Once upon a time; when ocean
Travel was a novel notion,
Many feared the rocking motion
Of the ocean going ships;
But the worst sailing endeavor,
Even worse than stormy weather,
Was the unmistaken terror --
Pirate Peter and his whips ...
Tales are wove from authors spinning
Yarns, their fingers deftly trimming
Words, until a new beginning
Sprawls across the open page;
So begins our humble telling,
On the street, an orphan's dwelling,
Where a young lad's feet are swelling,
Barely fifteen years of age.
A Humble Beginning
Peter shook and Peter shivered,
Weary limbs felt cold and withered,
Chilling winter winds delivered
Snow, fresh-fallen on the ground;
Huddled up, his clothes were sodden,
Tattered shoes were too well trodden,
Lost, alone, a misbegotten
Miscreant; half-froze, half-drowned.
As he lay there, slowly dying,
Given up all hope of trying,
Who should chance to walk on by him,
But a captain of the sea;
“What's this now!” the old tar spluttered,
“Up you get lad, you'll be shuttered
Some place dry tonight!” he muttered,
“Take my hand and come with me!”
Peter felt himself man-handled,
Lifted up, and there he dangled,
Glancing upward, at his tangled
Grey and matted saviors beard;
“Thank you kindly, Sir!” he mumbled,
Took one step and quickly stumbled
Forward, landing in a jumbled
heap; “Lad its worse than I feared!”
Heaved upon the captain's shoulder,
Peter felt a might less colder;
As the sea dog walked, he rolled a
Cigarette with one free hand;
“Get some sleep son, soon the dawning
Of a bright and brand new morning,
Will come calling, and adorning
Over all this blessed land!”
A Merry Meeting
Peter woke from days of sleeping,
All around, he heard a creaking
Sound, as if the room was speaking,
Telling of its timber tales;
Up he stood and rubbed his bleary
Eyes, he still felt weak and weary,
Cabin walls looked drab and dreary,
Roughly hewn with rusty nails.
Suddenly, he felt a hunger,
Starting small, but growing stronger;
Feeling he could wait no longer,
Peter burst out through the door;
Racing headlong through the belly
Of the ship, his legs were jelly;
Once or twice poor Peter fell, he
Felt alone, lost and unsure.
Then he chanced upon the captain,
Dining with a merry chaplain,
Feasting on a pig with cracklin',
Sitting on an up-turned drum;
“Here's a fine lad in a hurry!
Settle down and save your worry,
There's no need to flurry scurry!
Come and have a taste of ***!”
The Daily Grind
Peter mopped and Peter scrubbed,
He got down on his knees and rubbed
The decks, and every day he loved
To feel and taste the ocean spray;
Rescued from a world of blindness
To his plight, he paid the kindness,
Working hard; where most would find this
Horrid, he embraced each day.
Such was life until one evening,
Waking from his fitful dreaming,
Peter heard an awful screaming,
And he watched as sailors ran;
From the deck, he saw the flying
Skull and Crossbones flag, implying
Pirates with no fear of dying;
Every one, a wanted man.
Battle At Sea
Cannons roared and cannons thundered,
Blunderbusses bussed and blundered,
Roiling masts were shot and sundered,
Splinters flew across the deck;
Rigging crashed and rigging crumbled,
Smashing down as cannons rumbled,
Falling masts and sails all tumbled,
Landing in a twisted wreck.
Swiftly came the pirate vessel,
Drawing close, to crash and nestle,
Broad-side on to form a trestle,
Over which the pirates ran;
Fearful of impending slaughter,
Sailors dived into the water,
Knowing they were never aught to
See their loved ones e'er again.
Peter rushed and Peter scurried,
Dodging blades that flashed and flurried,
Down beneath the decks he hurried,
Seeking for a place to hide;
In the hull, the darkness beckoned,
Peter locked the hatch, and reckoned
That might hold them for a second;
Finding crates, he hid inside.
His Master's Voice
Down below, young Peter waited,
Silently, his breath abated,
Hearing pirates jubilated,
As they plundered through the ship;
Soon he heard the latch locks broken,
Creaking as the hatch raised open,
Then a cold voice, harshly spoken,
And the lashing of a whip.
"Filthy ****-dogs, stop yer looting!
Stow the cheering and the whooping,
Look to all the sails a-drooping,
Fix the masts and man the oars!
On the morrow, we'll be sailing,
And I'm right anticipating,
That we'll get a strong wind trailing,
Speeding us to yonder shores!"
An Unexpected Find
Peter woke and Peter pondered,
How much time had passed, he wondered?
Cautiously, he rose and wandered
Silently from stern to prow;
In the quarters of the captain,
Peter found a pirate wrapped in
Silken sheets; a perfumed napkin
Draped across his furrowed brow.
Peter glanced around the room
And spied a hat with feathered plume
That lay beside a gold doubloon;
Time to make the pirates pay!
