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Of Pirates and Orphans

Updated on November 18, 2016
Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama/Karen loves to read, write and listen to stories about seafaring life, both spoken and sung.

A Kind-Hearted Motley Crew

Peacfeful Pirates

They were big men and women who wore eye patches and sported mouthfuls of gold and silver teeth. Parrots squawked from their shoulders. The beards of the men were grizzled and all of their bodies bore tattoos that gave clues to their deepest passions. One had a picture of an otter on his upper arm. Another wore the image of a meteor flying across a night sky on her left shoulder blade.

One woman pirate wore a deep blue silk jacket that sparkled with golden stars and moons, and a dark brown suede hat with a wide brim. She stepped forward from the group of pirates lined up on the dock to greet the band of orphan children walking toward them. The time was 5:00 p.m.

"Welcome, children, to our home at sea. My name is Captain Jasmine and you are about to board the Pirate Ship Starry Night . We are the "Peace Pirates" and we have come to share our love of the sea with you, and to treat you to a ride and a feast."

"Ahoy, maties!" squawked the brightly colored parrot on her shoulder.

surf over rocks
surf over rocks | Source
surf by a cliff
surf by a cliff | Source
pirate ship
pirate ship | Source

The Orphans

The child at the front of the line of orphans stepped forward to present to the captain a giant bouquet of wildflowers tied in lacy, ivory-colored ribbon, and duffel bag full of gifts that they made for the crew. She curtsied before the captain and introduced herself.

"Hello Captain Jasmine. My name is Autumn Sunflower. We thank you for your kindness. Here are some gifts that we have made for you. We hope that they will be of use to you and bring you pleasure.

Captain Jasmine bowed to the young girl and said "We thank you for this kind and thoughtful gift, Autumn Sunflower." She gave the girl a warm hug and handed the duffel bag to her first mate, whom she introduced by name. "This is my First Mate, Francesca."

Francesca bowed to the girl with a warm smile and a handshake, then turned to the crew and opened the duffel bag. In the bag was a collection of wooden boxes decorated with seashells, glittering stones, and sea glass arranged in attractive patterns.

The pirates smiled at the bouquets of wildflowers and the collection of treasure boxes decorated so lovingly. They took their hats off and bowed to the children.

The Pirate Ship Starry Night

Each crew member took the hand of each child, with a smile and a nod of the head, and the last one in line helped the children board the ship.

Captain Jasmine took the wheel at the helm. The bo'sun climbed the stairs to the poop deck and sounded her whistle.

"Attention crew! Let down the sails and make do course for a spin around the cove. Musicians, tune your instruments and prepare for a dance!" The children cheered and rushed to the gunwale to watch the cat's claws on the water, made by the fresh evening breeze and the tacking of the ship. It was 5:30 p.m.

The sun was low and the clouds glowed with golden linings around their edges, through which flat, low rays of late afternoon sun reached across the salty sea water. The spray from the sea foam licking the sides of the ship elicited giggles of delight from the children. Several of the crew talked with them about the seagulls and other wildlife that they saw. One pirate was an artist who painted a small version of the sunset on parchment paper, enough times for each child to use as a bookmark.

There were several musicians who tuned their instruments: fiddle, concertina, autoharp, flute and tambourine. The children skipped and danced to the music, each arm-in-arm with a jolly crew member. They danced jigs, reels, tangos, and tarantellas. When it was time to rest, one musician sang a few ballads, like "Lady Franklin's Lament" and "The Mary Ellen Carter."

When the ride was over, the crew invited the children to furl the sails with them, hand-over-hand, while a couple of musicians led them all in singing shanties.

Songs for Young Seafarers

Sea Changes of the Toucan Pirates
Sea Changes of the Toucan Pirates

A set of rousing sea chanteys with kid-friendly lyrics.


On the Seashore

When the ship was safely docked in the cove again, the crew invited their Headmistress to bring them to shore and gave the orphans blankets to spread out on the sand. One crew member made a fire with dried driftwood that the children collected. It was 6:30 p.m.

There was a sunset full of pink, gold, orange, violet, and green painted across the sky behind the ship. As the light faded from the sky and the bonfire lit up the twilight, the pirates shared a feast with the orphan children. There was grilled fish sprayed with lemon juice, berries picked from bramble bushes by the shore, grapes from vines, grilled vegetables soaked with lime juice. A refreshing watermelon punch was served for all to drink. For dessert, the pirate crew spooned dollops of ambrosia into bowls for all to enjoy. It was 7:30 p.m.

