Mickey, the moose was hiding behind the bushes with his friends, and enjoying the shenanigans of the Indian couple with the selfie obsession, who were now finally taking a couple of solo pictures, when he had a sudden idea on seeing the huge cruise ship over the girl’s shoulder.
He turned to his friends, and challenged in a bragging tone, “I bet you five Kgs of green grass (the greener one, from the other side, not this regular green), that I can reach the top of that cruise ship, and steal the flag flying atop it.” His friends looked at each other and smiled condescendingly- 4500 passengers, 1500 crew members, how on earth could a mere moose surpass these hindrances and reach the 18th level of the cruise ship. This seemed to be the easiest five kilograms of grass they had ever eaten. “You’re on,” they said in unison.
And Mickey Moose ran down faster than Ussain Bolt, and before they knew it, they could see him on the dark side of the ship, near the ropes using which the ship was tethered to the dock.
There was a man sitting there, but he was too busy staring at the lovely women sunbathing in their balconies to notice Mickey climbing up quickly, and stealthily, like a Navy Seal, or Navy Moose if you prefer.
Mickey reached entered the ship from the 5th level, in the central lobby, assuming that it would be empty because everyone would be ashore, enjoying the beauty of nature….and that is when his luck ran out. For the lobby was filled to the brim, nay overflowing with people, each one of them with a glass in his or her hand, for they were there to celebrate Tatiana and Pavel’s wedding.
Mickey might still have been able to pass through unnoticed, since everyone was too engrossed in drinking, if an Italian Nonna had not mistaken him for a waiter, and asked him to get her another glass of champagne. Mickey froze on hearing her order, hoping desperately that she would ignore him and look for another waiter, but alas, she took her walking stick and whacked him on his behind, abusing him for the poor service. Mickey Moose howled with pain and shame!
Heads finally turned on hearing the commotion, and it was then that someone saw the elephant in the room, in the form of Mickey Moose. They first thought that it was a member of the Entertainment Team, dressed as a moose, but then, had to quickly revise their opinion when Mickey started running around in panic, trampling on the wedding cake and breaking the champagne fountain in the process.
Surrounded on all sides, he saw a glittering staircase, embedded with Swarovski crystals, almost calling out to him. Mickey did not believe in looking a gift horse in the mouth, and so he rapidly started running up the glittering staircase, through a sea of sandals and dressing gowns.
“Phew! That was a narrow escape,” thought Mickey Moose as he left the crowds behind and took the lift to the 16th floor, the highest floor to which it was going. He got out, and was immediately buffeted by strong icy winds, bordering on a storm. But he bravely carried on towards his objective, for he could now see the flag, hoisted on the 18th floor, at the other side of the ship.
Mickey Moose started walking slowly towards his objective, but suddenly, the lift doors opened behind him, and hordes of passengers came out shooting at him (Narrator’s Note: With their cameras of course, we are law-abiding blog, don’t worry!). All the flashlights, and the shouting of passengers in five languages (Italian, French, German, Spanish, and English, the last one belonging to that Indian couple) muddled his already confused brain, and he crawled into a tunnel that looked like a perfect escape route.
But the tunnel was not a tunnel, alas, it was a giant water slide for kids, going up 50 meters and then looping back to fall into the pool. And fall into the pool he did, awkwardly, all arms and legs, but gloriously (for those witnessing it, that is).
He somehow found his way out of the pool, and limped towards the entrance to the area which led to the 18th floor. He just wanted to take the bloody flag and go home now. He entered the area, and climbed up two levels, finally reaching the 18th floor, just 10 meters away from his objective.
And it was then that Mickey Moose saw something that froze the blood in his veins. He saw who was on board. He did not recognize the face, but the name was one about whom his grandmother used to threaten him when he would refuse to eat his grass.
Mickey Moose finally realized the reason behind his spate of bad luck, and accepted the fact that he could not possibly take the flag from a ship on which this legend was working. He would find him, and he would destroy him.
He looked longingly at the flag, so near and yet so far, took a deep breath, and jumped into the water 18 levels below swimming rapidly towards the shore, and safety, even though it meant losing the bet. But as his grandmother used to say- Jaan hai toh jahaan hai!
And all through the long swim, this scary picture was swimming in front of his eyes: