Friday, July 31, 2009

21. Deal!

Oh me!

I suspected--no--KNEW--that Mable's contract demands would certainly be hard on a LOT of people.

I thought that the first big problem would be to sell Mable's ideas to Sharko--and hammerhead sharks are not known to be easy to deal with even on the best of terms! Giving in to these egotistic demands by a sardine--even a sardine so obviously different as Mable--would NOT be easy for a shark!

AND even if he agreed, how would the rest of the "Seven Sardines" take it?

There was bound to be some hurt feelings to say the least!

And how about the thousands of people who had already bought tickets for tomorrow night's Clam Shell show? Would they be happy to see "Mable and the Six Sardines" or would they want their money back?

But I would have to try.

"OK, Mable!" I said quietly, "I don't think it will be easy--but I will do my best to convince Sharko--the other sardines in the group and the friends and customers--that YOU are different and worth the changes you want. I will do my best and I will be responsible for EVERYTHING!

But I want YOU to promise to show up for tomorrow's final dress rehearsal for the Clam Shell concert--on time and ready to perform!"

"DEAL, Crab!" Mable said with a smile. Cody and I will BOTH be there and ready for business! "You have my word of honor as the World's Greatest Sardine!"


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

20. Mable's Ultimatum

"You certainly are YOU, Miss Sardine--but just WHAT does that have to do with your 'disappearance'?"


"I'm sorry to be dense, but I don't see the connection."

"Oh, let's GO, Cody! I Knew this wouldn't work!"

"Hold on, Mable!" Cody interjected desperately, "Break it down! Constable Crab will understand if anyone will!"

"OK, I'll try one last time. Look, Constable, I am ME-- Mable Sardine! I am ONE of a kind--and NOT just one of the Seven Sardines! If it wasn't for MY talent and MY voice--there wouldn't BE Seven Sardines. I AM THE SHOW!!"

This sardine WAS pretty hard to handle--and I could certainly see why Cody thought 'Some sardines were more trouble than they were worth', BUT hearing her most unusual voice and sensing her overwhelming personality--I began to see her point--she was NOT just another sardine!

"I begin to understand. So what do you want, Miss Sardine?" I asked very politely and calmly.

"Ahhh, Call me Mable, Constable--everyone else does.

What do I want? Number one: I want top billing! I want MY name in lights, like this: Mable and the Six Sardines.

Number two: I want more money than the rest of the sardines put together.

Number three: I want Cody here to be MY personal choreographer.

Number four: I want to chose ALL the music I do with ANY group--including the other six sardines--and have I got some terrific numbers I personally wrote!

And that's what I want OR you won't see ME at the Clam Shell Concert Saturday night. Period!"


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

19. A Unique Sardine

"That HORRIBLE CONTRACT, Mr Crab--is the reason I have "disappeared"! Mable exclaimed with much feeling.

"What do YOU think about when you hear the word 'sardine' Constable Crab? She asked me pointedly in her very unusual, VERY sweet and disarming voice.

"Well..." I began.

"Exactly! When you hear the word "sardine" you don't think of ANY particular fish, do you? NO!

--they are all exactly alike, yes?

"Well, I never..."

"RIGHT! You never thought much about sardines at all--did you? Because if you've seen ONE SARDINE, or HEARD one sardine--you've seen 'em or heard 'em ALL!



Saturday, July 25, 2009

18. Mable Talks

"Then, Mable--you are no longer missing?" I asked.

"I have never BEEN missing, Constable Crab--except to a few fairly unimportant people."

"Unimportant people such as your business manager and the rest of the members of the Seven Sardines entertainers--and all their friends and contacts--such as MY friend Starry Starfish--and perhaps even ME?"

"Well, maybe I am being a little too strong about the unimportant, Constable. And I am sorry if I caused some people to worry and even to call YOU in to locate me. But, as you can see, I am in no danger and am quite all right!"

This young sardine was quite a talker AND quite a charmer as I COULD see. But I DID have a job to do and a client to answer to--Sharko! So I continued with my questioning.

"Where HAVE you been? And WHY did you disappear just now when you have a very important date and a contract to fulfill?"

