“How do you know about this?” the Commander urges, stunned.
Now the Captain and the King wonder.
“We’ve a connection, Belchiore and I.”
“A connection? What connection?”
“We’re both mammals, ha! ha! ha! Mammals, mammals, mammals.”
“Inside the whale’s belly, there’s a tale
Inside the whale’s belly, there’s a tale for two
Inside the whale’s belly, you apologise too
For the whale’s folly isn’t a nightingale.
Inside the whale’s belly, there are more tales
Inside the whale’s belly, there are tales for all
Inside the whale’s belly, you cannot stand tall
Tall for all to see, if only you told big tales.
Inside the whale’s belly, there are no tall—“
“—tales,” the Commander continues,
“Inside the whale’s belly, all can tell.
Tell many a tale that all—“
But Labaguette perches on one the Commander’s tentacles bringing the bird in front of the Commander’s face.
“What’s your secret, Labaguette? How could you know this?” the Commander asks, “tell me, tell me the truth.”
“What truth, you of all people?”
“I beg you.”
“You do?” Labaguette says as he takes flight, “You do? You do? You do?”
“Labaguette!” the Captain shouts.
“The plume of vapour, the spout that comes out of Belchiore’s blow hole. Its readable, intelligible, perfectly clear if you’d care to read it. But you can’t read, can you, Commander?”
“No one’s seen it unless one can…” The Commander says, stopping in his tracks looking at the damn bird.
“Fly,” finishes the Captain.
“Fly-fly-fly! Fly-fly-fly!” Labaguette screams, frantically flapping his wings about, proud to be a parrot, a bird, a creature with wings, a creature with wings and the ability to read.
To be continued…