Peter stretched and Peter strained,
His fingers gripped the hat and claimed
Their prize, and next the coin was gained;
Gleefully he turned away.
Then a glinted gold reflection
Gleamed, attracting his attention;
Peter crawled for close inspection,
Wondering what he had found;
Two fine whips of equal measure,
Golden handled trinket treasure;
Peter felt a glowing pleasure
As he stole them from the ground.
Stealthily, he reached the deck, and
Found a crate on which to stand
And saw a sight that looked so grand,
How could fate have been so kind!
They were anchored by the moorings
Of the dock, where several mornings
Past, young Peter had been snoring,
Freezing off his poor behind!
Trouble In Town
Pirates robbed and pirates looted,
Pillaging, they laughed and hooted;
Plants were trampled, trees uprooted,
As they raced through city streets;
In the church, the bells were ringing,
Clangers clanging, peels were singing,
Warning of the pirates, bringing
Fear to folk, now white as sheets!
Peter tracked his pirate quarry,
Mind made up to make them sorry,
Chasing them beneath a starry
Ebon sky, he felt quite brave;
Suddenly, he heard a yelling
From behind, three pirates smelling
Like a brewers fare, no telling
How this trio might behave.
"What’s this now, who’s that their lurking
In the shadows, be thee shirking
Looting tasks, why aren’t you working?"
Then he stopped and then he cried;
"Bless my soul, our captain joining
In the raiding, how exciting!
Begging pardon, Sir but finding
You at work is joy!" he lied.
Peter grasped the situation,
Putting on an imitation,
With a rough edged inclination,
Like the one he’d heard before;
"Lazy dogs, now stop yer bleating
Otherwise you’ll get a beating,
Now you’d best get on retreating
Back to ship, we’re leaving shore!"
In his hat, he felt quite dashing,
Brandishing his whips, and lashing
At the three, and then just laughing
As he watched them run away;
Emboldened by his hero action,
Peter felt a strange attraction
To the power of the captain
That he had become this day.
Then his luck turned swiftly sour,
For upon that very hour,
Soldiers left a nearby tower,
Seeing him, they gave a squeal;
"Pirate ****, you will surrender,
Otherwise my blade will end yer
Evil life, now will you bend a
Knee and yield, or ******* steel?"
Peter tried to start explaining,
But the soldiers blows were raining
On his head, the blood was staining
On his clothes, the wounds did sting;
"Look at him, he must be wealthy,
What a hat! And look at this see?
Gold doubloon and golden whips! We
Bagged ourselves the pirate king!"
Trial In Absentia
Clerk of the Court:
Silence now! This court's in session,
Pirates must be taught a lesson,
But we may show some concession
For those with the sense to speak!
Let us hear the turncoats raving,
Of their captain misbehaving,
Then decide whose necks we're saving;
Otherwise, they're up the creek!
If it please your lords and ladies,
Captain Peter ate three babies!
Bit my dog and gave him rabies,
Hang him up and hang him high!
Here I swear before you gentry,
This whole case is elementary,
Don't give him no penitentiary,
Hang that captain out to dry!
The Honorable Judge:
It seems the evidence is clear,
Their testaments are most sincere,
No need to bring the captain here --
Evil men must pay their toll;
I find him guilty, captain Peter,
Scourge of seas and baby eater,
Hang the lying scoundrel cheater,
God have mercy on his soul.
At The Gallows
Clerk of the Court:
Peter, thou has been found guilty;
By the powers given to me,
I pronounce the sentence on thee,
Thou shalt hang this very day;
We allow you this concession,
Time to tell us your confession,
And denounce your ill profession;
Do you have last words to say?
Upon my life, that thou contrives to take
Through ignorance, I swear before you all
That bearing no bad will to your mistake,
I'll hold you unaccounted when I fall;
If thou cares not to see the humble boy
Who slept upon the streets, who ate of rats,
Who froze in frigid snow as thee strode by,
And died inside, each time thee walked on passed;
Then who am I to think the less of thee?
For in thy eyes, I count not as a man,
So now I wonder what thee came to see?
Why should the end of me be worth a ****?
A worthless life, yet still I did no wrong;
Perchance in death, my tale is worth a song.
Dumb-struck faces squinting, staring,
Muttered murmurs, whispers sharing,
Shaking heads and nostrils flaring,
Then the townsfolk knew and gasped;
A drummer struck a solemn beat,
As Peter felt a ray of heat
From winter's sun upon his feet;
Peter smiled, and Peter passed.
Late at night, when wind comes creeping
Through the streets, with children sleeping
In the gutters; Death comes reaping,
Searching for their blue-tinged lips;
In a flash of fearful thunder,
Lashing splits the night asunder;
Driving Death from easy plunder,
Ghostly Peter cracks his whips!