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Chapter 11

The two caps exploded with laughter again. Falling about with merriment, the green cap begged his mate: ‘You talk to this one, Ben! It's all too much for me!’

Ben took off his yellow cap, scratched his head, and jamming the cap back on, turned to Lennie. ‘Now then, tell me, are you here on business or for pleasure?’ he asked and winked at his mate.

Lennie sighed. He could see he would have quite a job explaining things to the two fishermen, so he just smiled and asked: ‘Would there be any chance that you might give us a ride to the beach in your boat, sir?

‘Sure,’ laughed the yellow cap, ‘plenty of space in the boat for you and the bear.

There was a growl from Creamy, suddenly fully awake: ‘Are you referring to me? Can't you tell a dog from a …’

Lennie gave Creamy a warning pinch, and smiled at the yellow cap. ‘That's very kind of you, sir. We are most grateful.’

A low growl came from Creamy, but Lennie's frown was enough to silence him. Scowling and muttering under his breath, he followed Lennie into the boat. The boat rocked, as Creamy settled in the stern, but stayed afloat. In another instant, the motor burst into life, and they were on their way.

‘I'm hungry,’ whispered Creamy, staring at the fish piled in the bottom of the boat, ‘shall we have a fish or two, Lennie? Or three?’

‘Well, we can't just take them! But I have an idea,’ whispered Lennie back, and turned to the green cap.

‘Excuse me, sir, do you think you might let us help you unload your catch in exchange for some food?’

The fisherman looked at Lennie and chuckled. ‘Well, I don't know about you, but I dare say your friend can easily carry a load. I'll tell you what: I'll give you a bucket of fish if you empty the boat for us.

‘That's …’ began Lennie.

‘Oh, and one more thing,’ added the fisherman, ‘when we get into the shallows, you get off and push the boat the rest of the way. Take it or leave it.’

‘Thank you very much, sir,’ said Lennie, ‘we'll take it.’

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