Thursday, 4 December 2008

Hijacked !

Yesterday, Lucy the parrot came to visit me in my cell. She had flown all the way from Homeward on a very important matter of state. She had brought with her a legal document that I needed to sign - a proclamation enacting a reduction in purchase tax.

It will greatly reduce the coffers in my Treasury but I feel it is a necessary aid in the kick-starting of the Homeward economy.

She was extremely proud of the fact that she had written this herself. Not many parrots can write, and since she has started taking lessons from Benskin the writing master, she has become most proficient.

She was so excited to see me, however, that she flew up to me and accidentally scratched my eye. I have been having to wear an eye-patch whilst it heals.

We had a nice chat about the goings on back at Homeward and found ourselves still talking as the evening drew in.

Suddenly, there was a great commotion out in the village.

I looked out of my window and saw an extraordinary sight.

A band of pirates were running amok through the cobbled streets!

Lucy flew out to investigate and soon reported back.

"Its a band of brigands, Sir !, they came ashore at The Strand Quay and took the Badfort Crowd completely by surprise. They are taking control of the village by force!" she squawked.

All of a sudden the cell door was flung open and Beaver Hateman was frog marched in by two swarthy men dressed in the finery of piratical costumery.

They both sported wooden legs and eye patches - one brandished a cutlass and the other, much the eviler of the two, had a steel claw and a bottle of Black Tom in his pocket.

The nasty one proclaimed to his fellow "I vote we string em' all up by the yardarm, Cap'n Wilson, Sir!"

"Oh do you think we ought to, Splinter? seems a bit extreme..." said the other in a diffident voice.

"It is what we pirates do!" said the one called Splinter in a frustrated voice.

Then he spotted me.

"Look, my hearties - if it ain't one of our own!...incarcerated in here by these milksop village folk, I'll be bound!" he declared.

"Oi, who are you calling milksops!" shouted Beaver.

"Be quiet! or I'll blow you to smithereens!" screamed Splinter brandishing a pistol.

Beaver clearly decided that discretion was the better part of valour and kept schtum.

"Well Mister Elephant, today is your lucky day - your fellow seafaring brigands are here to release you. We always have a warm welcome for a new member of the gang!" said Splinter.

Clearly, wearing the eye patch and with Lucy on my shoulder, I had been mistaken for a fellow pirate!

"Ahem, ah yes my hearties, that is, er, shiver my timbers, its a pirates life for me!" I declared in what I hoped would pass as the correct piratical vernacular that I remembered from watching the B movies of my youth.

"Oh jolly good, it's always so nice to meet new fellows! - this is Long John Splinter, my second in command, so to speak, and my name is Captain Arthur Wilson. So very nice to meet you Mister?..." declared the meeker of the two.

"Black Uncle, er, be my name, and I will be most pleased to, er, join your gang" I replied.

"Black Uncle? - he's no bloomin' pirate..." whinged Beaver, but the Old Monkey gave him a kick and a meaningful look.

Realising the advantage of having, at least, one of us free, Beaver thought quickly and continued " ordinary bloomin' pirate he is the most fearsome pirate elephant in the world, um, it took a whole army of us to subdue him and lock him up!"

"Oh, splendid, he sounds just the sort of chap we need...doesn't he Splinter?" said Wilson.

"If you say so, Sir," said Splinter in a dubious voice looking skyward "...another poncey educated prat" he mumbled to himself.

At that, they led me off to the tavern where I had to down a large quantity of Black Tom.

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