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Stories from Members
Rusty Keele

Captain Pook And The Pirate Kitties

Captain Pook was the meanest, toughest, ugliest pirate captain on all the seven seas. He was feared by everybody. Even his own crew was so scared of him that they all left him one day when their ship, The Screeching Cat, pulled into a little island in the third sea.

Captain Pook was not surprised when his crew left. It had happened several times before, and he was used to looking for a new crew to help him sail his ship.

He left The Screeching Cat at the docks and hobbled into town on his peg leg. His first stop was the tavern, where there were lots of pirates singing, shouting and fighting each other. Captain Pook flung the door open and shouted, “Oi - ye scurvy dogs! I'm Captain Pook – the meanest, toughest, ugliest pirate captain on the seven seas and I need a crew to help me sail my ship. Who'll join me?”

Well, all of these pirates had heard of Captain Pook and how mean he was, so they just hung their heads in silence – not even daring to look at the Captain.

“Oh... I see.” said Captain Pook. So he pulled the door closed and hobbled away.

He went around the tavern and came upon all the pirates' pets. There were several dogs, cats, rats, snakes, parrots, mice, monkeys and even a rhinoceros. They were all waiting behind the tavern for their pirate owners to come out and get them.

Captain Pook was a shrewd captain and not one to let such an opportunity pass. He needed a crew – even if they were animals – so he loudly shouted, “Oi - ye scurvy dogs... and, um, other animals! I'm Captain Pook – the meanest, toughest, ugliest pirate captain on the seven seas and I need a crew to help me sail my ship. Who'll join me?”

Well, all of these pirate pets had heard their owners talking about Captain Pook and how mean he was, so they just hung their heads, and beaks, and snouts in silence – not even daring to look at the Captain.

“Oh... I see.” said Captain Pook. He turned and hobbled back into the streets. He was now more sad than before, so he just made his way slowly back towards his ship at the docks.

While he was hobbling along he came across a group of several little kittens. They were very friendly and rubbed up against his peg leg meowing.

Captain Pook was a shrewd captain and not one to let such an opportunity pass. He needed a crew – even if they were kittens – so he loudly shouted, “Oi - ye scurvy... kitties! I'm Captain Pook – the meanest, toughest, ugliest pirate captain on the seven seas and I need a crew to help me sail my ship. Who'll join me?”

The kitties just looked at Captain Pook with their big round eyes and meowed.

“Please!” begged the Captain.

“Well... ok,” said one of the kitties, “but you'll have to agree to do things our way.”

“Aargh! Its a deal!” agreed Captain Pook without really thinking about it.

As the Captain led his new crew up the plank the kitties noticed the name of the ship painted on the side, “Oh, that'll never do,” said one of the kitties, “you must change the name of your ship.”

“Aargh! But I don't want to!” exclaimed the Captain. But he had agreed to do things their way so he changed the name of the ship anyway.

The next day the crew of Captain Pook's newly re-named ship, The Screeching Mouse, was ready to sail. The captain started right in with his usual crusty orders, “Oi – you lazy cats! Get to work! Mend those sails! Swab that poop deck! Man your stations!”

But something strange happened – the kitties didn't move. They just sat there, meowing and looking up at Captain Pook with their big, round eyes. “Well,” said one of the kitties, “you can't order us around like that and expect us to start working.”

“Aargh! Why not? It has always worked before.” said the Captain.

“Yes, and that is why your crew left you.” said the kitty.

“Aargh! I see your point.” said Captain Pook. Then he did something he had never done before. He took a deep breath and forced a smile upon his face, then he said, “Ok. Will you kitties please mend those sails, swab that poop deck and man your stations?”

“Yes!” said the kitties, and they started working right away.

From that point on the Captain would always ask nicely whenever he needed something done, and the kitties would always do whatever he asked. Those kitties stayed with Captain Pook for several years, and he was kind to them the whole time.

One day The Screeching Mouse pulled into Rodent Island – which was full of mice and rats and lots of things that cats love to eat. The kitties, who were full grown pirate cats by then, couldn't resist all those rodents so they left the Captain and went in search of food.

The Captain was forced to find a new crew once again. However, it was not difficult to find new crew members this time, for all pirates had heard of Captain Pook – the nicest, gentlest, ugliest captain on all the seven seas.


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