"I have been in seclusion at a very private place Cody Cod and I know about in the Kelp Forest--as for WHY--well the contract for the huge show at the Clam Shell with the so-called Seven Sardines are the reason I have chosen to "disappear".


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

17. The Missing Sardine

"Is THAT any any to talk about some of your dearest friends, Cody Cod!" said another quite remarkably delicate but robustly female fishy voice--and I realized that I had let TWO strangers into my apartment.

Because right behind the cod--shadowing him you might say--was a small sardine!

"Oh, all right, Mable," Cody spoke to the petite sardine behind him, "But you'll have to admit that SOME sardines can be almost more trouble than they are worth!"

"NOT my friends! They are great--and SO AM I!"

"Then YOU, I take it, Miss, are Mable the missing sardine?" I inquired of the sardine politely.

"In person, Mr. Crab--and NOT a moving picture!"


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

16. Cod Opens Up

I am not in the habit of bringing my work home--but this was definitely an exceptional case in every way.

My work had literally come to me at my home!

I opened my door and welcomed Cody Cod with a gesture.

He was a cod of average size and shape but as he entered my apartment he certainly seemed nervous--even distraught.

"Please calm yourself, Cody," I said in a soothing tone, "and sit down if you like and tell me what can be your purpose
in visiting me here at this late hour."

"It is those SARDINES!" Cody gasped. "I wish I had never heard of ANY sardines and most especially those SEVEN sardines and most extra especially that SEVENTH sardine-- MABLE!


Monday, July 20, 2009

15. A Visitor


I ate a light snack and then lay back on my comfortable moss covered stones to read a bit and listen to the classical music I loved best--the lovely deep singing of the whales---when I heard a light tapping at my door.

Who could it be at THIS hour, I wondered as I went to answer the door.

"Constable Crab", I heard a fishy voice whisper, "Please let me in--we need to talk."

"And WHO might YOU be?" I asked through the door.

"Someone who desperately needs your help. Cody Cod!"


Friday, July 17, 2009

14. Rest Time

Cody was gone.

There was no way we would ever find him in the kelp forest!

And I felt it was pointless to return to the Clam Shell to talk to the rest of the sardines--besides I was tired and it was time for me to go home and get some rest.

I knew Sharko would not be pleased about any delay--but I really felt this was the best thing for me to do--so I promised Starry and Sharko I would return to the Clam Shell Concert Hall early the next morning and went alone, slowly and thoughtfully, back to my place.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

13. Gone

Unfortunately for us--and lucky for the cod--the Kelp Forest began close to the main gate of the Clam Shell auditorium.

Though we raced out of the showplace, Cody Cod had already vanished into the impenetrable kelp.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

12. Cod Chase

"QUICK!" Sharko yelled at the cleaning shrimp, "Where's the COD?"

"I dunno I'm sure, sir--he were HERE not two minutes ago--but he took off like a shot when he heard you-all comin', as it were..."

"AFTER HIM!" Sharko shouted flipping around and back out the dressing room door like lightning--and those hammerhead sharks CAN move like lightning when they need to. "If we can only catch him before he reaches the kelp forest--we'll make him squeak--but if he beats us there he'll vanish like a ghost in a snowstorm!"

I thought that was a very poetic simile for a hammerhead--but it was true enough--if the cod reached the kelp forest first we would never catch him, so we put on all our speed in a real chase mode!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

11. Cody Vanishes

Sharko seemed to know the way to Cody's dressing room very well and we were soon standing outside the closed door.

"Open up, Cody!" Sharko bellowed, banging on the door,
"We gotta Talk!"

After a short pause the door opened a crack and a timid face appeared--a shrimpish face--and NOT a cod at all!

"What's goin' on?" Sharko asked, and NOT very politely. "Who're YOU?"

"I'm only Mister Cod's cleaning lady." said the face, opening the door a crack wider.

"Well, git outta da WAY, cleaning lady! We wanna talk to Cody Cod NOW!" Sharko yelled and he pushed the door open. We all followed him into the small dressing room--but it was plain to see that there was NO COD or anyone else besides the cleaning shrimp in the room!