20,000 Words Spoken Under the Sea
written by Tabby
inspired by Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

I have reprogrammed myself into Tabby's body, I noted with interest as I looked at myself in a mirror. "And I can talk like an adult pony now, too!" I said out-loud.

Yes, here I, Baby Noddins (but now I looked like Tabby!) stood aboard the very strange submarine, the Sea Pony. I had been taken captive on it along with my two best friends, Baby Falling Leaves and Mr. Skidoo. Well, actually, they aren't my best friends because I decided I didn't like Baby Falling Leaves and I don't know Mr. Skidoo at all.

I walked out into another room of the Sea Pony, this one being sided with windows that showed out into the sea. Baby Falling Leaves stood there, staring at the glass.

"Baby Falling Leaves, you're supposed to be classifying things," I snapped. "Get to work!"

Baby Falling Leaves immediately pulled her sight away from the glass pane. "I don't wanna classify stupid Furbys," she complained. "This was your stupid idea. I wanna play with Baby Leaper."

"Well, he's not here," I retorted.

"Then I'm gonna leave," Baby Falling Leaves scowled.

"But I'm older now than you are, so you have to listen to me," I reminded.

"You're still Baby Noddins, even if you look like Tabby," Baby Falling Leaves argued.

"Classify the Furbys!" I said impatiently.

"But I'm going to escape with Mr. Skidoo tonight," Baby Falling Leaves continued. "Then I won't have to put up with you."

"Why, what's he going to do tonight?" I questioned.

Mr. Skidoo appeared on the scene. Besides being Miss Hackney's one true love, he also fished for whales and tried to escape the Sea Pony every night. "The same thing we do every night," he told me. "Try to get out of here!"

"I already knew that," I said. "What plan are you using this time?"

"It doesn't involve Furbys!" Baby Falling Leaves said as she stalked off with Mr. Skidoo.

"Baby Falling Leaves, you're supposed to classify!" I hollered after them, but she did not listen. I looked out of the window into the sea myself. There were a variety of Furbys floating out there. I saw several black ones; many yellow ones; a purple one; a whole ton of blue ones; some pastel lavender, blue, and green ones; some black and white spotted ones; some orange and black spotted ones; a group of neon orange ones; some black and purple baby ones; several of the rare teal and yellow ones; and a single red one.

At first, I had not known what to think after Captain Barnacle had taken us captive aboard his ship. But I finally realized that it gave me the perfect opportunity to study my life's work-- the underwater habits of Furbys and their hereditary enemies, the squid.

Just then, Captain Barnacle entered the room. "ARR!" he exclaimed.

You see, Captain Barnacle had developed a very intricate secret language for use among his crew. It consisted entirely of "ARR"s. Plus, he had a neat mechanical leg.

"Oh, hello, Captain Barnacle," I said cheerfully. "I was just studying the Furbys."

"ARR!" he said again. "We be goin' to Atlantis tomorrow."

"Atlantis?" I gasped. "Wow!" Atlantis was the primary breeding ground of Furbys, and many families made it their permanent home. "I will study all sorts of Furbys there!"

"ARR," Captain Barnacle agreed. "And my crew has just apprehended your two friends trying to escape."

"They're not my friends," I said. "I don't like Baby Falling Leaves. She wouldn't classify the Furbys."

"It's time for your supper now, anyway, and then you must take a nap," Captain Barnacle said. "ARR!"

"You're sounding just like my mom," I said. "What've you fixed this time?"

"Eat this plate of seaweed and then go off to your room," Captain Barnacle replied.

I stared down at the plate. "I don't like seaweed," I complained. "Can I put ketchup on it?"

"No, ARR!" Captain Barnacle protested. "The ketchup plants do no harm to us, but ponies are right to eat seaweed!"

"Oh," I said as Captain Barnacle left the room. I tossed my plate onto the window, and it left a sticky green mess. It spread all over the pane. I realized that I could no longer see out to look at the Furbys.

I decided to go take a shower, because my hair was feeling very lifeless and it was beginning to look like seaweed. The water in my shower was just beginning to warm up when I noticed a slimy squid tentacle oozing up out of the drainhole. I stomped on it, but that could not hold it back. More of the squid came up into the bathtub. Soon, the whole creature was terrorizing my bathroom. I ran down the hall, screaming.

I found Baby Falling Leaves wandering through the Sea Pony. "Oh, hi, Baby Noddins," she greeted me.

"A squid just invaded my bathroom!" I explained.

"Can we play with it?" Baby Falling Leaves asked.

"Not until you've classified all the Furbys," I said firmly.

"Oh," she sighed. "Mr. Skidoo was caught escaping again."

