A Pirate Story

The crew of the Bloody Shrike trudged ashore on the oversized sandspit between the islands of Wyntle and Yanzibar. As the map indicated, the island was home to a small rock outcropping, three palm trees and the world’s ugliest tortoise.

Captain Jack Bastich (you could tell he was Captain because of his hat) laughed and started singing.

“Fifteen men on a dead...”

Mad Steven interrupted him with a snarl. “But Cap’n, there’s not fifteen of us!”

“I count for ten, you lazy scupper. And with you and Oily Bill that’s…”

All of them struggled with the math. Oily Bill finally chimed in. “Twelve, I think.”

“What about Smilin’ Pete?”

“Thirteen then, Cap’n.”

That settled, the Cap’n started again. “Thirteen men on a dead man’s chest; yo-ho-ho an’ a bottle’a rum!”

“This in’t rum! It’s barely grog!” Mad Steven knew his alcohol. They’d come all the way to this godforsaken island in search of treasure and hard liquor, and so far neither had been produced.

“Yer can have some o’ my special stock when we get back to the ship, then.”

The pirate was placated somewhat. “All right then, but not the stuff Oily Bill pissed in.”

“I never! An’ I ain’t diggin’ neither.”

“You’ll dig, Bill, or it’s the plank!”

“Ha! Who walks the plank on land?”

“Who said anythin’ about walkin’? I’ll smack ye in the head with it!”

“Why can’t Smilin’ Pete dig?”

“Cause e’s got no arms. Pete, get up on that rock and watch fer inter-lopers.”

Mad Steven reached into his sack and took out Smilin’ Pete, the best-polished skull on the Spanish Main. He put him on top of the rock where he’d have a good view of the sea. Meanwhile Oily Bill took out the shovels. When Steven retuned he got one.

“Why ain’t you diggin’?” asked Mad Steven to the Cap’n.

“I ain’t too agile with this hook hand.” Jack used his good hand to brush his eyepatch. He’d had two good eyes until the day he got an itch.

Soon Bill and Steven were digging with gusto (and shovels). All three wondered what they would find: Dubloons? Sovereigns? Florins?

It didn’t take long to strike wood. All three helped hoist the trunk out of its sandy pit. It had everything a pirate could want in a treasure chest. It was large and it was heavy. The Cap’n hit the lock with his hook hand then pulled the chest open.

“Thanks immensely, boys! It was getting stuffy in there.” The man was thin and effete, smartly dressed in an officer’s uniform.

“Who be you, Fancy Pants?” The Cap’n wanted no truck with this.

“Captain David Jones, Esquire. Here to bring proper civilization to the age of sail.”

Mad Steven’s shovel struck him in back of his head. Cap’n Jack stuffed the reeling man back into the trunk, which Oily Bill then nailed shut.

“Now,” said the Cap’n, “We dump this in the deepest part o’ the sea!”


And that, young'uns, is why we call it “Davy Jones’ Locker.” The Old Storyteller stood up and headed for his room as the kids ran off to bed.