Rescue of a castaway

Saturday June 17th 1719,

Dear Diary,

  'Tis I, Bobby Shafted again, updating our morose Cap'n's dreary diary while he swears his way into dry clothes.  I wish he knew more than three curse-words though, no matter how inventively he strings them together and slices them into other, innocent, undefiled words.  I tried suggesting a couple to him last night while he was eating the veal that Tubby the cook had somehow procured, but he only spat sawdust in my face.

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest,
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum,
Fifteen friends and none of them best,
Boo-hoo-hoo someone bring me a gun.

The good Reverend John woke the look-out this morning with words of hellfire and damnation, pointing out a man adrift on broken wood just three waves away from the ship and the look-out hollered out, a man in fear for his soul.  The Cap'n gave the order to launch the row-boat and send out some men to haul him in, and the boat was duly launched and sank quickly, just a few bubbles marking its passing.  The Captain turned as pink as the Daffodil herself and even the Revered stood aghast at how those three curse-words echoed to the very horizon and back.

Fifteen pirates on a leaky old scow,
Yo-ho-ho and a cauldron of grog,
The Cap'n's their leader if he only knew how,
Yo-ho-ho it's gonna be a slog.

The Cap'n finally ordered a rope thrown out and jumped in himself, swimming to the drowning man and hauling him in, bringing him back aboard.  The strangest thing, I saw it with my own eyes, but the man held his book above his head the whole time, which only made the Cap'n curse all the harder.  Can it be?  Can this man they're calling the Dogfish be another poet?  Is there at last a hint of culture to be found on this wretched flower of the ocean?

Ah, I shall talk to him over the evening meal.  Tubby has let slip that he's roasting something tonight.

Fifteen pirates in search of some hope,
Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of beer,
I haven't a clue how I'm going to cope,
Yo-ho-ho and I'm mired in fear.

The End

201 comments about this story Feed