl. Gussy Gull was at it again. Spring time in Herbert Park meant Gussy’s chance to make front page in The Irish Times. The seagull’s wings rose on a level with the balloon and Fuchsia saw the fledgling duckling hanging from Gussy’s beak. You had to admire Gus. He never missed a photo shoot opportunity. Below him pocket cameras, iphones and smart phones flashed in tandem.
“Follow that gull!” ordered Sally Holmes as she jumped on board the hot air balloon, even before it landed.
“I’m not a taxi, Sally Holmes. And if I’d known it was you I wouldn’t have landed!”
“You’ve just wasted five seconds, Whatsit.”
“Fuchsias are either plants or colours. The plant is a shrub, mostly native to
0.2-4 metres tall. The colour fuchsia was first recorded as a colour name in
English in 1892.You, if I may point out, Whatsit, are an elf. Now do you really
want to be responsible for that serial killer’s next offence? We have just lost
another twenty three seconds. Gus took three right turns and four lefts so he’s
probably headed for James Joyce’s Tower in Sandycove.”
“How did you see that?”
“Just trust me, Whatsit, and get going! We can still save the day and the fledgling.”
“That fledgling’s already dead meat. We’re on a wild gull chase.”
“From the traces of black eel on his front fore-claw I’d say our Gussy has already dined. He’s keeping fledgling for his break-time snack, which he imbibes at exactly eleven am.”
“How do you know that? From the configuration of his wings?”
“No, Whatsit. Because he said, “Roll on elevenses...” just before he struck.”
There was no point in arguing with Sally Holmes. She missed nothing. It was all the fault of her great, great grandfather Sherlock, who had taught her to be a right little meddler.”
Fuchsia reluctantly turned to his controls. “Three lefts and four rights did you say?”
“Whatsit, you never listen! You operate from a fraction of your brain cell potential. It’s the opposite, exactly the opposite.”
Here she was off again. No lines full of washing would disappear today, no perfectly directed water bombs would explode on unsuspecting heads. No fun at all, just plonking police work.
To be continued....
Copyright with Cathy Leonard 2017