I am Captain William Scoresby of the good English ship Baffin. I have already told you about the magical ship ANUK, and her strange crew of Wizards.
We were sailing fast through a thick fog after my rescue, something I would never dare to do on my own ship. But the lady captain Uli showed me another magic box, which she called „Radar“. This painted a picture of the surrounding seas and coast of Greenland as if looking down from the heavens. Captain Uli told me of the clockwork workings of this wonder. It was, she said, like the twittering of bats!
How can this possibly be true? How can bats live in this box?!
Then she showed me the hull of this ship Anuk. It seemed to be made in one piece of some strange, light silvery grey metal which I have never seen before. The mast was made from a tree of this same metal. A metal tree, my friends! The dinghy was strange, too, obviously made of the black bladder of a giant sea monster.
I was led below into the cabin of the Anuk. At least the table was made of something familiar: tree wood. But it was covered with the skin of some transparent animal, so this strange beast must have had the blood and muscles visible to the eye.
This crew of wizards wore clothes of bright colours, far brighter than any colour in our society. They told me these were also made of the oil sucked from under the earth, but maybe I misunderstood. There were books made, like ours with paper, but the paintings were drawn with exceptional detail. I looked inside the books, but they spoke of marvels I could not understand: a great chattering of fools upon the colored boxes, theatre plays performed inside other coloured boxes by miniature people, and great birds made of the same silvery metal, and propelled by giant blowlamps which burned the oil sucked from the ground.
One crewman, who said his name was Frank, told me his occupation on the land was the manufacture of four-wheeled metal boxes that travelled at huge speed. These contained more people of the ANUKii tribe. These were called Volks Wagens, or people-boxes, like our tin cans for food. These too were propelled by steam engines burning the ground-oil.
The crew told me that there were those in their society who wished to stop burning the oil from the ground, but I cried

„Then more whales must die to feed your machines!“

Then one of the Anuk tribe turned to me and said

„I see your ship Baffin upon the box of bats. Do you wish to return to her, Captain Scoresby?“

I assented at once, saying that I needed to preserve my crew. Could we perhaps follow the Anuk into Harbour, please? Swiftly we drew close to my ship and the Anuk crew tied great colored bladders along the sides, and prepared ropes made of the long white hairs of another sea monster.

At last I leaped upon my own deck, and turned to my amazed crew:

„You are never going to believe this, boys….“

Text: Graham