Sarah the Salamander and Ruby the Rottweiler’s Adventure
Lyla, Age 12, Westhampton, NY
Sarah the Salamander and her best friend Ruby the Rottweiler were planning to go on a trip to Bermuda. Sarah the Salamander was very excited and decided to buy the plane tickets. Ruby walked in and said, “Sarah, I don’t think I want to go to Bermuda. I know you want to go, but I’m too scared to fly there.”

“I understand, Ruby, but I already bought the tickets. You can’t back out now, or I will have to ask someone else.”

“OK, fine, I’ll go,” said Ruby the Rottweiler.

“Oh, thank you, Ruby!!” said Sarah.

Sarah and Ruby made reservations at the best five-star hotel on the island. They started packing: bathing suits, shorts, pajamas, dresses, flip flops, and nice clothes for when they went out to dinner.

Finally the day they were to leave arrived. They were ecstatic. They walked outside their houses to the taxi with their matching luggage that had their names on it. Ruby was nervous but didn’t want to pass up the opportunity.

They got to the airport and checked in with Carl the Condor. He stared at them intently while looking at their boarding passes. Ruby wondered what he was staring at and finally asked, “Is there something wrong, sir?”

“No, just you seem pretty brave to be flying over the Bermuda Triangle,” said the guard in a thick western accent.

Sarah the Salamander winced at the words; she didn’t want that fact mentioned after Ruby had said she didn’t want to go. Ruby the Rottweiler looked down at her paws.  “Well, we don’t mind; can we please just go through security now?” Sarah spat.

“Sure, little lady, right this way,” the guard signalled. He waved his wing toward the long line and returned the boarding passes and their passports to them. They looked at each other and walked toward the crowd of people.

Ruby placed her collar, cell phone, and laptop into a bin and lifted her suitcase up on the sturdy metal table. Sarah the Salamander did the same with her laptop, cell phone, and suitcase. The two went through the body scanners one at a time, handing the attendant their boarding pass.

Finally, they collected their items and walked to the gate where their plane was waiting for passengers. There was a twenty minute delay due to garbage left all over the seats and floor. At the airport store, Ruby the Rottweiler picked up the daily issue of People magazine with the latest gossip on celebrities, a Coca Cola, and a six serving bag of “Chex Mix,” while Sarah the Salamander got a purple headrest with built in speakers, a bag of gummy bears, and a magnet to remember the trip.

They paid for their items and left the shop when they heard the flight attendant call their flight over the loudspeaker. They rushed back over to their bags and got in line for the plane. Sarah the Salamander handed the woman her boarding pass. The woman scanned it and handed it back to Sarah. Ruby also gave the woman her boarding pass. It was scanned and handed back to her.

The woman stared at the screen and looked at the words “Declined’’ displayed across a picture of Ruby’s boarding pass barcode. She ran down the aisle and yelled for Ruby. The woman got Ruby’s attention and told her that she would not be allowed to go to Bermuda for another two days because the date was wrong on her ticket. Ruby was shocked. She turned around to look at Sarah who was glancing at them while putting her bags in the overhead bins. The woman had Ruby get her bags, told Sarah that she couldn’t go for two days, and had someone escort her out of the airport to a taxi waiting for her. Ruby was not happy that she would miss time in Bermuda, but was relieved that she didn’t have to fly over the Bermuda Triangle just yet.

Two Days Later:
The two days Ruby had to wait to join Sarah went by slowly, but finally the day of departure arrived. Ruby the Rottweiler got her nerves together, packed her bag again and headed to the airport. She went through the same procedures at the airport as last time, but without Sarah the Salamander. Ruby missed Sarah and thought of the great time Sarah had been having without her.

The next thing she knew, Ruby was on the plane and watching Cake Boss. They were making a shark cake for a man who loved to fish.

After a light snack and quick snooze, she heard, “Welcome to Bermuda! We will be landing in ten minutes.”

Ruby packed up her things and threw out all her garbage. She texted Sarah that she would land in fifteen minutes.

The plane landed, and Ruby got off with the crowd of people. Ruby took all of her belongings, brought them down the escalator and met Sarah at the exit. Sarah brought her back to the resort and told her everything she had done; which wasn’t much since she knew that it wouldn’t be as fun without Ruby. Sarah told Ruby that she was sorry about the tickets since she booked the trip and messed up the dates.

