The Sailor’s Story

When Chew Bear returned home from the art show, he snuck away to his room and brought out the envelope he had found hidden within the frame of his painting. He traced the symbol with his paw and thought how strange it was that someone else would know about it.

After contemplating for a few minutes as to whether or not he should show the envelope to his parents, Chew Bear tore it open and pulled out a lined yellow piece of paper that read:

I know that place in your painting. No matter what you think, or what others tell you, it DOES exist. I have been there once, a long time ago, but have never been able to return back. I traveled through a force field and a time portal to get there, you see. And how I returned home I will never know for sure. But it was someone who looked just like you who brought me back. Meet me in the park Saturday at noon if you want more information. In the fort, where we will be around other adults and children, but can discuss without others overhearing. I don’t want you to be scared of me. Bring your cell phone in case of emergency.

–          The Old Sailor

Chew Bear could not believe it! He was not going crazy, the island DID exist!! And he bet he had been there before too. Oh wow, he just had to go meet the sailor and get some answers. But how would he arrange meeting with the sailor without Chacha and Chaka finding out? He assumed that if he told them the truth, they would tell him it was a crazy idea, or think he was telling stories. Well, he had the rest of the week to devise a plan!

Over the next few days, Chew Bear mapped out a plan. He would tell his parents that he wanted to go to the park with his friend Billy, to play. It wasn’t a horrible lie, he really would bring Billy to the park, but he would sneak off to meet the sailor for just a few minutes! No harm done!

When Saturday came around Chew Bear asked his parents for permission to go to the park with Billy.  Of course, they approved, but Chacha insisted on coming along to keep an eye on them.

Chew Bear packed his knapsack with his book, the note from the sailor and his cell phone and then he and Chacha headed down the road to Billy’s, and then off to the park. They played on the jungle gym for a while, and then, just before noon, Chew Bear decided they should play “hide and seek”. Billy would hide and Chew Bear would try to find him. Chew Bear went over to Chacha to tell her that they were going to play hide and seek.


“Just stay on the playground”, Chacha said, and Chew Bear promised they would do so. Billy then ran off to hide, and Chew Bear went to the fort to “count to 100” to give Billy time to find a spot. In reality, Chew Bear knew the sailor would be meeting him there.

The sailor was already in the fort, hidden from view in the corner, when Chew Bear arrived and introduced himself as Captain Fishstix. Chew Bear shook his hand eagerly, peered out the fort window at Chacha and waved to her, and then told the sailor that he didn’t have much time, and to please tell him what he needed to. Captain Fishstix immediately began to tell Chew Bear his story.

It all started when Captain Fishstix was a young sailor, barely out of high school, some 65+ years ago. He had taken his ship out on the lake for some walleye fishing, when a storm began to brew. His boat was tossed around the lake, and it was all he could do to hang on. He saw a flash of lightning and all of a sudden the storm parted and he could see a sort of “doorway” leading to a calm lake with an island. Before he knew it, he had hit his head on the steering wheel, he saw a bright green flash of light and a paw grab hold of him before he could be tossed into the choppy water.


The next thing he knew he was in a small hut, on a bed with something cold on his forehead. Sitting near the bed was a beautiful creature with floppy ears and a button nose. She smiled at Captain Fishstix and asked how he was feeling. He muttered something about a splitting headache and the creature explained to him that he had almost gone overboard, but she had grabbed him at the last second and taken him home to tend to his wounds.

The Captain asked where “home” was and the creature said “why Stikii Island, of course!”.  Captain had never heard of Stikii Island, and asked if he could take a look around. The creature, whose name was Chelly, said no, apparently humans were not permitted on the island and she had taken a great risk bringing him there. In fact, she explained, that she had been time traveling when she had heard his screams and had reached through the time portal to save him. It was some 300 years prior that Captain Fishstix had awoken in!!

The Captain spent a few nights in Chelly care, and she described the island to him and told him that she was pregnant and expecting a child. She sang to him at night and he slept comfortably. When he was finally healed, Chelly dressed Captain Fishstix in a hooded robe so that he would not be recognized, and led him into the woods. This was the only real look the Captain had at the island – he saw a beautiful waterfall, several huts similar to Chelly’s, and old cave and more! It was BEAUTIFUL.

Chelly finally stopped in front of a giant tree that she described to Captain Fishstix as a “Chew Tree”. Carved into the tree was the symbol from the book and from Chew Bear’s visions. Chelly told the Captain to grab hold of her tail tightly. With that, she placed her paws on the symbol, squeezed her eyes shut and said something in a foreign language that Fishstix didn’t quite understand. All of a sudden they were spinning through a tunnel of green. Captain Fishstix could not believe what was happening!

After a few moments of spinning, Chelly yelled to the Captain “let go!”. He did as he was told and started spinning on his own. The next thing he knew he was on the banks Lake Erie near downtown Toledo, with no sign of Chelly, Stikii Island or the green tunnel. His head throbbed and he couldn’t believe what had just happened.

Captain Fishstix returned to the ship yard and told his friends about his adventure. Unfortunately, no one believed him and blamed the bump on his head for the far out tales he told. No one ever took the Captain seriously again and he became a sort of loner, spending the next several decades sailing around Lake Erie in search of the s-shaped island and the fabulous creature that had saved his life.

With that, Captain Fishstix ended his story and turned to stare Chew Bear in the eye. They caught one another’s gaze and silently knew that both of their stories were true. Chew Bear began to ask the Captain a question but as soon as he opened his mouth, Fishstix stood up and dashed into the night without leaving Chew Bear a way to contact him.

Holy moly! Chew Bear now knew that the island was real and that there were more creatures like him who lived there! What a relief, he thought. He climbed down from the fort just in time to see Billy run, crying, to Chacha who was sitting on the park bench.

“Chew Bear never found me!” he cried.

As Chew Bear walked up to them, he heard Billy explaining that he had hidden, in a pretty easy spot on the playground (under the picnic table) but Chew Bear had never tried to find him. He had watched him climb up into the fort and not come back down. Billy had remained hidden for over 20 minutes, and then become angry and upset. He didn’t want to play with a liar anymore!

Chacha then asked Chew Bear to explain what had happened. Chew Bear felt very bad for what he had done and told his mother that he had lied to Billy about playing hide and seek so that he could sneak off by himself.  He told Chacha that he would tell her everything when they got home. Chacha asked Chew Bear to apologize to Billy for lying to him. Chew Bear told Billy that he really was sorry, that it would not happen again, and that he would make it up to him soon, he promised.  This made Billy feel better, and he told Chew Bear that he would give him a second chance if he promised to help him work on his soccer skills.

“Deal”, Chew Bear said. Then they dropped Billy off at his house and returned home where Chew Bear knew that it was time to finally come clean about his book and Stikii Island.

At home, Chaka and Chacha sat Chew Bear down and told him the importance of telling the truth. Telling lies is dangerous, and he or Billy could have been hurt!  They told Chew Bear that they were now going to have a hard time trusting and believing him, and that it would be a long time before he was allowed out by himself again. They then asked that Chew Bear tell them the whole truth about everything that was going on with him, and why he head really wanted to go to the park that day.

Chew Bear sat on his bed, apologized to his parents, and began to tell the story of the visions, the book, the painting and the sailor…….

To be continued.