1. Delicacy of the Gods
It was a warm peaceful day on a small island in the south pacific. Birds sang in the softly rustling palm trees as a thin young man in a bright red shirt meandered through the jungle below. His light blue eyes scanned the forest around him intently, searching. For what he wasn't exactly sure, but whatever it was it had to be special. After all it was for a special person and today was a special day.
As he turned a corner in the trail something unusual caught his eye. He quickly ran over and plucked the long blue object out of the sand. A smile spread across his face as he held the feather up to the light. With every turn the color seemed to change, from dark blue to green to turquoise. "Wow." He said to himself. "This would make a great present!" But after only about a second thinking about it his smile faded and he sighed. "But not for the Skipper." It was too cool a trinket to just leave so he stuffed the feather in his pocket and continued his search.
- - - - - -
The moviestar studied the bush before her carefully. The berries on it were the strangest things she'd ever seen. She plucked one and held it up. It was dark purple, about the size of a grape, football shaped and covered with tiny pink speckles.
"Don't eat that. It's poisonous."
She jumped slightly at the order from behind her. "I wasn't going to eat it Professor." She smiled as the sandy-haired man approached. "They just look like they'd make great earrings. What do you think?" She picked another one and held them up to her ears.
He smiled and shook his head. "They look nice but fruit is hardly an appropriate material for making jewelry."
"You just don't have a good imagination."
"These berries do have a very interesting history, though." He ignored her comment and held one up.
The redhead rolled her green eyes. Oh, boy. Here comes another scientific lecture.
"Certain native tribes use these to choose their next chief if the previous one died without an heir. They assembled all the men who wished to be the next chief and each would have to eat a bowl of these.
"Even though they're poisonous?"
"Well, they're not usually deadly unless taken in large quantities. The most common symptoms are vomiting dizziness and fatigue along with horrific nightmares."
"How did they decide?"
"They would hold an Olympics of sorts; Simple tasks for a normal person but extremely difficult under the influence of the berries. Whoever scored the highest was chosen as chief."
She opened her mouth with a question but he interrupted with the answer.
"I know it's a flawed system but they were happy with it."
"That's some crazy election."
"Yes, these berries are known to the natives as the 'delicacy of the gods'. They are very important to their culture and are rumored to be quite delicious."
"Oh, that reminds me. I'm supposed to be out here looking for spices for dinner tonight."
"I know a place down by the lagoon where there's a wide assortment to choose from. Let me show you."
- - - - - -
Gilligan had been searching the island for hours and had found a lot of neat stuff; like a shiny rock, the biggest conch shell ever and a deformed coconut, but nothing that seemed right to give the Skipper. He was about to start for the other side of the island when he heard the Professor's voice.
"…Yes, these berries are known to the natives as the 'delicacy of the gods'. They are very important to their culture and are rumored to be quite delicious."
Ginger's voice spoke up. "Oh, that reminds me. I'm supposed to be out here looking for spices for dinner tonight."
Gilligan parted the leaves and watched the Professor lead the moviestar through the lush jungle toward the lagoon. "Hmm. 'Delicacy of the gods'." The first mate mumbled to himself. "If the natives like them so much I'll bet the Skipper will love 'em." He took off his hat and filled it to the brim with the exotic berries.