Avast Me Hearties This Be a Pirate Mini-Story

[Genre: fiction, humour, short story]

The child slumped through the front door after school. Despair hanging above her head like a plump rain cloud.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I have to write a poem.”

“That doesn’t sound so hard.”

“About pirates.”

“You can do it.”

“Why didn’t they ask us to do something good, like a poem about chocolate cake?”

She was extremely poetically challenged. I could understand her misery. I thought for a few moments, thinking I could come up with something that would inspire her. “How about this?”

Avast me hearties
Cap be me name
I carry a cutlass
And pirate’s me game

From up in the rigging
To down in the hold
Me favourite doodads
Be jeweled and gold

If ye have a craving
To plunder the seas
Grab yer cutlass and eyepatch
And set sail with me


I trailed off, “…Yo…ho…”

She burst into tears, running into her room to cry in the dark. Apparently I had made things worse. I thought some more before joining her. Giving her a gentle back rub.

“You can use my poem,” I said.

“It’s plagiarism,” she wailed.

“I think it will be okay. You’re only ten years old; you’re not going to get expelled if they find out. Anyway, who’s going to know?”

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Jan L. Mayes

“Never give up. Never surrender.”

Author, audiologist, educator, quiet activist, playing with words.

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