Jimmie, the Cap'n and Sir Percival

Tuesday June 21, 1719

"Land Ho!" The shout from Danny O' Shea woke me up from me perch in the crow's nest. It's where I sleep. I'm up here any other time after me work is done, as well.

I'm not a shirker, so I do me share, but I stay away from the rest of the crew, best way I can. Some of the crew have been eyein' me up 'n down, don't like it much.

I worry they might know I'm a girl . I know the Capn' don't know, or I'd be overboard fur sure. I think he might like me a bit, and since he thinks I'm a lad, It's got to worry him some. Worries me, too.

He's the one that sent me up to the crow's nest. There's only a few of the crew that are able or willin' to come up this far.

He tried to grab me the other day. I was swabbin' the deck, and the Capn' comes up behind me, mumblin sumpin about me hands and the mop handle. I didn't think on't much, the Cap'n is always mumblin.

I din't know he was so close behind, and I din't know what he had in mind. Sir percival the cat musta known, though. He lets out a yowl and jumps the Cap'n's foot.

That distracts the Cap'n enough fur me to jump away. I'm quick like, so he only caught me tunic. I turns around, looking straight at him. Scared I was, but ready to fight iffen I had to.

"Finish yur work and get up to the crow's nest! Stay there as much as yuh can. Yur just a distraction to some of the crew. They been talkin' bout yuh!!!"

The Cap'n was bellerin' and blushin' and hoppin' around. It was frightenin' to see. Kinda like he was tryin' to pass gas through his ears.

Sir Percival and I wur best friends after that. He likes the crow's nest. He climbs the riggin with me, and he sleeps in me lap. I hold onto him tight when the mast sways a bit. We look out fur each other.

He's good company. The rest of the crew complain about Sir Percival bitin' and scratchin', but he never does that to me. I don't suppose any of 'em ever thought to pick him up and pet him, talk gentle to him.

The rest of the crew are carryin' barrels fur water to the island. I'm stayin up here outa the way. Those barrels weigh nigh as much as me, I'd be no help.

Land at last! As soon as it looks like most of the crew are gone, I'm gonna take Sir Percival, and we're gonna jump ship. I hope the island has fruit, berries, anything.

I'm sick of starvin' . Tubby don't know nuthin' 'bout cookin' . I mostly make me own meals when Tubby is nappin', which is a lot of the time. Even then, there isn't much to cook. The provisions have run real low.

There's another ship! It runs the Jolly Roger! There's the Cap'n goin' down the gang plank. It's a woman! A woman pirate! I bet she wouldn't try to grab me, I bet she wouldn't care if I'm a girl.

Soon's I can, I'm gonna see if the woman pirate will let me get on her ship. I'll have to watch and see.

Jimmie / Janey Shrike

The End

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