19 Apr 2010

Exploits of Miss Mavis IV: Songs with the seals

Miss Mavis had been sailing non-stop for about two days when she began to feel a shift in the breeze... Then it started to pour down with rain; gusty winds beat around her sail and the waves began surge. Miss Mavis and her teacup were at the mercies of a terrible storm. And however much she tried steering herself away from it she was swept back in.

Oh my, cried Miss Mavis, as her hair flapped violently around her face, how can I get out of this!

Suddenly she heard voices under the water. She couldn't quite make out what they were saying, she could have sworn on her handkerchief it was from the second act of Pirates of Penzance, but how odd, how peculiar to hear operetta in the middle of a storm?
Sure enough the voices grew louder and louder...

"A paradox, a paradox,
A most ingenious paradox.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
This paradox"

Mavis could not believe her ears or eyes, for what emerged next from the sea was unlike anything she had ever encountered in her forty-seven years alive; Fur seals. Fur seals singing. Fur seals singing GILBERT AND SULLIVAN! She forgot about the storm entirely, all she could think about were the furry bobbing heads and their accomplished notes!

Tarantara! she cried (not knowing much else to say)
Then one of the seals lifted himself up to her teacup and stared into her eyes. At that moment they knew they were kindred spirits.

Please help me, Miss Mavis yelled across the sounds of waves, thunder and singing - please help me and I shall teach you my very favourite operetta; one I am sure you have never sung before.

That settled it. The kindred seal and his pod took hold of Miss Mavis's teacup and led her out of the storm to safety. In calm ocean once more, Mavis steered her vessel to their enclosure which was on a island nearby.
She spent the next two-weeks teaching them a Lebanese operetta "Maïs El Rim" which tells the story of a woman, Zayoun, whose car breaks in a rural village on her way to a wedding, only to discover the decade-long family feuds preventing two young lovers to marry - and with no one to fix her car she remains in town to try and make peace among its inhabitants. It made Mavis think about situations in her own life; the trials of love and loyalty and family honour she knew only too well...

She took the lead role of Zayoun and her kindred seal the mechanic Na'man. The seals loved singing in Arabic and wondered why they had never done so before.
On Mavis' last morning they performed Maïs El Rim
(Miss Mavis even did her hair for the occasion)

And they sang,
they sang for the sky
they sang for the seaand any other creatures who cared to hear them,
they sang because it was what they loved most,
Once they had finished it was time for Miss Mavis to get back into her teacup and keep sailing south. As she waved goodbye to her singing comrades she promised to come back and visit them soon and to tell them all her her adventures in

**Check back in a week for the next installment of Miss Mavis' voyage to Antarctica**

To read more of her past exploits go HERE.


  1. What a delightful little tale!

  2. I'm out of town right now but when I get back, I'm going to read this to my daughter Kayley who so enjoyes these stories!

  3. The operetta sounds wonderful - I'm going to look it up.


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