Most people told them it would never work. The rest shook their heads and said nothing. “At least they are staying out of trouble,” was muttered thrice a day.
The kids ignored them and kept on working, testing ideas and calculating for every possibility. They carved grooves in the rocky surface to channel the wind and harness its power. They brought in soil to grow food on the top and in every crevice. The waves and the tides powered the engine.
When they were finished, the children invited everyone in the village to the launch. A handful of non-related adults showed: the type who liked to laugh at another person’s failure. They were disappointed.
The mammoth barge slipped into the sea, looking like any other cliff on the Bay. It puttered away under its own power, with a hundred cheering children on board, ready for adventure.
The Captain kicked at the ground and grumbled to himself. His crew made him furious. They were lazy and clumsy and ruined his best sails. He came across a spider and watched it for a while. His anger ebbed as he marveled how the spider rushed onto a web with ease to catch its prey, despite it flapping in the wind. An idea occurred to the Captain.
The next day the harbour hummed with strange tales of a mad sea captain who replaced his entire crew, save the cook and the cabin boy, with a clutter of spiders. No one knew what to think as they watched the ship sail out to sea with flawless symmetry, each sail just so and the rigging just right.
It had taken all night, but the sail was mended. The fairies blessed it with dew and the hobgoblins gave it a stubborn streak so deep even the gentlest of breezes would whip it into a frenzy and send the ship speeding through the water. The sailors thanked them for their gifts and left to seek their next adventure on the terrible midnight seas.