Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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A Tall Ship Tale #57: Kenya Believe It

Category: alt.callahans, Puns, Rated G

Paul DeAnguera continues.


Vindicated by the H.M.S. Legume’s triumphant return to modern times, Professor Peabody added a fourth dial to his chronometer to display the year. The crew was able to transfer the cable of the ship’s time-anchor to his workshop in the hold without much difficulty. Thus equipped, the Legume could go to the future by releasing a bit of cable while gauging its progress by the chronometer’s dials, and go back to the past by reeling some in — or, as a mariner would say, by weighing anchor. In later years, the sailors would often reminisce about “Professor Peabody and his weigh-back machine.”

“If that anchor in the Jurassic ever worked loose from the bottom of the Tethys Sea, what would happen?” wondered Captain Quid as he inspected the arrangements.

“Why, then there would be nothing to keep this ship from flying pell-mell to the end of time and carrying all of us with it,” Peabody replied seriously. “In which case I would strongly recommend that we abandon ship!”

Mombassa on the east African coast was their next port of call. Here Sir Hillary Throckmorton Shillingsworth III shortly arranged for a safari into the interior. He had long hoped for an opportunity to investigate the natives’ peculiar methods of stalking wildlife. “Help me pull up some of this mossy undergrowth,” he asked Owen Anatu as they crossed a barren-looking hillside. “I need it for a disguise.”

“Who are you planning to sneak up on in this stuff?” Owen wondered as he joined Sir Hillary on the ground to search for the sparse, springy growths.

“Khoikhoi t’gnu, or gnu for short — a sort of big antelope with droopy horns. The natives hereabouts say that these antelopes can’t see too well and depend on their sense of smell to detect enemies. By covering myself with their favorite food, I hope to be able to get quite close to the herd without alarming them.” The two sailors picked industriously, but at sunset they had found hardly enough for a decent garland, let alone the sort of disguise Sir Hillary had imagined. “I guess that’s why there are so few natives hereabouts,” he sighed.

Suddenly they heard a warning cry and a rumbling sound. A monstrous boulder was crashing down the hill and was headed right toward them! They flung themselves to the side; and the rock fell between them, shaking the ground with every bounce. Just as they were getting up again they were inundated by a crowd of cheering natives who were running down the hill in its wake.

“What’s going on?” Owen demanded when they joined the crowd at the bottom of the hill.

“Fascinating! These natives are a hunting party, and they are covering themselves with the very stuff we’ve been picking all day!”

“But how could they get so much of it?” Owen asked.

“Look at the boulder; it’s simply bristling with it. I should have realized that…

“…A rolling stone gathers gnu moss!”

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