Pirates of the Potato Patch (A “Black Wattle the Pirate” Adventure)
Red at night, sailors delight. Red in the morning, sailors take warning.
This had been true ever since chickens first invented the dirt sailing ships, and it was still true today. And, as long as there has been ships, there have been pirates, but pirates were sailors too. The red tinted sky boded ill for the fiercest and cleverest pirate ever to sail the brown dirt seas, Black Wattle. A worried frown creased his beak as he considered this omen.
He thought about his ship, the Dirt Rider. It was the fastest ship to ever sail the potato fields, and it plowed through the furrows like a beak cutting through a plump grub. No, he needn’t worry about this ship.
He then turned his thoughts to his crew. They were hearty lads, with unparalleled experience. Blue beak was a master navigator, and could cross the road with his eyes closed, without even knowing the reason why. Rhode Island Red Beard was the best gunnery sergeant in the entire fleet. There wasn’t a gun or munitions that Red Beard hadn’t been able to master. No, he needn’t worry there either. Even his stores were in good shape. Sure, they had to tap the biscuits to get the weevils out, but every sailor learned to avoid thinking about the biscuit, but instead focused on the tasty weevil.
He was probably worrying about nothing. They had been successful day after day raiding the potato fields for the lucrative wire worm, the delectable Colorado potato beetle, and the delicacy of all delicacies, the tuber flea beetle. Even the minute pirate bugs futilely fled in fear whenever his ship came into view . But maybe that was the problem, it had been almost too easy.
His reverie was broken when he heard the squawking of the alarm, and the dreaded call “Weasel Ho”!
“All wings to the braces!” he clucked instantly. “Hard-a lee!” Maybe he could turn and run before the weasel noticed him. And for a second, he thought he might get away with it. But the sky was not red this morning for nothing, the weasel caught a glimpse of them and the chase was on.
Weasels were the worst fear of every sailing bird. They were natural born killing machines, and the weasels had never lost a battle in a head to head fight. Black Wattle’s only chance was to out- run or out-wit him, and even that was long shot. He would have to pull out every stop, use every trick, and coax every last bit of speed from old Dirt Rider, if he hoped to live to see tomorrow. He sent Hawk Eye up to the crow’s nest to keep him informed on the weasel’s progress.
“Weasel two points off the starboard quarter. Range 10 furrows and closing fast!”, shouted Hawk eye, Over the next hour, Black Wattle tried every trick he knew. He tacked, he jibed, and he put up more sail and tried to out run him. Perhaps with the wind behind him the weasel would lose his scent.
“Weasel dead astern , range 3 furrows and closing!” shouted Hawk eye.
Black Wattle was beginning to lose hope. He urged his crew on even harder .
“Put your backs to it, you gizzard goobers!” he shouted to his crew. “No slacking off or you’ll get a taste of the cat!”
The crew was now straining at its limit. No one wanted to be tasted by a cat. But it appeared to be too little, too late.
“Weasel dead astern, distance one furrow! He’s doing his war dance!”
The crew slumped in defeat, they knew that weasel only did his war dance when he had his prey hopelessly cornered. He was twisting, darting and dancing, all the time with the evil weasel grin showing off his razor sharp teeth . The crew began to despair, and several of his mates fainted from fight. The Fryer went from crew to crew offering last rites. Even Black Wattle began to think he would never make it home to see his hen again.
Just then Red Beard approached tentatively.
“Captain, I may have an idea”, he said. “It sounds kind of crazy, but the mates have been catching the rats on board and feeding them, keeping them as pets”. Red Beard continued to explain his idea, and after more back-and-forth discussion Black Wattle decided they didn’t have anything to lose.
“Hurry and bring up the rats.” Black Wattle shouted. He then loaded the rats into the cannons and aimed them at the weasel. “Don’t fire until I give the signal or I will fricassee your giblets!” he squawked at his crew.
When the crew saw what the captain planned, they despaired even more.
“We’ll be stew meat!” they cried. “Shooting rats at the weasel won’t stop it! We’re only succeeding in giving it an appetizer!”
Time seemed to slow as the weasel began his final charge.
“Fire!” Black wattle bellowed.
The rats shot through the air with a rat-a-tat-tat , and hurtled toward the weasel. All eyes watched as the rats sailed majestically though the air right towards the weasel’s head, and the crew held its breath.
And then, the rats missed, and sailed harmlessly past the weasel’s head. The crew let out a collective moan of despair as their last gamut failed. But there was a grim smile on Captain Wattles beak. He kept watching as the weasel’s eyes tracked the rats as they sailed past. He knew that weasels often attacked any movement by shear instinct , and as the rats sailed past, the weasel forgot about the Dirt Rider, and pounced on the rats. He darted right, then left, trying to catch them all before they escaped. In the confusion, the Dirt Rider was able to sneak away to safety.
That night as they feasted on wire worms, and they retold the story over and over again of Captain Black Wattle, and the battle of the weasel. They extolled the wisdom of Rhode Island Red Beard, and his invention of rat chaff, which has been used ever since by friend and fowl alike to evade the fierce weasels.
Now it would be nice if the heroic chickens  lived happily ever after. But unfortunately, the law of unintended consequences reared its ugly head, and the weasels soon learned that they could get a free meal of rats by chasing the chicken pirates, and it only increased the weasels attacks, until eventually the chickens ran out of rats. Then the weasels turned on the chicken pirates and ate them all up. That is why you don’t see the chicken pirates and their dirt riding ships any longer.
 Those are all real potato pest names.
