'There they are!' said Captain Bill and he pointed with his tail. Off in the distance they could just make out two boats sat low in the water and behind them another boat, the Steward's launch.
And it was from the bow of the Steward's launch that a man rose slowly to his feet. A portly man with a red flag in his hands.
'Team Cow Island,' he began, 'Team Queen Jasmine, when I see that you are both straight and ready, I will start you thus... tension... go! Please ready yourselves.'
And the man raised the flag above his head.
'Tension!' he said.
'They've gone!' called out Horace.
'What?' mooed Bertha.
'They didn't wait!' replied Horace and indeed it was true. Queen Jasmine's team hadn't waited, instead they had started and were now well ahead.
'After them!' called out Norma and the Cow Island boat sprang forward. Down the river they chased the other boat, rowing to the pace that Geraldine called out. At first they seemed to make no impression but slowly, bit by bit, they closed the gap, until at last they started to draw along side.
They're coming over onto our station!' shouted Horace.
'They're up to no good!' mooed Norma.
'Rotating blades!!!' warned Bertha. 'Look out! ...Geraldine!...Duck!'
'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!' called out Annie. 'She's a Penguin!'
The plume on Geraldine's hat flew in a million different directions as the blades passed over her head but never for a moment did she waiver in her task. Down the course the two teams battled, neck and neck, not a canvas between them.
'They're coming over again!' called out Norma.
'Time to take action,' replied Bertha, 'ready, aim... fire!'
'Oh good shot, Horace!' mooed Norma, 'that'll make them keep their distance!'
And so the crew rowed on, three quarters of the course already covered. Then, just when it seemed as if nothing could break the deadlock, Geraldine gave a short sharp tweet and the Cow Island boat shot forward once again.
'Ha!' shouted Bertha, 'now we've got them!' and so they had, for Queen Jasmine's team were, by now, exhausted. At first by no more than the width of a horn the Cows pulled ahead. Then more... and more... a length... two lengths! They rowed faster and faster, a true team!
Until at long last... the finishing line!
'We've won!' screamed Bertha!