The early morning mist hung over the sea like a fisherman's netting, smudging the line of the horizon. It all but hid a huge oil tanker making its way like a ghostly wall along the line which joined the sea and the sky. Closer to shore, little flags were bobbing up and down, marking a line of nets, which were trembling with the night's catch.
There was a pinking of the sky to the east - a sign of the dawn breaking. The first rays of the sun were shooting over the water. And what a catch they smiled on: a life-belt with Creamy and Lennie curled up inside.
A faint chug-chug-chug of a motor boat making its way to the nets could be heard. Suddenly, the engine was cut, and the boat floated silently right up to the life-belt. The green cap sitting in the prow of the boat, leant out and bent over Creamy.
‘Aiiiiitchoo!’ A small explosion shook the air, as the fluffy bobble of the fisherman's cap tickled Creamy's nose. He sneezed – and was instantly asleep again.
But the sneeze woke Lennie; he sat up with a start, and rubbed his eyes.
The fishermen roared with laughter. ‘This is what you might call a rude awakening, said the green cap to his mate.
‘You took the words out of my mouth!’ cried the yellow cap.
Lennie opened his eyes a little, and peered from one fisherman to the other. Then he shook his head, not quite awake yet. Suddenly, he remembered what had happened in the night. He sat bolt upright, and forced his eyes open.
All around there was water: behind them, was the vast rolling sea, pink and golden in the rising sun ; in front of them, some way ahead, lay a sandy beach.
Lennie cleared his throat and turned to the green cap. ‘Excuse me, sir,’ he began politely and pointed to the beach: ‘is this Russia over there?’
The green cap and the yellow cap looked at each other, and roared with laughter again. They laughed so hard that they nearly upset their boat.
‘Well,’ Lennie stammered, slightly taken aback, ‘you see, we had been on our way to St Petersburg when we … er … fell overboard and …’
The green cap looked at the yellow cap in a meaningful sort of way and tapped his head. The yellow cap nodded and turning to Lennie, drawled softly:
‘So you were going to St Petersburg, eh?’
‘By ship, eh?’