One sunny day when Dotti was quite small, she picked up Teddy, put a rubbish bin on her head and went exploring.  She went through her front door on to the veranda of her house. She pushed through the green plant jungle until she reached the veranda rail.  Then she stood and looked over. Teddy was puzzled.

‘Why are you wearing a rubbish bin on your head?’ he asked.

‘It’s not a rubbish bin’ said Dotti. ‘It’s a captain’s hat. I am the captain of our ship.’

‘Oh!’ Teddy looked over the veranda rail too.  What he saw surprised him. Once there had been a front yard and a garden there.  Now Teddy saw a wide ocean.  Red and yellow fish were swimming through green water. Suddenly the wind began to blow.  Dotti held tight to her rubbish bin hat.

‘We’re off!’ she said.  Teddy held tight to the rail.  He was feeling a bit scared and a bit seasick. He had never been on a ship before.

‘Where are we going?’ he asked.

‘To the island of Chippetty Poo, to get some chokkichippetty icecream’ answered Dotti.

‘Yum’ said Teddy. ‘I like icecream.’

Dotti and Teddy sailed a long, long way. Black and white whales swam beside the boat.  A huge turtle gave them a long, slow look. They sailed on and on, until they came to a place where the ocean wasn’t green any more, but a deep, bubbling grey.  Thick, warm mist rose from the water, and beyond the mist floated the island of Chippetty Poo.  It did not look like a friendly place. Teddy felt something go bump under his feet.  He looked down into the water. What he saw there made him quiver and shake.

‘Dotti’ he said. ‘ Something scary is swimming under our ship.’

Dotti looked. She saw a long, slimy tail squirming.  She saw sharp fins and long fangs. ‘It’s the Monster of Chippity Poo’ she said. ‘It has come to eat us.’

‘What will we do?’  Teddy shivered.  He did not want to be eaten by the Monster of Chippetty Poo.

The ocean bubbled and churned.  Up reared the Monster.  Slap! It thrashed at the ship with its tail. The ship rocked so hard that Dotti and Teddy nearly fell overboard. The monster’s fangs dripped steaming, slippery, purple slime all over the deck. It snarled, its long teeth sharp as swords, its breath smelling of dead fish. Teddy fainted from the terrible smell.  Dotti slipped over in the slime.  She slid to the very edge of the ship’s deck.  She was so close to the monster’s open mouth that she could see the tail of the last fish it had eaten flapping in its throat.  Dotti looked up, straight into the dark purple eyes of the Monster of Chippitty Poo.  And she saw something that surprised her.  The Monster’s eyes were red as though it had been crying, and two tears were running down its nose.

‘This Monster’ thought Dotti ‘is a sad Monster.  It must be lonely to be out in the ocean all by yourself and having to be monstrous all the time.’

Dotti took off her captain’s hat and slipped it over the monster’s nose. ‘It is a present for you’ she said.

The monster blinked in surprise. Then it got quieter and smaller and calmer.  And in its dark purple eyes Dotti saw a little smile.

Dotti and Teddy set sail for home then, because from far away they could hear Dad calling, ‘It’s time for lunch.’ They were feeling tired after their big adventure, so they got off their ship and went inside.  There was no icecream for lunch, but they had banana sandwiches and rice pudding. The rice pudding was not very nice, but Dotty and Teddy ate it all up, because they were hungry from so much sailing and from meeting the monster.

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