"What's he doing now?" I questioned.

"He's fishing for a rare Dewgong he spotted," Baby Falling Leaves replied.

"Ooh!" I said in awe. "The evolved form of Seel?"

"Right," Baby Falling Leaves affirmed. "It's very rare. This will be the first Pokmon he's ever caught."

"Say, where is Captain Barnacle?" I queried. "I must interview him."

"ARR, you be wantin' to interview me?" Captain Barnacle came out of the dark shadows down the hall.

"Yes," I said. "Baby Falling Leaves, take notes."

"I don't wanna," Baby Falling Leaves wailed.

"Captain Barnacle, is it true that you're here to seek revenge upon humanity?" I asked of him.

"ARR, it be none of your business who I be seekin' revenge on!" Captain Barnacle snapped.

"Baby Noddins, this is boring," Baby Falling Leaves complained. "Let's go play in the seaweed forest."

I diverted my attention from Captain Barnacle. "What seaweed forest?" I asked curiously.

"The one that grew where you threw your plate," Baby Falling Leaves explained.

"Oh! Big fun!" I exclaimed. "Captain Barnacle, it has been a pleasure interviewing you, but I must be going now. Goodbye!"

Baby Falling Leaves and Baby Noddins ran towards the site of the seaweed forest. Giant strings of seaweed hung from the ceiling down to the floor.

"Baby Falling Leaves!" I shrieked. "There's a squid in there!" I saw the two luminescent eyes staring out of the seaweed.

"AHHHHH!" Baby Falling Leaves screamed. "THERE'RE MORE!" Several more pairs of eyes appeared in the forest. All of a sudden, at least five killer giant squids lunged at us.

Immediately, there was panic on board. Bushwoolies, who made up Captain Barnacle's crew, were scurrying all over. Mr. Skidoo ran up to us and urged, "Now's the time to escape!"

The three of us began dashing away when I looked back and saw that a squid had captured a Bushwoolie in one of its tentacles. The Bushwoolies was crying, "Ah! No again! Down, please. Ah! Down, down. Ah! No again! Ah! Ah!"

The Bushwoolie's plea echoed in my ears as I prepared to chop-off the tentacle. All of a sudden...

* * *

Baby Noddins woke up with a start and lifted her head up groggily. She looked down at what her head had been laying on-- a book titled Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. "Ooh, weird," she breathed, realizing that she must have fallen asleep at her desk while reading.

The next thing Baby Noddins was conscious of was her Furby crying, "Ah! No again! Down, please. Ah!" She glanced around in the darkness and realized that her pastel Furby, Waylo, had been knocked onto the ground and was now demanding attention. She swiftly picked him up and placed him right-side-up.

"Hee hee! Party, wah!" Waylo laughed.

Baby Noddins yawned as she began to realize that she was not really being attacked by giant squid. "Weird dream," she repeated to herself. Waylo, being in such a dark room, quickly went back to sleep.

The seaweed must have came from the disgusting green beans her mother had served that evening at supper. And Baby Falling Leaves-- well, Baby Falling Leaves got into everything of Baby Noddins' (including her My Little People collection), so it was really no wonder that she had wound-up in her dream. But how had Mr. Skidoo, Miss Hackney's one true love, taken the place of Ned Land from Twenty Thousand Leagues?

Oh, yeah, Baby Noddins recalled. I caught Miss Hackney lookin' at his picture after school yesterday when I was handing in my assignment, and she had to tell me who he was. And, since Miss Hackney was responsible for making Baby Noddins read the book, Mr. Skidoo made sense, too.

Normally, Miss Hackney would not assign such a long book as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to a second-grader, but she had felt that Baby Noddins could handle it-- or at least, Baby Noddins had been in need of some extra credit to make up for some failed tests and her teacher had said, "If you can read as many words as you speak, Baby Noddins, you'll have no problem with this." Baby Noddins had eagerly taken up the task of reading the novel and writing a report of it.

And that was how Baby Noddins had come to have this strange, delusional dream. She giggled as she read the top line of the sheet Miss Hackney had written-up giving the outline of the report she had to write. It read, "Captain Nemo was seeking revenge upon humanity." That was how the interview with Captain Barnacle came to be! Plus, Baby Noddins' mother had sent her up to her room after supper, just like Captain Barnacle.

Baby Noddins yawned as she abandoned her deskwork and crawled into bed. Tomorrow Baby Noddins would call Tabby and tell her how she had dreamed that she was her. And then she would write a note to Barnacle (the notorious pirate of Port Scurvy) and tell him of what a wonderful Captain Nemo he would make...

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