CHAPTER 3 – BACK TO SATURN
Two rather dull, dark days followed. James got out his favourite jigsaws and invited Polly to play. She couldn’t move the pieces easily with her finger, but she could tell James where to put them. Then, Mummy brought out James’ story books.
The first was a tale that happened at a zoo. Polly, of course, had never seen the animals that live on Earth. The storybook had no pictures, so James drew a lion, a giraffe and an elephant.
James made animal noises and then pretended to be a monkey. Polly clicked, whistled and started to shake. James knew she was laughing! The next story was about dinosaurs. Polly was puzzled, as if to say, ‘”You don’t really mean those creatures live where you are, surely?”
James tried to explain that No, they didn’t live there now, but once upon a time, before there were people, yes they did.
“How d’you know?” asked Polly.
James was just trying to explain when the grown-ups started to get excited. Uranus was coming into view!
Just as before, James was very excited to see the planet’s thin blue rings that formed a perfect circle around it. Daddy explained that the rings were made of bits of rock. These bits were held in place by two tiny ‘shepherd moons’ that made sure the rock didn’t wander away from the ring.
Polly hadn’t ever seen anything like this. She squeaked, clicked and whistled with amazement.
Yet again, they flew straight past Uranus. They had another day to while away before they approached Saturn with its icy rings. James wanted Polly to know all about Saturn, so he drew a picture and coloured it in.
And then, at long, long last, Saturn drew near. The Fossicles gazed out of the window of the rocket as the magical planet drew ever closer. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
CHAPTER 4 – THE FROZEN WATER WORLD
But the Fossicles could never have imagined what lay ahead. It was Polly’s mummy who saw it first. She stretched out her finger and whistled.
“Look at that bright ball of light!” she clicked. “And it’s got little fountains streaming out of its bottom!”
“Yes!” said James’ daddy, “and this is the place we’re coming to explore. Perhaps – just perhaps – it could be right for you. It’s a moon called Enceladus, and it has water ice and snow on the ground. Our Space Book tells us that the fountains are salty water, and they say there must be an underground lake down underneath. Our scientists think there may be living creatures inside the moon, too!
As they drew closer, the fountains glowed bright and clear. And Polly noticed how they came out in bursts. Slowly, ever so slowly, they brought the rocket down to the surface, close to one of the fountains.
“Wow!!” said everybody, as they carefully stepped outside. The Fossicles didn’t need protection from the cold, but Polly, Mummy and Daddy had to wear their spacesuits.
The surface wasn’t difficult to walk on. It seemed just like they were walking on very fine snow. But as they came closer to the fountain, they realised it wasn’t going to be easy to get inside. The water was shooting out so fast that it went up for miles into the sky, then most of the water gently sunk back down onto the ground as if it was snowing. What were they to do?
James’ mummy said, “Would you like to come back to Earth with us? There are some very cold places where I’m sure you could live.” And she told them about the penguins at the South Pole.
Then Polly’s mummy and daddy said something very brave. They said,
“Thank you, that’s very generous of you. But we know we’d always feel like strangers on a warm planet like Earth. Here is our best chance of finding a new home. And we know how you can help us to go underneath the ice. It’s a big risk. But we’ve got to take courage.”
James started to cry. “What if it all goes wrong?” he sobbed.
But Polly’s mummy and daddy had made up their mind. “Here’s our idea” they said.
Daddy fixed another set of fireworks to the bottom of the rocket. They all climbed inside, and Mummy took off…It was time to carry out their daring plan. James, Polly and the Mummies and Daddies all hugged each other. What a sad moment! They knew they were about to say goodbye forever to their brave friends. And, what made it worse, how could they ever know that Polly and her family would be safe and alive?
CHAPTER 5 – UNDER THE ICE
Mummy guided the rocket into orbit around Enceladus, then slowed the rocket right down until it sat on top of a fountain. They had to wait several minutes until the water stopped gushing out. Then, Daddy opened the door, and out stepped the Fossicles.
James, Mummy and Daddy quickly pulled the door shut and watched through a little window at the bottom of the rocket. Down, down, and down they fell, right into the hole in the ground below. Daddy, Mummy and James stood with their arms around each other, and cried and cried. It was the first time James had seen Mummy and Daddy so upset. After what seemed a very long time, they set course to return to Planet Earth, past Jupiter and Mars.
The following morning, they woke up to see Jupiter in the sky ahead. “Mummy, Daddy, I’ve had a dream!” said James. “Strange!” said Mummy, “So have I.” And so had Daddy.
Daddy’s dream was of the bottom of a sea. There were bubbles of air flowing up from the sea bed.
Mummy’s dream was of beautiful shapes that looked like living shells.
And James’ was of tiny worms growing in the sea. They didn’t look like the sort of food James would enjoy but they seemed exactly right for Polly and her family.
“Well,” said Daddy, “I think Polly and her family have let us know that they’ve arrived in an underwater sea. It looks a lovely place to live, and I’m sure they’ll be very happy there!
“Look out, Daddy, where d’you think you’re going?” shouted Mummy, as a large asteroid rock narrowly missed them.
“There’s only one place I’m going,” replied Daddy, “and it’s called Earth. Or, more precisely, a lawn in a garden in South East London.
2 thoughts on “Polly’s New Home Part 2”
Love all the pictures. X
It was exciting to visit the Natural History Museum with the ‘real’ James on Monday and see a mock-up of the tubeworms that form around deep sea vents. I explained that these would have been food for Polly!