Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sally, Part 3

1.  I have friends, both blogging and otherwise who put me in my place.
2.  I've made a list of things to do today, so I should be able to get more done.
3.  My baby takes right to the bottle while my wife is at work (it was a concern).

You won't get this post unless you read Part 2.

Keeping the baby would prove to be more difficult than The Cook had anticipated.  Even finding a place to lay the baby while he cooked was difficult.  Each surface and sack had its own pitfalls: the maggots in the meat, the knives on the block, the insects in the vegetables.  In the end, the cook made a sling for the child, little more than a piece of cloth hung up with the sausages.  The Cook carefully laid the boy in his new hammock and then stared at it.  When he was satisfied, he took his bedroll and set it up underneath where the baby swung.  The Cook stared up at what looked to be the fattest tube of salami ever to end up in his seasick kitchen.  And finally the sway of the child hypnotized The Cook into a deep slumber.

To his relief, and to be completely honest, to his surprise, the sling had worked.  When he woke up to make breakfast the child still hung there just as he had the night before.  The Cook was also surprised that the child didn't end up seasick, but then again, he had been growing with the rock of the ocean his whole life.  Expertly, The Cook started making the morning meal while he took a bag made of sheep's stomach, poked a hole in the bottom, and poured a little of the goat's milk into it, as much as he thought the baby would drink.  He knew that he couldn't take the baby into the mess hall, so he put his mind to work again on how he could feed the child without disturbing the morning ritual, for surely The Captain would not come looking for his illegitimate son, but would come looking if breakfast was not on his plate at the usual time.  So, with the baby getting fussy, The Cook tide a string to the sack, hung it from the ceiling and down into the sling, and tied it off when it was just low enough for the baby to latch on to it.  Once again, The Cook was surprised at his success and was able to keep his shipmates unaware that he himself hadn't killed the child.

Don't be mistaken, The Cook knew little to nothing about babies.  It is merely by luck that the baby was not found.  He hardly fussed because he was soothed by the steady rocking of the boat, the hiss of the ocean's spray, and that his hammock kept his fist more or less in his mouth.  The Cook fed him every time he got a chance, which was just often enough to keep him happily full, and The Cook often had linens to wash so it didn't seem odd that he was washing a few more each time.  If it all sounds like a happy coincidence, it was.  By all calculations the baby should have been thrown overboard the night of his birth.  And yet, by exceptional luck, he lived through that night, and the nights to follow.  Then, when The Cook thought that there was no possible way to keep the child one night longer the sailor in the crow's nest finally let out the signal that he saw land, and The Cook knew that the boy was saved, because the next land would be the port city of Andrill, and there he would be expected to go and resupply the stock of food.  His plan was simple, though effective:  he would hide the baby in a sack, and while he was out buying the rations, he would leave the child with the first big hearted person he could find.


  1. See? Now you just have to keep going. Does he make it off the ship okay? Can he bare to part with the child? So many questions.

  2. @Vinny
    Yeah, after dbs told me the other quote of King's (about getting busy living, or getting busy dieing) I decided I needed to keep going. It's just a far cry from what I normally blog about ya know? Maybe I should make two blogs...

    Thanks. I try hard. As I was explaining to Vinny, I normally just blog about my day, but I thought I'd start writing this story. Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Hope to see you again.