The bottle landed next to Peggy as she lay on the gorgeous sandy beach on Florida’s west coast, facing the Gulf of Mexico. The Postal Mermaid was delivering the messages in bottles. She looked at each bottle to see who should receive it, then sent it flying high in the air. It arced gracefully against the powder blue sky, and landed next to the intended recipient. Once she had delivered all the bottles in her bag, she swam back to the shipwreck where the Under Sea Postal Service (USPS) had left the consignment for the next beach. Peggy was only ten years old, so she took the bottle to her twelve year old brother, Tony. “This is a message from George Washington!” he said. It read: “Arrg. I’m tired of being the father of my country. I’m going to become a pirate.”
“There’s a map at the bottom,” Tony said. “It shows where he buried his treasure. The coordinates are 110 N and 227 W.” Peggy fed those into the GPS. “That’s just off the coast of California,” she said. “That’s lucky. Since we live in Florida, we’re right next door to California.”
Tony untethered his riding cheetah. They both got on board, and rode west from Florida’s west coast. In two hours they were in San Francisco. They got on the big bridge in the harbor, and on the other side they were in Hawaii, in the Bermuda Triangle. Tony asked a man if he would tell them where the beach was. “I dunno, mate. I’m not from around ’ere. I’m from England.”
“If you’re from England,” asked Peggy, “How come you speak our language?”
“When I was five years old, mate, I was lucky enough to be sent to a mission school. They taught me to speak proper, they did.”
At the beach, Peggy read the directions. “We start at the jellyfish. There it is. Next we move to the piece of seaweed. All right, we’re here now. Let’s see, we need to find the giant shell from the humuhumunukunukuapua’a.” They both gazed in awe at the huge size of it. “Finally we go 50 paces east nor’ sou’ west.”
At the appointed place they started digging. The instructions were explicit. They dug four holes, 4" square and 18" deep. They formed a rectangle, 3′ wide and 2′ deep. “There’s nothing here,” Tony said. “Let’s get some shaved ice.” When they returned they found a Maui Waui Smoothie stand where they had dug, the four corner posts dropped into their holes.
Before starting back, Peggy sent another letter to Pirate President General George Washington.
Dear George Washington,
On Star Wars, Dr. Who said you were a Vulcan and thus you could not lie. He was wrong.
She put this message in a bottle and dropped it in the ocean. They got back on the cheetah, and went over the big bridge to San Francisco. They soon crossed the California - Florida border, and in two hours were back home. Tired and dispirited, Peggy and Tony pushed open the door of their ocean front beach house in Orlando. “Surprise!” Everyone yelled. It was a surprise welcome-home party, for the cheetah.
The bottle landed next to Peggy. “Tail mail,” she said as she looked at the Postal Mermaid lobbing the bottles effortlessly and accurately at their addressees. The letter was a reply from Pirate President General George Washington. It said,
Cherry trees to you.
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