When they arrived at the resort and Ruby checked in, she was told her room was on a level three floors above Sarah. The girls asked if they could move the room so they were both on the same floor and the hotel obliged.

Later that day, Sarah and Ruby decided that they both wanted to go on a tour of the island. They made reservations for a 3:00 tour and, as it was only 1:00, decided to relax at the pool for a few hours.

At 3:00 they met the tour guide in the hotel lobby. The guide’s name was Henry the Hermit Crab.

They drove around the island for a while when shackles came up out of the seats and they were trapped! There were two other animals. One a daughter and one a mother. Henry drove to a cave and forced them into it after tying their arms and feet and using a crude spear shaped tool to threaten them into complying. They stumbled inside where they found rotten skeletons, bat wings, and piles of dust and dirt. The mother and daughter were crying. Sarah and Ruby were laughing thinking it was a joke, but it was not. Ruby the Rottweiler and Sarah the Salamander turned around and started walking further into the cave once Henry the Hermit Crab had left. They found nothing; no other animals, nothing. They were stranded in a cave, with no idea how to get help and no idea how to get back to the resort.

The next day Henry returned with five more people, a Chihuahua, a mockingbird, a lizard, a poodle who was with the Chihuahua on a honeymoon, and a Turtle.
Ruby and Sarah hopped to the new people once Henry left and realized that what Henry had not thought of was putting shackles on the mockingbird. Therefore, Meredith the Mockingbird could fly. All the animals told Meredith to go outside and find a way back to the resort. They had all realized that they had all been guests at the same resort and all been scheduled for a tour at 3:00. “If only we had booked another time and hadn’t relaxed at the pool,” Sarah said.

The next day another group came and they told them their plan. Meredith had found several paths they could use as a means of escape. They were all going to head out three hours after the 3:00 tour got back.

Three Hours Later:
With their feet and hands tied, the large group waddled down the shortest path that Meredith could find. They ran into some guides from the same company, who asked if they needed help and rides. They declined, suspicious of the tour company as a whole, and told the guides they were on a hiking tour. They continued on until they finally made it to a path covered in thorn bushes. One by one Meredith flew them all over the bushes to the other side. They were able to find some stones and cut the ties of their feet and then hiked two more hours until they finally made it back to the resort.

After they got food and water at the hotel, Sarah the Salamander and Ruby the Rottweiler went to the police. They told Sheriff Maxine the Madagascar Hissing Roach everything that had happened from the time they scheduled the tour to now. Sarah and Ruby also told the police about the other tourists that were held hostage in the cave. The police launched an immediate investigation of the tour company and commenced interviewing everyone that had been trapped with Ruby and Sarah, every tourist that had recently been on a tour, and every employee of the tour company.

After meeting with the police, Sarah and Ruby went back to their hotel and were informed by hotel staff that their vacation had been extended a few weeks with all expenses paid by the hotel as an apology from the staff.

The police contacted Sarah and Ruby following the conclusion of the investigation of the tour company. Sheriff Maxine the Madagascar Hissing Roach explained to Sarah and Ruby that Henry the Hermit Crab, owner of the tour company, had been trying to run the resort they had been staying at out of business because he wanted to open his own hotel, and felt that it would be best to remove competition. The Sheriff explained that Henry thought the bad experience on the tour would cause the visitors to bad mouth the trip on TripAdvisor, resulting in bad press for the hotel, which would slowly erode the hotel’s business until the owners had no choice but to close. The Sheriff mentioned that Henry was not a particularly smart hermit crab, having been stepped on many times as a youth, and did not realize that, in fact, negative comments on TripAdvisor would likely drive his tour company out of business rather than, or at least in addition to, the rival hotel.

Sheriff Maxine the Madagascar Hissing Roach told Sarah the Salamander and Ruby the Rottweiler that Henry the HermitCrab was being put in jail for forty-five years with a parole of an additional twenty-five years.

Ruby and Sarah thanked the Sheriff and said their goodbyes. They returned to the hotel and enjoyed their extended vacation without further mishap. When the vacation was over, they thanked the members of the hotel and asked the concierge to print their boarding passes for their return flight. They took a taxi to the airport and were pleased that it took a direct route. They were sad to leave, but happy to get back home.

“Thanks, Sarah,” said Ruby graciously, as she settled into her seat on the plane.

“No problem, I’m glad you had fun!” Sarah the Salamander answered.

They both got off the airplane and went in separate cabs home.
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