Hi, everyone, Mr. Mitten here. Barbara is away visiting her friends tonight, so I'm filling in until she's back.
These two guys have been partying so hard on our bookshelf for the past week, that they have moved me to put pencil to paper, which I haven't done in a very long time. Here's the result. Hope you like it! :)
Billy was standing in the doorway with a pillow in his one hand, a swimming noodle in the other, and an excited expression on his face. Kate knew immediately that he had some sort of an idea.
"Hi, Kate!" he said. "Wanna play pirates?"
Kate gave this some thought. Her schedule for the afternoon was pretty open.
"Sure," she said, letting him in. "What do we have to do?"
Billy thumped inside and swung around, nearly knocking things down with the swimming noodle.
"Hey, watch it!"
"Sorry," he said, putting the noodle down on the couch.
"What's with the noodle?" asked Kate.
"This? It's called a 'compass,'" said Billy. "Every self-respecting pirate has one."
"Are you sure that's a compass?" asked Kate doubtfully.
"What does it do?"
Billy seemed less sure.
"I think it's supposed to point where you're going," he said.
Kate thought about it.
"And you brought a swimming noodle?"
"Well, yeah," he nodded. "See, when I'm at the swimming pool, it always points wherever I want to go," he explained.
"Oh... Okay, I guess that makes sense," nodded Kate. "Then what's with the pillow?"
"That's easy," said Billy. "Pirates are supposed to 'pillage.'"
"Oh yeah. Like so."
And he bonked her on the head with it.
"Hey!" Kate brushed the hair out of her face. "Well... That's not very... you know... fearsome."
Billy bonked her again, this time right on the nose.
"Ow! Okay, okay, sheesh. What else do pirates do?"
Billy dropped the pillow next to the swimming noodle and thought hard.
"I think," he said, "I think we're supposed to wear an eye-patch and a wooden leg."
"That's silly," said Kate. "Why would you wear such things?"
"I think," said Billy, "the eye-patch is for safety."
Kate thought about it. Her dad always wore eye-goggles when he worked in the shop, and always talked about safety.
"That makes sense," she said.
"Yeah," said Billy. "That's why they say 'aye' all the time.
Billy screwed up his face in a fierce expression and said in a gruff voice: "Eye, mateys, watch for the eye!"
He coughed and added in his usual voice: "They also say 'R' a lot and talk about 'curvy dogs.'"
"The what now?"
"Some kind of sea mammal thing, I'm sure."
Kate thought about it.
"Like a sea lion?" she suggested.
"I think so," nodded Billy. "That's why they need a wooden leg. When the curvy dogs attack, they take it off and throw it at them, like sticks. Then, when the dogs chase after the wooden legs, they sneak through and steal their treasure."
There was a pause while they both admired the mental picture.
"And, if someone disobeys their captain," added Billy, "they get 'tarred and feathered.'"
"How does that work?"
Billy thought for a moment.
"I'm not sure what 'tarred' means," he admitted after a while.
Kate rubbed her nose.
"I know what a 'leotard' is," she said. "I have to wear one to my dancing lessons. Is that the same thing?"
Billy looked unsure.
"Does it have feathers?" he asked.
"No, but I have a feather boa," said Kate.
Billy was still unconvinced.
"Can I see?"
Kate dug deep into her closet and took out her sparkly green leotard and her purple feather boa.
Billy nodded vigorously.
"Yeah, that's it," he said. "If you don't listen to your captain, they make you wear this stuff."
He paused, then added with horror in his voice: "Ain't nothing you can do to a pirate that's worse than that."
Kate bit her lip. She had to wear the leotard every Tuesday and Friday to her dancing practice and did not think it so bad.
"What else do pirates do?" she asked, putting things back back in the closet.
Billy breathed a sigh of relief once the offending outfit was out of sight.
"They also have to sing 'sea-shanties,'" he said.
"What are 'shanties?'" asked Kate.
"Dunno," shrugged Billy.
Kate thought for a moment.
"I have an Auntie Sheila who likes to sing," she said.
Billy looked unconvinced.
"Is she popular with pirates?" he asked.
"She used to be a known singer," said Kate. "I heard my dad say once that she was in something called The Urchin from Venus."
"Was it any good?" asked Billy doubtfully.
"I think so, it was on Oprah," said Kate. "Besides, if it has urchins in it, it's probably popular with pirates."
Billy nodded his head, cautiously.
"Do you know the words?" he asked.
Kate screwed up her face trying to remember.
"I think I've heard it once," she said. "It goes like 'Urchin, urchin! Emergency!'"
"They were probably attacking their ship."
"That makes sense," said Kate.
They stood quietly for a moment, admiring the mental picture.
"Is there anything else?" asked Kate.
"I think that's it," said Billy. "No, wait, we have to pick pirate names!"
Kate thought for a moment.
"I think I'd like to be 'Esmeralda,'" she said.
Billy nodded with approval.
"I already picked mine," he said. "I'll be 'Billy Big Bones.'"
"My mom always says that I'm 'big-boned,'" explained Billy. "That's why I'm 'Billy Big Bones.'"
"I think you should be called 'Henry,'" said Kate.
"Huh? No way, that's lame."
"Don't argue with me, I'm the captain," said Kate.
"Wait, I thought I was going to be the captain!" cried Billy.
"No, you're not, Henry."
"No way you're the captain! And it's 'Billy Big Bones!' OW!"
The pillow hit him squarely on the nose.
When Kate's mom looked in ten minutes later to check on the kids, she found them chasing each-other around the room singing 80's music. Kate was swinging around a pillow, while Billy was clutching on to a swimming noodle. He was pink in the face, and wore a sparkly green leotard with a purple feather boa.
Well Done, Mr. Mitten!!! You've captured the spirit of those adorable hippypotamooses perfectly.
Zig-Zactly what pirates are all about!
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