The Unicorn Captain and the Clockwork Man
By Paul Evans
1. The Adventurer
A big ship sailed on the Blanket Sea. She was called Adventurer.
In the Adventurer lived the Unicorn Captain.
The Unicorn Captain was a magic horse of purest white, with a pointy horn on her gentle brow.
The Unicorn Captain had lived on the big ship since she was very small.
Since as long as she could remember the only other person in the Adventurer was the Clockwork Man.
The Clockwork Man was made of soft plastic, which changed colour when he was happy or sad;
He was tall and thin and very kind. He looked after the Unicorn Captain and kept her safe.
2. Galley Time
One day, when the Unicorn Captain was a girl, the Clockwork Man taught her how to cook.
“But I don’t want to cook!” grumbled the Unicorn Captain. “I want to fight pirates and find treasure!”
“You need to learn how to cook,” said the Clockwork Man patiently “so you can grow into a strong, healthy Unicorn; then you can fight bigger pirates and find more treasure.”
The Unicorn Captain thought about this for a while and decided it was a good idea.
“Before you cook or eat,” continued the Clockwork Man “you must wash your hooves.”
“Why?” asked the Unicorn Captain, scratching her bum.
“Because you will get germs in your tummy and get sick.”
This made sense. The Unicorn Captain washed her hooves and helped to cook the food in a big copper pan.
When the food was ready the Unicorn Captain said she didn’t want to eat it because it looked horrible.
“Try it and you might like it,” said the Clockwork Man gently.
The Unicorn Captain stared at the Clockwork Man and the Clockwork Man stared back.
She sniffed the food.
She put the food on her lip (to check if it was too hot.)
She sampled a little, had a little think, then swallowed a whole spoonful.
It was yummy!
“Why aren’t you eating?” asked the Unicorn Captain.
“Because I can’t,” replied the Clockwork Man, “but seeing you enjoy your meal makes me happy.”
The Clockwork Man turned a beautiful shade of yellow, and played some music while the Unicorn finished her supper.
When the Unicorn Captain was a bit older, she saw the Clockwork Man wriggling about in the most unusual way.
“Whatever is the matter?” asked the Unicorn Captain.
“I’ve got an itch in the middle of my back and I can’t reach it,” replied the Clockwork Man.
“I’ll help you,” said the Unicorn Captain, “It’s what friends do.”
The Unicorn Captain trotted behind the Clockwork Man and used the tip of her horn to scratch his back.
“Ooh that’s nice!” said the Clockwork Man. His glass eyes half closed and he turned a mellow green colour.
Suddenly … PARP! The Clockwork Man did a little bottom burp.
“Whoa!” exclaimed the Unicorn Captain, “That smells! I had my mouth open too!”
“Sorry!” said the Clockwork Man as the Unicorn Captain danced around the deck of the Adventurer trying to take the taste away.
She ended up licking the mast, which seemed to work.
“Can you smell that??” asked the Unicorn Captain.
“No. I unscrewed my nose,” replied the Clockwork Man, and they laughed until their sides hurt.
When the Unicorn Captain was grown up she found a treasure chart. One sunny day she used it to sail the Adventurer across the sea to an island where some gold was buried.
She sailed over the Blanket Sea with the Clockwork Man (who stopped to tickle some fish under the water), to Pillow Island.
They climbed up Pillow Island to Face Mountain where there was a little cave.
“Oh no!” said the Unicorn Captain on looking inside.
“What is it?” asked the Clockwork Man.
“Someone has been here before us and taken the treasure!” said the Unicorn Captain, looking sorrowfully at an open treasure chest.
“Never mind that!” said the Clockwork Man turning red, “Whoever it was had a poo in the chest!”
“I bet it was the Pirate King: Feathers One-eye,” she exclaimed.
Feathers One-eye was a bird pirate who ate lots of seeds.
“I’ve got an idea!” said the Unicorn Captain, and tipped the poo into the hole that the chest had been buried in and filled it up with soil.
She said some magic words. Her horn started to glow. Out of the soil grew a plant which got bigger and bigger, until it was covered in leaves and oranges.
“I made the seeds in the poo grow into this tree!”
They used the oranges to make the best marmalade in the whole of Bedland. People paid for the marmalade and they became rich.
“It looks like the chest was full of treasure after all!” said the Clockwork Man.
5. The End
When the Unicorn Captain was very old she went into her cosy cabin one evening and never came out again.
The Clockwork Man stood looking out over the Blanket Sea. He was very sad and lonely and turned blue. He thought he would never be happy again.
Then he remembered his fondest moments: cooking, the accidental trump, the treasure hunt and the marmalade which everyone enjoyed.
Bedland was a better place because of the Unicorn Captain, which made the Clockwork Man happy.
With a warm glow, the Clockwork Man wrote it all down to share her story.