The Long Flight Home—CHAPTER EIGHT

BOOBIES OVER BOSTON

As Dooley, Talli, and Morgan flew over Boston that evening, the streetlamps were being lit. (That year, 1773, a committee led by John Hancock installed 310 lamps in Boston.  They burned whale oil and were lit in the evening between October first and May first.)

Looking down, Dooley asked, “So, who are the humans with the red coats?”

“The young boys call them lobsters. They’re British soldiers,” Morgan answered. “They kinda run things around here.”

“What does that mean?” Talli queried.

“The other humans are the colonists,” she explained. “The British soldiers rule over the colonists.”

“You mean they tell them what to do?” Talli asked.

“Exactly,” said Morgan.

“That’s what I love about being a boobie,” Talli explained. “Nobody tells me what to do.”

“I kinda like that part, too,” Dooley agreed.

“Dude, you’re married.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Dooley shot back.

Talli and Morgan shared an amused look.

Changing the subject, Dooley looked back down at the colonists hurrying along the rough cobblestone streets. “I don’t suppose the colonists like having the red coats bossing them around.” he observed.

“Not especially,” Morgan admitted.

 

With no thoughts of Boston, red-coated soldiers, the Atlantic, or pelicans, Andie rocketed over the vast expanse of ocean west of the Galápagos Islands. mag frigOff in the distance, she saw her target, Mooch, flying high above the surface of the water.

She flew toward Mooch with single-minded determination.

Mooch saw the approaching boobie. Curious, he glided in a lazy circle until she reached him.

All business, Andie announced, “I need a word with you, Mooch.”

“Whoa, little lady,” Mooch replied. “Name’s not Mooch, it’s Russell. Mooch has such a negative vibe and I’m a positive, upbeat kinda guy.”

Andie glowered at him. “Did I hurt your feelings?”

“Why, yes you did,” Mooch answered feigning indignation.

“Tough,” Andie exclaimed. “I don’t have time for your nonsense, Mooch. I have two hungry boobies at home. You were watching Dooley and Talli. What happened to them?”

Mooch decided to play innocent. “What makes you think that I . . .”

Andie cut him off abruptly. “Seriously? You’re gonna try that? Everyone on the ocean knows frigatebirds can’t hunt their own dinner and have to steal food from boobies.”

Mooch opened his mouth to argue, but Andie didn’t give him a chance. “And you’re the worst,” she insisted.

“Steal is such a strong term,” Mooch countered.

“Where. Are. They?” Andie enunciated each syllable slowly.

Mooch looked at Andie. After a beat, he relented with a sigh.”I don’t know,” he responded. “Really. After I watched them dive on a school Pacific creole, I sort of lost track of them.”

Stunned, Andie stuttered, “That’s it? You didn’t do anything?”

“I thought they outsmarted me,” Mooch admitted quietly. “I just figured they found a way to get the fish home without me seeing ‘em.”

Disappointed, Andie stated the obvious. “Magnificent frigatebird . . .  you gotta be kidding. For the record, you’re not much help, Mooch.”

Then she banked away from the encounter and headed home.

“It’s Russell,” Mooch said to himself as he continued flying on alone.

 

Earlier that day, while Dooley and Talli searched the ocean for the maelstrom, in a building called the Old South Meeting House, a group of humans called the Sons of Liberty met with their leader, a man named Samuel Adams. A crowd of more than 5,000 people gathered in and around the building to hear the news that the governor of Massachusetts refused to grant permission for a ship named the Dartmouth to leave Boston Harbor without paying the exorbitant tax the Colonists refused to pay.

After the meeting broke up, about two hundred of the men, including a 38 year-old silversmith named Paul Revere, went to their favorite pub, the Green Dragon Tavern on Union Street.

There they plotted a response to the British governor.

From the tavern the men went to the home of Nathaniel Bradlee where they used blacksmith’s soot and blankets to disguise themselves as Mohawk warriors.

 

As night fell on the rocky shores of the Galápagos Islands, Andie kept her lonely vigil standing on a rock looking out at the sky over the Pacific Ocean.

 

Night had fallen in Boston. Red-coated British soldiers patrolled throughout the streets of the city.

Perched in the rigging high above the deck of a sailing ship, the Beaver, Dooley, Talli, and Morgan watch as a group of humans stealthily climbed aboard the ship.

“Who are those humans?” Talli asked.

boston tea party
Illustration from North Wind Picture Archives as appeared in Encyclopedia Britannica

“It’s a ship. They must be sailors,” Morgan responded as though the answer was obvious..

“Really?” Dooley said, looking down unconvinced. “I don’t think so.”

Morgan looked down again and saw that the humans appeared to be Native Americans. “You’re right,” she agreed. “They don’t belong on a ship.”

As the three seabirds watched, the Colonists disguised as Indians opened the hold. Several dropped down and started handing heavy chests up to their compatriots on deck. It took two men to carry a chest to the side of the ship and toss it into the harbor.

Quickly, another chest was passed up and two more men carried it to the side of the ship.

“Do you know what’s in those chests? Dooley asked.

“Of course not,” Morgan replied. “I can’t be bothered keeping track of all the silly things humans do.”

“If I’m not mistaken, they’re filled with tea leaves,” Dooley speculated. He turned and looked toward the other ships in the harbor. He saw chests being thrown off  two other vessels.

Talli followed Dooley’s eyes. “If each of those is filled with tea, that’s a lot of tea.”

“By the time this night’s done, they’ll have tossed more than forty-six tons of tea into the harbor,” Dooley agreed. “That’s enough to make more than eighteen million cups of tea.”

“You seem to know a lot about what’s happening right now for someone who isn’t even from around here,” Morgan challenged.

“We’re witnessing the Boston Tea Party,” Dooley explained.

“It doesn’t look like a party,” Talli observed. “No presents.”

“It’s not that kind of party,” Dooley smiled, turning to Morgan. “It’s in all the history books.”

“Why would a bunch of Indians even care about tea?” Morgan challenged.

“They’re not actually Mohawks,” Dooley explained. “They’re Colonists disguised as Indians.”

“Hey, that makes it a costume party,” Talli laughed.

“Assuming they are Colonists, why would they destroy perfectly good tea?” Morgan demanded to know.

“It’s an act of civil disobedience,” Dooley responded. “They’re trying to let the British know that they refuse to pay unfair taxes on tea. Just complaining about them verbally and with petitions didn’t work”

“Oh,” Talli finally understood. “But won’t those humans in the red suits get angry?”

“They’re unhappy already,” Morgan agreed.”When they see them doing this, they’ll be downright mad.”

Dooley considered what Morgan said before answering. He watched the men heaving chests from the Beaver. Then he looked over and saw other men hurling chests from both the Dartmouth and the Eleanor.

“I think I’m going to check and see if any of those soldiers are nearby,” Dooley announced.

“Why?” argued Talli. “It’s none of our business. They’re humans. We’re seabirds.”

“I just feel like it’s the right thing to do,” countered Dooley as he started to take off.

He was already in flight when, Morgan turned to Talli and said, “Stay here if you want. I’m going with him. Don’t want him getting lost or anything.”

With that, Morgan took off and started flying after Dooley.

“Lady, we’re already lost,” Talli said to no one. He took another look down on the deck of the ship and watched the Colonists dumping tea. He sighed, shook his head, and took off after Dooley and Morgan.

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Be sure to come back this coming Friday for Chapter 9 when our heroes make history.

© 2013, 2018, Sawyer Creative, LLC

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