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Extract

“The food supplies are running out” declared Jessica. “All we’ve got is one can of spaghetti and twenty-five tins of laverbread”
“Laverbread?” moaned Iolo. “That tastes like seaweed!”
“It is seaweed, stupid” said Abdi.
“I’ve got some alfalfa seeds in my bag” said Mr Woosnam. “If we put them on wet cotton wool we could have alfalfa sprouts in three days time”
“A ship’s crew can’t live on alfalfa sprouts!” cried Ayana.
“They’re very nutritious” protested Mr Woosnam.
“They taste even worse than laverbread” moaned Iolo.
“What do you propose we do, Ayana?” asked Suki. There was a hint of challenge in her voice.
“What do you propose?” countered Ayana.
“I’m not the captain” replied Suki. “It’s not my job to make decisions”
Ayana did her best not to show she was rattled. “Ok” she said. “This is what we’ve got to do”
Everyone was all ears.
“We’ve got to kill something” declared Ayana.
There was a gasp from Jessica and a little “oh no” from Mr Woosnam.
“The sea’s full of fish” continued Ayana. “We’ve just got to catch some of them”
“Actually” said Mr Woosnam, “stocks of fish are steadily dwindling due to overfishing, and many species, for example cod, are under grave threat”
“So are we” replied Ayana.
“I know” said Iolo. “We could tie all the hammocks together, and make a net”
“That’s a very intelligent idea, Iolo” said Mr Woosnam, “but we can’t do it”.
“Why not?” complained Iolo.
“Nets are very bad” replied Mr Woosnam. “Dolphins can get caught in them”
“So?” said Ayana. “We could eat the dolphins”
Mr Woosnam’s jaw dropped. “Eat a dolphin?” he gasped. “Dolphins are the most intelligent creatures in the sea! Some believe their intelligence is second only to humans. They are mammals, just like us, they show signs of distress when their mate is injured, and some scientists believe they have feelings similar to human emotions”
Ayana nodded thoughtfully. “Having said that” she said, “there must be loads of meat on them”
“We are not eating a dolphin and that’s final” replied Mr Woosnam.
“I thought you said we should make all the decisions together” said Ayana.
Mr Woosnam looked uncomfortable. “Is anyone really in favour of eating a dolphin?” he asked.
Ayana raised her hand.
“You’re just being silly” said Mr Wosnam.
“No I’m not” said Ayana. “I’d rather eat a dolphin than starve”
“Well, you’re outvoted” said Mr Woosnam.
“No, we can’t have votes, you said!” replied Ayana. “We’ve got to keep debating till we reach a compromise”
“Ayana wants to kill a dolphin” said Suki. “Mr Woosnam says we mustn’t. How can we reach a compromise about that?”
“Maybe we could just wound a dolphin” suggested Petal.
Suki scowled. “What would be the point of that?” she scoffed.
Petal thought for a moment. “Like, if you wanted to eat a cow, but you didn’t want to kill it, you could just cut one of its legs off”
“Petal” said Suki, “that is absurd”
“No it isn’t!” snapped Ayana. “You could eat the leg and the cow could carry on living with a false one, so nerr!”
“I see” replied Mr Woosnam, “and what part of a dolphin do you think we could cut off?”
Ayana thought for a moment. “The fin?” she suggested.
“It needs its fin to steer with” replied Mr Woosnam.
“I don’t know!” snapped Ayana. “Ask the dolphin!”
“You see” said Suki. “It’s a stupid idea”
“At least I have ideas” replied Ayana.
“Look” said Mr Woosnam, “we do have to eat, so how about if we try to catch fish, but by traditional methods, such as a rod and line?”
“But we haven’t got rods and lines” protested Iolo.
“Then we’ll have a handicrafts lesson, and make them!” declared Mr Woosnam, brimming with excitement at such a thought.

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