Gulliver Locke – Chapter Five

On Thursday, when Gull had taken one too many steps into The Woods, he never dreamed that he would walk, uninvited, into the home of a stranger.

To be fair, when Gulliver came upon the cabin, we was more famished than he had ever been in his life, he was dangerously dehydrated, and he was covered from head to toe in a nasty rash.  In short, he was desperate.  He knocked for quite some time before, being quite convinced that nobody was home, he tried the door-latch.  To his great surprise, the door opened with ease.  He tried to call out a loud “Hello?”, just in case somebody was in fact home, but found that his throat was too dry to produce more than a whisper.

Sometimes desperation wins out over courtesy, and Gulliver was at that point.  He stepped into the house and closed the door behind him.  He found the kitchen and looked around until he found a large pitcher of water.  He guzzled the water greedily, but then almost immediately, it all came back up….so after his stomach was empty again, he paced himself.

After allaying his thirst, he noticed that there was a pot, hanging from a hook in the fireplace.  There was no fire, but it was obvious that it had only been recently extinguished.  He looked in the pot, hoping that there might be some food.  Sure enough, the pot was full of oatmeal!  Gull had heard somewhere that oatmeal was soothing on rashes, so after scooping some of the oatmeal out of the pot, he placed it on part of his rash, and immediately yelped in pain, and learned the hard way that oatmeal soothes the best when it’s not hot!  After letting it cool for a while, he found that the oatmeal was just what he needed for both his rash and his stomach.

Now that his most urgent needs had been addressed, Gulliver found that he was exhausted.  Sure, he had slept in The Woods on each of the two nights that he had been lost, but never deep enough or long enough to rejuvenate him.  Still covered in oatmeal, he found a place on the floor (he was polite enough that he didn’t want to make a mess), and lay down for a nap.  As he drifted off, he briefly worried that the home-owners might return and be upset by his presence, but he was too tired to care, and soon drifted off into a deep sleep.