Jennifer Busick is a freelance writer and homeschool mom who lives in north Alabama with her husband, her two daughters and a very large dog. She has never actually made anyone walk the plank, but there are days when it has sounded like a good idea.
Yesterday afternoon, Ashley Rose wanted me to play The Brave Princess and the Pirates with her. I consented, on condition that I could do housework while making appropriate pirate noises.
First we had to settle the matter of which pirate I was, exactly.
“I will be Hook,” I said.
“No,” she said.
“Greybeard?” I offered — the pirate captain from “Madeline and the Pirates.”
“No,” she said.
“Red-Handed Jill?” I asked — Wendy’s pirate name, from Peter Pan.
“Mommy,” Ashley Rose said with some exasperation, “You cannot be a pirate from out of a movie, because then we will not make up our own pirate story. We will just want to play the story from the movie.”
I have to say, there are a great many writers who have never grasped this concept, so I was impressed.
“Well, then, what should my pirate name be?” I asked.
“I know! You are Black-Handed Pants!”
“I am the pirate Black-Handed Pants?” Really? Oh, dear.
“Well, hey . . . ” I put on an appropriately piratical voice and growled, “I am the pirate Black-Handed Pants!”
I proceeded to capture the Brave Princess Sarah and carry her off to my pirate ship (the kitchen), where she sat in a chair and I swabbed the deck.
“What are you going to do?” she asked, quaveringly.
“We are going to Happiness Island, and we are going to kill everybody and turn it into Pirate Island,” I growled.
She rolled her eyes at me. “Those are not good names,” she informed me.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “What should the names be?”
“You are going to the Island of the Sky,” she told me, “where you are going to kill everybody and turn it into the Island of Blood.”
“Well, I guess those are better names,” I conceded, and got back into character. “We are going to the Island of the Sky, and we are going to kill everybody and turn it into the Island of Blood!”
“Oh no!” she said, “I will have to escape and warn all my friends on the Island of the Sky!”
“You’ll never escape! I am going to make you walk the plank!”
“No, you are not,” she said with assurance.
“Yes I am!”
“When?” she challenged.
“Um . . . When I get done swabbing the deck, here,” I said.
“Why do you have to swab the deck?” she wanted to know.
“Well, because if I do not the pirate captain will be mad at me.”
“So the pirate captain kidnapped you and made you be a mean pirate and now he makes you do all of his chores?” she inquired.
“Gee, when you put it that way, I’m not sure I like being a pirate so much,” I said.
“It is okay,” she consoled. “I am sure the other pirates are swabbing the other decks.”
At that point I looked up, and she was out of her chair. I growled, “Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhh! Get back in your chair, princess!”
She gave a little scream and collapsed on the floor.
“What’s that all about?” I asked.
“I am not supposed to hear people say ‘aaaarrrrrrrrgggghhhhh,'” she informed me, from her picturesquely prone position. “So when somebody says that, I have to fall down.”
“I see. That could be a real handicap,” I observed.
She popped up, and I gave chase, but then realized that I could just say “Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggghh
At that point, since it was naptime and since I was done swabbing the deck and since having a princess for a prisoner is very trying, I threw her into the ocean to drown.
That darn prince Frederick saved her.