Josie was skipping down the road toward home when she saw the pirate ship. She recognized it right away. She could see the tall masts with the sails and she could almost hear the pirates singing “YO HO HO”. She stood and watched as the ship sailed on and finally out of sight.
Josie loved finding shapes in the clouds. She had once seen an elephant and she was sure she had heard it roar. She saw a lot of things like turtles and ducks. She decided that must be the clouds favorite things since those were the shapes she saw most. But today was the best ever. Josie decided then and there she wanted to be a pirate.
The rest of her walk home, the girl thought hard about how to become a pirate. She knew she would need a hat with three corners and she also knew she needed a sword. Everyone knew pirates carried those long swords with the wide blade. They were used for avasting. She remember a movie once where a pirate yelled out “Avast, Matey!” right before he would swing the sword at another pirate. That meant that swinging the right sword was ‘avasting’. Then Josie remembered she would need a black vest with a flag and skull on it. She stopped mid step and frowned. Where was she supposed to find those things?
As she reached the yard, Daddy was just leaving the barn.
“Hey, Princess. What’s got you frowning?” He asked as Josie reached his side and took his hand.?”
“Daddy, how do I get pirate stuff?” She asked seriously.
“Pirate stuff? What kind of pirate stuff?” Daddy smiled.
“You know, like the hat with three corners and the wide sword. You need a black vest and a flag with a skull on it, too. Where do I get those?”
“Hmm That is a very good question. We will have to ask Grandpa. I think he used to be a pirate.” Daddy chuckled.
Josie’s mouth dropped open and she stopped in her tracks. “Grandpa was a .. a .. PIRATE?” She started running toward the house. Daddy was laughing as she opened the back door.
“Grandpa!” Josie called out.
“no need to yell, Squirt. I’m right here.” Grandpa sat in his favorite chair near the wood stove. Josie rushed over and dropped down on his footstool.
“Grandpa, is it true you used to be a pirate? Daddy said he thought you were.” Josie was nearly breathless.
“Oh, he did, did he? Well, let me see. I’ve done a lot of things in my life but I’m not sure I remember being a pirate. Why do you want to know?”
“I have to be a pirate and I need to know where to get the right hat and the flag and the sword and stuff.” Josie explained.
“AHHH! I see. Well, we will just have to think about that a bit. Let me work it over and we will talk about it at supper. Ok?”
Josie grinned. She knew that twinkle in her Grandpa’s eyes. He was going to help her, she just knew it.
Later, when they were sitting at the supper table, Josie tried to find the right moment to ask Grandpa about the pirate stuff but something else always interrupted. First it was that she had to pass around the food. Then she had to pour the tea. Then Daddy had to discuss farm stuff with Grandpa. Then Daddy and Dee were talking about the coming baby and about getting the nursery ready. Josie was beginning to think Grandpa had forgotten when he broke into her thoughts.
“Girl, are you listening?” He asked her. Everyone was looking at her.
“I’m sorry, Grandpa. I was thinking about stuff.”
“Well, I was just saying that since they don’t make the real dangerous pirate stuff anymore, we will have to make our own. We can get started tomorrow. What do you say?”
“We can? HURRAY!” Josie cheered but quickly frowned. “Grandpa, why don’t they make the real dangerous pirate stuff anymore? Don’t the pirates need it?”
“Oh, there aren’t really any pirates like that anymore. Nowadays, they are just in movies and books and your imagination.” Grandpa explained.
“No real pirates?” Josie said in a low voice. She was heartbroken. How could she be a real pirate all by herself?
“Don’t worry, Honey.” Grandpa patted her hand. “It will be fine. Think of it this way, if there were really those types of pirates now, they would think you were too tall. So this way, you can be whatever you want.” Grandpa chuckled.
Josie pondered what she had heard. She was more determined than ever. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror over the cabinet. She had grown a lot over the summer but she knew one thing for certain. She was NOT too tall to be a pirate.