Chapter Four

Mocha was staring out into the sea for about the millionth time that day. Then, for a change of view, she looked at the ship. She could just make out the name on the side which read, the Big Pear. Vanilla's doing, of course. She watched Vanilla instead, who had been whistling the worst tune ever all afternoon. He seemed to have stopped, but Mocha wasn't sure. She closed her eyes and tried to remember the day she left...something like this had happened:

Vanilla had been bustling about the deck the whole day. Mocha had offered to help him, and Vanilla had asked her, "Do you know what a mast is?"

Mocha had replied a cautious, "No..."

"I'm sorry," Vanilla had said, "but I'm sure you could help out some other way. Maybe you could cook up something?"

Mocha remembered sighing and walking away, but later, she had made lunch, using a battered cook book titled Make Meals! ship edition. Mocha had a feeling she wasn't going to be eating fresh food for a while.

And here she was; a week later. Still bored, still no sign of the Barracuda, and still no clue of where it might be.

Vanilla looked at a map, then a few other gadgets which Mocha didn't recognize, and then Vanilla walked over to Mocha.

"Hello Vanilla," Mocha said.

"Well hello Mo-now cut that out! That's about the hundredth time you've said that to me!" Vanilla glared angrily at Mocha, but she didn't pay much attention. Vanilla cleared his throat and said, "Um, we are about here, I think."

Mocha peered over at the map and looked at where Vanilla's finger was pointing. "We're very close to Sparrow Island." she commented.

Vanilla nodded. "About a day away."

Vanilla rolled up the map. Then he trotted away. Mocha gazed after him. Then she turned away. She looked in the direction of Sparrow Island. I hope you're more exciting than the sea, she silently thought.

Mocha didn't know what to do next. Maybe learn something? Mocha walked over to Vanilla and picked up a gadget. She looked closer. "Hey, this is a compass!"

Vanilla continued doing various things while they spoke. "Yes.Now, how'd you know that?"

Mocha looked at the compass and turned it over. "My uncle used to play sailor with me when I was little. He was the captain and I was the sailor. It was fun, but I barely remember anything he taught or told me."

Vanilla took up some rope. "What does this have to do with the compass?"

Mocha giggled and said, "He told me about compasses, duh! I remember some of it, but not all."

"What do you remember?"

Mocha flipped the compass over. "Only that it points to the North. I don't know how it works or anything like that."

Vanilla shrugged. "I could always tell you how. So, what does your uncle do now?"

Mocha looked away. "I don't know."

Vanilla looked at her, tilting his head. "What do you mean, you don't know?"

Mocha gave Vanilla a swift glare. "It means he's dead! His ship sank and he drowned! Can we stop talking? I'm going to make lunch."

"I'm sorry! I didn't know that!" Vanilla called after her.

Mocha ignored him.

Later that day, Mocha walked up to Vanilla, her eyes wet from crying; dried tears still on her cheeks. She shuffled her feet uncomfortably and cleared her throat.

"L-lunch is ready," she croaked.

"I'm sorry," was the reply.

"What for?"

Vanilla gave Mocha a you-know-what look.

Mocha stared at the deck; clearly avoiding eye-contact.

"You know, you have a habit of doing that," Vanilla said, pointing a finger at her teasingly.

"You have bad habits too!" Mocha giggled back.

Vanilla folded his arms. "I do, do I? And what may they be?"

"There's one that I know of," Mocha retorted in a playful way.

"Yes, yes. Now, what is it?"

"You eat too many pears."

Vanilla began to blush, but he kept his cool and played along. "Now that I think about it, you're right. Hmm...how about this? I balance it out and eat apples on Thursdays."

Mocha grinned. Then she felt guilty. Sighing she said, "Sorry I snapped at you."

"It was my fault," Vanilla said, shrugging.

Mocha hugged Vanilla and said back, "No, it was my fault. I shouldn't have overreacted. You didn't know."

Vanilla hugged her back and said, "Well I shouldn't have been so reckless with my words. It was my fault and that's that."

Mocha pulled away. "That's not right! I snapped at you and-"

Vanilla threw his paws into the air. "Are we going to argue about who's fault it was all the way to Sparrow Island?"

Mocha giggled and said, "I promise to stop arguing if you stop humming those ridiculous tunes."

"Now that's very offensive! I made up those tunes myself!" Vanilla retorted hotly.

"If you promise to stop, I'll give you a pear."

Vanilla's eyes widened. "You brought a pear? For me?"

"Yes," Mocha said in a matter-of-fact way.

Vanilla smacked his lips and vowed, "I'll never whistle another homemade song again! I promise!" Vanilla paused before adding, "Now, what about this pear?"

"Wait here."

Mocha returned minutes later with the ugliest, most disturbing pear in all the world. She explained that it had been in her suitcase all this time because she had forgotten that it even existed.

"It's probably inedible," she realized.

To her amazement though, the pear was soon gone, devoured by the ferret who was wiping his sticky paws on his soft, white fur.

Out of curiousity, Mocha asked, "How did it taste?"

"Delicious with hints of rot. Why?"

Mocha held in a giggle. "Just curious."

Mocha then realized it was getting late. "We should eat our food. It's probably cold by now."

Vanilla rubbed his stomach. "Rotten pears and cold lunch. How could one possibly go wrong?"

Mocha rolled her eyes. "C'mon, you."