Day 53: Canteen Pirate

Canteen Pirate

Matt Zurbo

It was just another boring recess
when a pirate came to school.
“Arr, I be lost maties!” he growled.
‘Misplaced my navigation tool.”
(Rough looking pirate being looked up at by three main characters/kids.)

We took him to the canteen,
to feed him up a bit.
“Food! Attack!” he cried.
But we paid and sat real quick.
(Pirate raging at canteen lady, as others, food trays in hand, steer him away. Other kids watching.)

“This is better than rotting fish!”
the pirate munched and slobbered.
Then ate all our meals, too,
which made the teachers bothered.
(Pirate gorging everybody’s food, including teachers, two of whom are standing over him, hands on hips, while two of the kids look nervous, and the other is holding grimly onto his burger the pirate is about to put in his mouth.)

Sent to the principle’s office,
we whispered, “Now, be humbler.”
“A humble pirate!?” he roared.
“NEVER!” he boomed like thunder.
(Pirate, sword drawn, standing boldly on principle’s desk. Principle startled. Kids hiding here and there.)

Detention was not easy,
they had to put him in a cage.
“We’ll plunder this whole building!
Arr, let’s escape!” he ranted and raged.
(Everybody in class, doing homework, pirate in middle, in cage, principle angrily shouting at him.)

Detention done at last,
we were then freed to the street,
wondering here and there,
the pirate looked quite beat.
(Pirate hiding behind public bin, pointing in fear at traffic light.)

(Pirate leaping, startled by honk of horn from car he is in the way of.)

(Kids desperately holding pirate back from jewellery store.)

But when a garbage truck rumbled by.
The pirate leapt right on top!
“Raise the flag! Aye, aye!” he roared.
“Chop, chop you scurvy sots!”
(Pirate, sword in air, on top of garbage truck. Garbo, holding two bin, big, overweight, hairy, blue singlet, with reflector vest over top, standing underneath, looking up with kids.)

“Get down from there!” the garbo spat.
“My truck ain’t no pirate ship!”
“Sure it be, First Mate Pong!
Let’s sale away real quick!”
(Pirate and garbo holding each other’s vests, nose-to-nose, growling. Kids under them, looking stressed.)

Now the police were involved,
oh brother, what a mess!
We took the pirate to meet our parents,
they would know what’s best.
(Pirate, held by scruff of neck by policeman, kids behind him. All in doorway of Tommy’s house, his parents looking.)

Tommy’s parents smiled for him,
the pirate fell to the floor.
“Arr! They be so clean and white!
What magic does I saw?”
(Pirate, looking baffled, mouth foaming as Tommy’s mum holds her nose and brushes his teeth, others watch, smiling.)

“It’s called toothpaste,” said Tommy’s Dad,
ducking the pirates sword,
then washed him with a hose,
and dried him on the lawn.
(Pirate and dog, being hosed by Dad, looking scrawny when wet. Kids scrubbing him with soapy brush.)

The pirate looked sad after that,
as if he might soon cry.
“My legs be all wobbly,
walking on something always dry.”
(Pirate fainting, falling backwards)

We called the doctor, ambulance;
“Paramedics, come real quick!”
Our poor friend the lost pirate,
is looking awful sick!

“He’s dying on land,” the doctor said.
“I know, I used to be a Viking.
Quick, sing a siren’s song,
put him in something floating.”
(Doctor with Viking helmet, putting stethoscope to Pirate.)

“Ha-har, he-he, me hearties!”
the pirate right royally shouted.
“I be well again to shout and cuss!”
he added, in case anybody doubted.
(Double page spread. Pirate in bobbing oil drum, sword in air, in middle of public pool, other swimmers baffled/horrified, lifeguard herding many of them away. Our kids with cardboard cut-outs of mermaid in front of them, singing, doctor is holding up a cardboard island, policeman crouching behind a cardboard treasure chest, Tommy’s Dad hiding behind cardboard sea dragon.)

But once the crowd had left,
“I know I be a fool,” the pirate did confess.
“A thief, a butcher, and worse,
even though I tried my best.”
(Prate, hat off, clutched in front of chest, remorseful expression on face.)

“Once I kissed a mermaid,
took on mighty waves,
walked the plank but ate the sharks,
your world is too restrained.”
(Pirate, ship on hug, rising wave, in storm, facing a raft of skeleton men in Spanish armour with swords. Sea god with lightening bolts can be seen in storm.)

“Leave me here to rot,” he grumbled.
“You tried, but my soul is lost.”
So we abandoned him for the night,
feeling rotten down to our socks.
(Pirate, on dusk, looking crestfallen in oil drum, in water, as, in background, kids slouched, walking away.)

Much to our delight,
come morning he’d escaped!
Still, we fretted for the pirate,
the lonely path he had to take.
(Crude channel dug from pool, through wall)

“Ahh, don’t worry,” said the garbo,
the one he called First Mate.
“We exchanged phone numbers,
I’m, sure he’s doing great!”
(Garbo smiling, holding up phone, while kids look up at him, smiling, cheering.)

The End
(Final image of pirate in oil drum, fending off octopus with a sword, while happily talking on mobile phone.)

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