“What! You have sailed the Sea for fully half a week, and don’t know who Shag is? Ask your crew!”
But the Shrimps did not know about Shag, either. They were not very clever, you know, and had not gone to school.
“Won’t you please tell us?” said Birdling, a bit ruffled at the Brownie’s airs.
“Shag is the King of the Deep Sea!” shouted all the Fairies together, so loudly that the Nautilus ships rocked with the noise.
“He has kidnapped our little Fairy Prince,”
Trick explained, “and nobody knows whether he is ill, or imprisoned, or dead. Our King is so sad that he will not wear his crown, he has locked it in a closet and hidden the key. As for the queen, the poor lady has turned into a weeping willow!”
“That’s awful,” said Birdling, and the Shrimps were moved to tears. “Where does Shag live?”
“Under the rock where the Sea Lion sleeps.”
“Can’t somebody sneak into his house and take a peep to see what has become of the little Prince?”
“You make us shiver to think of it,” replied the fairies, pulling their caps down over their ears and their sailor collars up. “The Sea-Lion wakes at the slightest noise and catches anyone who comes near. And if you did get by, Shag would be sure to see you and eat you at a gulp!”
Learn the Vocabulary
But Birdling went on asking questions. “Where is the Rock?” “We are just passing it,” said a Shrimp from the top of the mast. “I see it, far to leeward.” Birdling turned his rudde…