 Weasels really do perform a war dance when they have their prey cornered, although no one really knows why. There have been observances of the prey dying of fright when this happens, but sometimes the weasel does the war dance by himself for no apparent reason
 Also true
 A phrase you don’t hear very often
“Sell Out” with apologies to Dr. Seuss
Read these blogs which are eco-friendly
And unwanted adds that are sent un-endly
They will make you responsible and wise,
and you can buy things in any size.
Will you read them, earn me some clams?
Will you read green blogs and spam?
I will not read them, not even click
The very thought, it makes me sick
My in-box is bursting, my computer is full
I've never read anything so dull.
I will not read them, Sam the Add-man
I will not read green blogs and spam.
Would you read them on a phone?
Would you read them on the throne?
I will not read them, they have no soul
They do not tempt me, they have no role.
I will not read them, Sam the Add-man
I will not read green blogs and spam
But will you write them, make serious cash?
Infect some hard drives, and make them crash?
Live like a king, they won't know who
sent them this infested pile of goo.
Wait, I'll get paid for writing this twaddle?
For opining about things that I don't know squattle?
I can pay my mortgage, pay my bills
Settle all kinds of financial ills.
Could I write them, Sam the Add-man?
Could I write green blogs and spam?
Yes, sell your soul, come on over
This will be a treasure trover
You'll be rich for all future tomorrows
You just have to let go of your morals
Will you write them, integrity be dammed?
Will you write green blogs and spam?
I will! I will write them here and there,
I will write them in my underwear!
I will send them near and far,
I will send them to Zanzibar!
But I will have to use papyrus,
'Cause my computer has a virus.
I'm a captain of a a dinner cruise boat. A reporter, who was doing a story about the boat and the cruise company, came on board to talk to me. She asked "How far down the lake do you go on your cruise?"
I answered "I usually try to stay on the surface."
She had absolutely no reaction. She either didn't get it, or had no patience for moronic jokes. I choose to believe the the first option.
That’s one way to solve the problem.
"I'm scared to go out because I might get bitten by a tick, and get Lyme disease."
"Yeah, the government should do something about that, but it will probably cost a lot of money"
"Well, they could raise taxes like they usually do."
"They should institute the 'Tick Tax', they would make a mint!"
Great ideas in my dreams usually turn out to be stupid.
While dreaming I thought of this really funny joke and I started laughing in my sleep.
"What's so funny?" my wife asks as she pokes me in awake.
"I just thought of a killer joke, but I'll tell you in the morning." I replied as I rolled over.
The next morning I woke up to my wife staring expectantly at me. "This better be good, you kept me up have the night giggling"
I gathered my thoughts, and tried to piece together the fleeing fragments of my dream.
"Um, now that I'm fully awake, I realize its not as funny as I thought. In fact, it's kind of lame."
"Well, let's hear it anyway."
"OK, but you asked for it. What did Quasimodo bring to work?"
"I give up."
"The lunch box of Notre Dame!"
She stole my guy, but at least I have some good banana recipes.
It was love at first sight when I saw his yellow hat and yellow suit. Not many men can pull off that kind of fashion statement, but on him it shined like gold. He was kind and gentle-natured, and we both loved animals. We had a whirlwind romance, and were soon engaged.
It was a magical time, but things changed when he came home one day with that evil monkey. At first I thought I was being silly. It was only natural that he would need to spend more time with the scared little fella he named George. But over time, it became evident that the monkey had a clear plan to be become the alpha chimp, dominating or destroying all those in his path. But Yellow Hat could never see this. When it came to his monkey, he lived in his own delusional fantasy world, assiduously avoiding the clear truth. He couldn't even see the fact that the monkey was a girl, which was plainly evident to anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of anatomy.
He also had a pattern of overlooking the deviant behavior of his monkey, and focusing instead on the perceived silver lining. For example, George, or should I say Georgette, stole balloons from the impoverished balloon seller, ruining his livelihood. But because she managed to make a small boy laugh at her antics, she was considered cute, and he totally ignored her theft and its disastrous effects. He says we should be forgiving because the monkey was just curious!
And don't even talk to me about the time when she changed all the numbers on the train schedule at the train station, causing gridlock, accidents, and thousands of lost revenue dollars. And what does Yellow Hat do? He actually rewards her! Just because she managed to comfort a small boy who was scared, but he was only scared because of the mess she caused with the trains to begin with!
At first I wondered what the reasons were behind her behavior, but over time it became clear that she had developed a devious plot to steal Yellow Hat for herself and bend him to her will. It became a co-dependent relationship, with Georgette escalating her appalling behavior to the point of no return. Then at the last minute, she would twist facts and events to extract some marginal good deed. Yellow Hat seemed to enjoy being the savior, rescuing Georgette from whatever dangers she subjected herself to. Then, oblivious to the mayhem she caused, he shielded her from any of the natural consequences of her behavior. He became convinced that Georgette would not survive without his protection, totally unaware of how she was manipulating him. Of course, this drove a relationship wedge between the Yellow Hat and me, but I'm sure it was just what Georgette intended.
It finally became clear that there could only be one female in Yellow Hat's life, and I gave him an ultimatum; it was either me or the monkey. Not surprisingly, He chose the monkey. He justified and defended Georgette's behavior, and then questioned my motives! I broke into tears, and ran out of there, but I'll never forget that last image of him, pointing an accusing finger at me with one hand, while cradling Georgette in the other arm. She had a wicked grin on her smug face, and was mimicking him, also pointing a finger at me, but on closer examination, it was her middle finger.
Curious, my ass!