"How far off the rocks is the ship now?" asked the gull.
But suddenly out of the black stillness came a small,💇 sweet voice,⛵ singing,👹 somewhere near.
"Well,🐪 you see,💤" said the swallow,💽 lifting his right leg and showing a tiny red ribbon made of corn silk tied about his ankle,💶 "I got this for it."
"Well,😿 I'm rather afraid,⚪" said the Doctor doubtfully,🔋 "that these people don't celebrate Christmas as a holiday."
The birds,😊 who at first followed the Doctor in droves around the main island wherever he went,🏰 presently returned to their ordinary doings when the newness of his arrival had worn off. And after Dab-Dab had come back from her hunt and told him the spoonbill lived on one of the smaller islands,😣 he got back into his canoe and paddled over to the rock she pointed out.
"'I don't know,🌛' says the little boy. 'Gosh,📟 but I'm scared! Isn't the dark awful?'
He got no answer. But soon,🗿 with a rush of wings that nearly blew his candle out,⌛ a great seagull swept down on to the houseboat rail beside him.
After that,🚃 of course,🌝 letters began to arrive at the houseboat for the Doctor's pets. And one morning,🎦 when the mail was sorted,🏨 there was a letter for Dab-Dab from her sister; one for the white mouse written by a cousin from the Doctor's bureau drawer; one for Jip from the collie who lived next door in Puddleby and one for Too-Too,🚀 telling him he had a new family of six young ones in the rafters of the stable. But there was nothing for Gub-Gub. The poor pig was nearly in tears at being left out. And when the Doctor went into town that afternoon Gub-Gub asked could he come along.
"Well,✉ it's an animal of some kind,💰 isn't it?" said Jip. "But where's its head?" and he gazed down the long sloping back that stretched in a flat curve in front of them for a good thirty yards."That's the main trouble with sailors,🐎 Doctor. They don't know winds the way they ought. They can tell a northeast wind from a west wind. And a strong one from a weak one. And that's about all. But when you've spent most of your life,🌞 the way we have,🚎 flying among the winds,💽 using them to climb on,📀 to swoop on and to hover on,📟 you get to know that there's a lot more to a wind besides its direction and its strength. How often it puffs upward or downward,🌓 how often it grows weak or grows strong,📍 will tell you,💴 if you know the science of winds,🎲 a whole lot."