The ship pitched and rolled. The sails billowed.
‘Get me some grog boy.’ The first mate hollered into the storm.
A big wave sent the ship rocking and Samuel to the deck. He clung on inching his way below decks. Sailors on night watch were tossed from their hammocks. Unable to make land at the island they were headed for they had weighed anchor a distance offshore.
Scurvy being rampant, the crew well enough to sail struggled to do so. Samuel returned to the deck, the anchor lifted of its own accord and The Samphire hit a rock. Samuel was tossed into the sea.
He tried to swim for shore. A fish twice his side came up to him.
‘Hold onto me.’ it said.
‘Me’ said the fish.
The ship was off tossed into the waves and Samuel knew there was no hope of it returning so he did as the fish told him.
The fish made for the shore with Samuel clinging on.
When they reached the island, the fish shook, and Samuel sat on the beach next to it.
‘My name’s Samuel what’s yours?’
‘Amitola, it means rainbow.’
‘It suits you with all the colours on your skin.’
Amitola danced and twirled on his tail showing Samuel his leopard spotted fins and the patchwork of colours on his body.
‘A long time ago a boy like you gave me my name.’
‘Where are we?’
‘This is Sion. The boy named it too. You will be safe here, there is food and water.’
‘How do I get back to the ship?’
‘Master Samuel, you live here now. There’s no way off this island, it’s too dangerous for ships to come here. People only come here when they are thrown into the sea.’
‘How will I live here? There’s no shelter and what food and where’s water?’
‘You will learn Master Samuel, from the wisdom of the ages. I must leave you. All who come here are sent. It is your destiny.’
With that Amitola disappeared into the waves.