Note from the Editor in Chief:-
Dear readers. As Tuesday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, this week Erin brings you a special two part story of Daring Do, and Love on the high seas! Please tune in (or off) on Tuesday for the thrilling conclusion of this story... Till then, we hope you'll enjoy......
Part 1: Like a Pirate. Arrr!
There is nothing quite like a nice peaceable nap in ones own bed, or beds as I do have rather a lot to choose from, to make a girl feel or cosy and safe.
Not that I have anything to worry about as the moat keeps the most ardent of meter readers at bay and there haven't been marauders or pirates in these parts for many a year. Though they do still tell tale tales of times gone by and tall ships sailing up the loch in the dead of night in search of buried gold and a safe harbour, a warm cot and bowl of cream.
Of course the most important thing for a good nap is to have had a sufficient an evening meal beforehand. I can truly say that it is NOT good practice to undertake exercise before napping if you want to wake up refreshed and ready to take on whatever the day as in store.
Some time later.........
Arrrr, well shiver me timbers another day dawns aboard the Good Ship ERinee. I really do need to see the ships carpenter and get that draughty window fixed!
Anyways, here we are, set sail on our 5 year mission to pillage and plunder our way across the seas from Boston to the Carib and back to dear old Blighty in search of fantastical treasures, all to take home to our ruler the good and benevolent Queen Nellie.
Yup, when it comes to having a nose for finest golden cream nuggets, I'm your girl!
And of course there is always that new fangled leaf they distil into the heavenly brew called Niptinium™ and them ships carrying fresh supplies of the green leaf from the New World are a great prize for a pirate in need of a good time. And all thanks to that jolly good egg Capt'n Jack Sparro-weater who discovered Nip being transported by the evil Queen of Spain.
Hmm.... all seems far too quiet around this 'ere ship. I expected to hear naives swabbing the decks and heave-ho'n around. I mean that is what they usually do after one of the ships cooks Friday night special Brussels sprout curries!
Safest place to be after one of those babies, is the crows nest with a supply of clothes pegs. Arrrr!
I wonder where everyone can be? It's not a Bank Holiday as we did one of those last week in Jamaica, five banks in fact and a pretty good haul of cream it was too. Arrr!
*****Squeaking sounds from outside the cabin door....*****
Strange, I thought I heard mice. There are NO mice on the Good Ship ERin not on my watch... well actually I do have Micky and Minnie on my watch but that's a gift from a distant admirer in a the New World, the Dashing Count Prince Von Valentino of O-R-E Gone, though where it actually has gone he doesn't ever say.
Oh if only I were good enough for the sweet Count.... Still once I've made my fortune and been given a knighthood I shall be able to put myself forwards in polite society and hold my head up high, whiskers out, and look forwards to my name being synonymous with all things good. Maybe one day once they invent computers I could have a blog named after me! OK so maybe I need to stop eating cheese before the suns dipped under the yardarm, but a gal can dream....
Best check whats up with the crew. If them scurvy cats have been at the silvervine grog it will be the dog-o-nine-tails for them!
"Right you scurvy......... Er...... Mice? Umm, excuse me but this is MY ship and I don't seem to recall saying that mice were allowed on board!" I said to the mouse who, hands on hips and standing on his hind legs, stood before.
"Squeak. It's CAPTAIN to you, cat. I'm Captain El Mignon Mouse-morsels, pride of the Spanish Pirate fleet, the scourge of the seas and larders throughout the known kingdom, and this 'ere is a hi-jacking. Arrr." Said the decidedly plump pirate mouse, no bigger than, well, a mouse really. "Give us all your cheese and cream or the crew gets it!"
"Hang on a moment," I said, "I don't think you are in a position to threaten ME! I mean I'm the Cat'ptain of this here boat and what I says goes. ARRRRR! AND if you'd not quite noticed, I am rather a tad bigger than yourself and...."
"Yeoooow! Ouch! Cripes that hurt... What the.... OUCH! Mind what you're doing with those spikes will you, you could do a cat a mischief with that!" I turned around and was confronted with a band of three mice brandishing tiny cutlasses, and sporting very ill fitting boots and waistcoats.
"Well will you look at that, if it ain't the Three Mouskateers gone rogue. And whats with all the cocktail sticks?" Peering down what I first took to be cutlasses were intact cocktail sticks with neatly chewed pineapple lumps as the blade's guard.
"Avast you lily livered son of a Long Tom," the pirate mouse captain all but screamed at me, "shift ye fat caboose over this here plank else I'll set me crew on ye. They've not had the taste of a cat for nigh on a month and their taste buds are twitching more than a fiddlers fingers on cat gut fiddle. And by the looks of it there will be plenty of gut to go around today if you don't divvy up your loot...Arrr"
"What with cocktail sticks? I don't think so," I scoffed.
"Cast nastercians on a pirates sword, would ye! Well get this into that feather filled brain of yours, we mean to have ye cargo," the mouse squeaked. "We have you by the short and curly whiskers and there's nothing you can do but surrender your cheese to us and save a short walk and a long drop to Davey Jones' locker!"
"Hmm. What if I refuse? I mean I'm a cat and I can't really see why I should do anything for you, you're only three inches high and that's including the block heels on those boots, which is sooo last years fashion. But if you wait another one hundred they'll be back in again, for sure!" I gave the mouse one of my best fashionista stares whilst I stroked the goatee I'd been cultivating.
"Will ye quit petting that confounded beast," the mouse said, "do ye not know goats are a curse on a ship, will bring the 'black spot of death' down on yer quicker than you can say St Elmo's..... er.... something or other?!
