Return to the Island: New Friends

“John, Michael, Alice, Jim, Pinocchio! How did you get here?” Wendy rushed to hug her brothers and their friends.
“Oh, quite easy, in fact. What with Hook not looking and Jim’s expertise,” began John.
“Jim’s expertise?” Peter interrupted.
“Yes, Jim has dealt with Long John Silver and his pirate crew. Oh, how rude of us, we haven’t properly introduced you yet! Well, these are our friends, Jim Hawkins, Alice Liddell, and Pinocchio Guiseppe. And these guys are Peter Pan and his Lost Boys, Slightly, Nibs, Cubby, Tootles, and the Twins,” John introduced them.
“Hey, you forgot me!” chirped a voice near Pinocchio.
“Who said that?” asked John as the children glanced around the room.
“That would be me, Jiminy Cricket, conscience extraordinaire,” replied the voice, hopping out of Pinocchio’s pocket. Everyone stared at the cricket.
“Cool, a talking cricket! Can I keep him?” a young voice broke the stillness.
“Ranjan!” scolded a girl’s voice.
“But it’s really cool, Shanti! Where did you find him, Pinocchio?” the little boy named Ranjan asked Pinocchio.
“Well, uh, actually, he found me, and he acted as my conscience until I became a real boy,” replied Pinocchio.
“A real boy!” cried the Lost Boys.
“What do you mean by that? What were you before you were a real boy?” inquired Peter.
“I was a wooden puppet. I was given life by the Blue Fairy,” replied Pinocchio. There was complete silence as everybody besides the Darlings, Jim, and Alice, stared at him.
“Oh, and I’ve been to Wonderland. I actually wanted to ask you about that, Peter. Could you take me there?” Alice broke the silence with her question.
“Wait, say what? Wonderland? Never heard of it,” said Peter.
“Is Neverland the only island in this sea?” she wondered.
“No, I’ve flown over the other lands, though I’ve never landed. I might have flown over your Wonderland and never knew about it. The best people to ask would be the mermaids, they’ve traveled all over the ocean and come back with tons of gossip, I’ve just never asked them about the other islands. But first, I want to hear about how Pinocchio became a real boy, how Jim dealt with Silver’s pirates, and your adventures in Wonderland, then we’ll go ask the mermaids and go from there,” came Peter’s plan of action.
“Before we visit the mermaids, maybe I could tell them my adventures as well, John was particularly interested,” remarked a dark-skinned boy.
“Yes, they definitely sound interesting, especially since you’re able to talk to the animals, Mowgli,” John turned to the scrawny boy.
“You’ve already met?” Wendy asked.
“Of course they did, Mowgli, Shanti, Ranjan, and Tiger Lily are the only ones from the tribe who know where the secret entrance is. Before we start listening to stories, tell me, why did you come anyway?” Peter asked the Indians.
“Oh, there was a rumor that Hook had the perfect plan to destroy you. Chief Great Big Little Panther just wanted us to come and make sure everybody was alright. We told him if we were away for a long time that meant you were fine, so we can have as many stories as we’d like,” grinned Mowgli.
Peter chuckled, “Well, as you can see, that codfish’s perfect plan failed. Let’s get started, I want to hear Pinocchio’s story first.”
“Alright, well, it all began when I came into being. My eyes opened for the first time, and the first thing I saw was this lovely lady dressed in blue. She introduced herself as the Blue Fairy, and she was the one who introduced Jiminy Cricket to me.” Pinocchio continued his story as everyone got comfortable to listen to a tale of a boy, his mistakes, and the consequences of his actions, with a few side notes from a cricket.

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