A Fond Farewell

While they enjoyed their dessert and drank the punch that the seafarers served them, the children thanked them for their ride around the cove. It was 8:00 p.m.

In the glow of the festive gathering, one orphan named Hugo asked one of the pirates a question.

"Horatio, if pirates are supposed to be mean, why are you all so nice?"

In response to Hugo's question, Horatio gave this answer:

"We are Peaceful Pirates. Our mission is to spread love and kindness, especially to those in need, and to bring back to the rightful owners their possessions that have been stolen by others, whether the thieves be pirates at sea or land. We are pirates because we are doing something that some powerful people do not like. But those who seek gain at the expense of others are the real pirates, the dark ones. Thus, we call ourselves Pirates of Peace."

When Horatio finished speaking, the orphans cheered and thanked the whole crew for their delicious meal.

The Captain's Blessing

Captain Jasmine blessed the children with a prayer for their continued joy, health, and safety, and promised to return next year. The parrots squawked "good night" and the band of peaceful pirates bid them a fond "farewell mateys" as the children climbed the hill to their cave at nightfall. Each child saluted them as they turned to climb. It was 9:00 p.m.

The stars twinkled bright that night, and the pirate captain bid her crew a good rest after their evening of revelry. She and Francesca took the first watch while the rest of the crew members settled down to sweet dreams as they slept in their bunks and hammocks that night.

© 2011 Karen A Szklany


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    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 6 years ago from New England

      Hi Ghaelach,

      I suppose, being rich is in the eyes of the beholder...I think we make as much as said church mouse, too, but we are happy. You seem to be content with where you are in your life, too. :0) Most people who are content and appreciative of their lives seem to also enjoy great health and good energy. :0)

      Yes, I know neighbors who are rich, decent, and hard-working. They know how to save what they earn...but still invest in ways to enjoy life with their families. I respect them for what they do, and they are very generous with what they have (I live in a cohousing community).

      I suppose the combination of "rich and powerful" was the clincher, I suppose...those who have political power and abuse it? Too much to read into for a story for young people.

      I changed in my hub the wording of this to "some powerful people" as you see, and I hope that it's a satisfying change to you, and other readers. :0)



    • profile image

      Ghaelach 6 years ago

      Hi Seafarer Mama.

      It seems to be my turn for giving the wrong impression about the rich, as i know some very rich people that have worked very hard for what they have.

      Me, i'm as rich as the old church mouse.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 6 years ago from New England

      Hi Ghaelach,

      Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad that you enjoyed the story. Thank you for sharing some of your story, too. :0)

      Also, your point about not all the rich being thieves is a good, thought-provoking impression of that detail of the story. I apologize for giving that impression if you consider yourself rich...and that my overgeneralization was hurtful.

      I suppose I think of the super millionaires who like to take, take, take at the expense of the poor...increasing the population of the poor (especially regarding not sharing the tax burden)...neither of which I think you are about. :0) So I will try to find other words for who the "villains" are in this story...and still keep the Robin Hood effect. :0)

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. :0)


    • profile image

      Ghaelach 6 years ago

      Ahoy there Seafarer Mama.

      I was reading one of Eiddwen's hub and your hub name jumped out and hit me on the nose. The reason i made that comment is that many years ago i was in the merchant navy and worked on oil tankers mainly up and down the east coast of the America from Quebec on the St.Lawrenceriver in Canada down as far as Buenos Aires in Argentina and sometimes over to Africa,the Baltic, the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.

      So back to your Beatiful story.

      I seem to feel two lines of thought with this hub, 1st is that it's a wonderful sea farering tale for the kid's that have teriffic imagination and the 2nd is that they where Peace Pirates that claimed the things that the rich had stolen (not all the rich are thieves) and gave the bounty back to the poor.

      A little bit of Robin Hood in this tale.

      Loved it from start to finish.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 6 years ago from New England

      Thank you for your interest and your encouraging comments, Eiddwen and Harsheen.

      Glad you both liked this hub. Thanks for adding me to the list of hubbers you each follow. I appreciate your interrest and will be reading your hubs, too.s :0)

    • profile image

      Harsheen K. 6 years ago

      Amazing really seem to be in awe of the old world.

      I am too fond of like medieval history ........those castles and warships etc..

      But still a very interesting hub!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub, I came across you as I was reading the comments to a hub by ExoticHippieQueen,and i am glad that i did.

      I also love the sea, having grown up in a Welsh sea-side town I don't think it's ever left me.

      I look forward to reading many more by you.

      Take care