"Black spot you say, well that is excellent news!" I said. "There was me thinking it was something bad and we'd got mildew in the rigging and was about to send the sails out for dry cleaning. Think of the money I've saved! Now look little pirate mouse guy, nice though this chat is, what I really want is..... "
But before I could finish the mouse rounded on me, and with a clearly reddening face and puffed out chest, shouted....
"SILENCE, you scurvy sea mammal, if you don't comply I'll introduce your furry Everton Mint coloured hide to 'Frank the Freakin' Huge', he's from a yet to be discovered continent called OZ." With that the mouses all around me started to wave their cocktail sticks and shouted "Freakin' Frank, Freakin' Frank" in ever increasing shrill and animated fashion.
Then suddenly it stopped and the mice all ran behind the captain. Turning to see what was behind me and the reason for the mice's fear, I was confronted with the most gigantic mouse ye ever laid your eyes on. Arrr!
We eyed each other up and down. Mentally I checked off all a mouses attributes to see if this guy was really a mouse. Long tail? yup. Shortish front legs and longer back? yup. Long pointy nose and irritating chewing habit? yup. Long hopping stride and weird accent? Not sure, but anythings possible after some of that cheap Niptini™!
"Arrr, G'day sport." Freakin' Frank said. "Give 'em the cheese or your crew gets to swim with the fishes, OK! Oh if ye have any tinnys of grog, mines Ye Fosters!"
Well you could have knocked me over with a nip mouse. How often do you find a talking elephant with boxing gloves on your ship?
"Umm, G'day Frank," I offered my paw out to the beast, "hows about we parlez over this, pirate to er elephant? I mean I can be quite reasonable and don't want to hurt anyone. And I do want to see my crew again. By the way where are the mangy swabs?"
Turning back to look at the dastardly Captain Mignon, I realised that I'd unwittingly edged away from Frank towards the ships railings, and a plank that extended over the side and out to sea. And I could now see hanging from one of the ships boons a net, and it was within that the ships crew now found themselves resting, in true feline fashion, having an afternoon siesta.
A lazy breeze gently moved the boat to and fro and as it did the net lowered towards the water dampening the sleeping cats tails before lifting back up again. Well if that swell gets up much more, I mused, I won't have to have the crew scrubbed down for their annual wash and flea treatment! I wonder if I could get them to wash the sails too whilst they're down there?
Edging my way backwards from the railings I turned and was halted by a firm jab to the nose from Freakin' Frank.
"Meoooooowch, that smarted! What was that for!" I managed in a nasal tone through a now throbbing nose. "I think you broke my whiskers! And I'd just had them done in Gibraltar too. If you ever want things flattened, Straights of Gibraltar is the shop to go. Arrr"
"Strewth mate, you could talk the hind legs off a dingo! Now look, sport," Frank said in an annoying accent. "these 'ere rodents bushwhacked me back in my home town of Purrth and have been holding my Joey captive out by the billabongs, and I can tell you mate, that ain't a pretty site!"
"If I don't do their bidding he's a goner. So be a good pom and hand over the cheese and cream and we'll be on our way to the Queen of Spains cocktail pawty. Oh and for your information I'm NOT an elephant, I'm a bleeding Kanga-roo, mate!"
Despite a solid punch, I couldn't help feel for Frank's Joey being held by the billabong. I mean all the flies and risk of crocs would be terrible for the complexion! So I was determined to get this poor overgrown boxing mouse out and home, and maybe squeeze some of profit on the side.
"Do you mean, I've been attacked by badly dressed mouse pirates and a Cocker-poo in search of cheese for their cocktail sticks? REALLY!"
I gasped realising I'd never live down the embarrassment of it all at Queen Nellies court, if word got out I'd lost the ships cargo of Premium Nova Scotia Canadian mature Cheddar. But not just any premium cheddar, no ma'am, this was from Premier Seville's private stocks no less. I'd be lucky to get of London and make it to the Isle of Man with my tail still intact. MOUSES!
Frank gave me another jab to the nose "It's Kangaroo NOT Cockerpoo, you dimwit!" And turned to bounce off in a sulk, but in doings so his large tail walloped me in the chest and sent me tumbling down the plank and out to sea with a less than lady like "Plooosh" sound.
"Ooops! Sorry mate," Frank cried, "should have warned you to give the tail a wide berth. Still, on a hot day like to day you can catch some rays maybe, of the fishy kind that is!"
"Erm excuse me, cat overboard! I have rights you know. You can't leave me here on my own! What about the Pirate Code?!" I managed to gargle as I did a the cat paddle to stay afloat.
Arrr, squeaked Captain Le Mignon, you have I fine point there, Cat'ptain Erin, but they're more guide lines really, and so here's my guideline; if you swims straight for another mile or so you'll reach that there ship on the horizon that's bearing down on us as we speak. If you save your breath I think a cat like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll.....
"Be a very soggy moggy?" I interjected before he could finish his quote. "Or maybe ready for a nice cheese sandwich?"
"Sharks fin! Incoming!" Shouted one of the mouse crew as it pointed its cocktail stick my way.
To be continued on Tuesday 19th, International Talk Like a Pirates day. Arrrr!!!!
And now for a Sunday Selfie.......
........If I frown, or look sad, it's not because the sun puddles are getting smaller, but because I worry so about the problems we all face, and the friends that we have lost.
I dedicate this post to the memory of Bill, beloved soulmate and cat dad, who passed this week. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and Allie and Raz, sending love and from across the sea.....