Chapter 06

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T

Lucky me! It's Saturday and Dad, Sukee and I are going on a hunt for pink dolphins. While Dad packed a picnic, I brushed away the caked mud on my pony's coat. I trimmed her mane and tail with scissors. Then, running my hand down the back of her leg, I pulled her fetlock, and - abracadabra! - Sukee lifted her foot and I cleaned out her hoof.

TT ch06 v03 slinTally ho! Sukee pricked her ears and wanted to trot up the hill. People along the track said, 'Wah! A pony!' Soon we were climbing. On the way, Dad named the flowers: bauhinias, azaleas, hibiscus. He plucked a wild orchid and clipped it into my hair.

We found a comfortable spot overlooking the sea and laid out a towel. Sukee rooted for the apples in Dad's rucksack. Watching and waiting, we munched on peanut butter sandwiches. Something nudged my head: it was Sukee nibbling my orchid!

The sea was flat as a Peking duck pancake. Pink dolphins are seriously endangered, Dad said. The new bridge and runway will probably finish them off. How sad.

I was half-listening to Dad, half-watching when two motor boats zoomed towards each other, and stopped.

Dad peered through the binoculars, whistled, then passed them to me.

Three men were exchanging heavy crates of something at the bows of their boats. One man had a limp. Remembering the birdcage, I was about to tell Dad about the money when the boats quickly parted and the sea was an empty pancake again.
'Smugglers,' said Dad, as a large grey boat studded with radar approached. 'They hide in coves when they see a police boat coming.'

Sure enough, once the police had sailed away, the two boats reappeared.

Toodle smuggly pip!

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