The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz

Author:Chris Kurtz
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Chapter 22

Flora felt herself skid toward one side of the ship. Barrels and boxes tore loose from their ropes and came tumbling across the hold in the same direction. The crunching sound seemed to go on forever. She came to a stop against a post.

For the tiniest moment, nothing moved. Then the ship slowly righted itself. The men above were shouting to one another, but they sounded far away.

Flora scrambled to her feet. A small stream of water—just a trickle, really—came from nowhere and flowed toward her. She couldn’t look at anything else. She just watched the stream as it made its way across the floor.

“Sophia?” Her voice was shaking.

From a corner she saw Aleric stand and run for the stairs.

“Come on!” he shouted.

Flora looked around for her friend. “Sophia!” she squealed. There was no answer.

Instead, the far side of the ship burst open and an icy river washed over her. There was no time to run. No time to scream. No time to even take a breath. The water swept her feet out from under her and carried her, bumping along the floor, until she smacked her head into a floating barrel. It then banged her into the ship’s wall and sent her swirling away toward the other side. When her head poked above the waves, she choked and coughed and tried to call out, but the cold water had locked up her lungs.

Now the water began to rise and foam. Flora was not bumping along the floor any longer, and her feet couldn’t touch except when her hooves hit underwater boxes. Flora tried to swim to the stairs. Impossible—the freezing current took her wherever it wished.

She was not the only one struggling. Rats were paddling for their lives all around her. Some tried to climb on her, but the water turned her end for end until she didn’t know up from down.

Finally, her hooves touched something solid. She hoped it was the stairs. Her head broke free of the foam, and she gasped for air. The water tried to pull her away again, but she scrabbled and fought to keep her footing. It was the staircase, she was sure. The rats found the same escape route. They swarmed up toward the light and through the open doorway.

Flora struggled to climb onto a dry step. Just then, something grabbed one of her hind legs.

“No!” She desperately tried to pull away. But the thing kept hold of her, tugging her into the seawater once again.

Flora panicked. An octopus must have had one giant arm wrapped around her, taking her under.


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