Essence of a Pirate
"Tess! Hurry up or we're going to be late!" Tess's mother
called up the stairs. The Island Kacheek sighed and draped the necklace her brother,
Joe, an Electric Kacheek, gave Tess for her birthday last year.
"I'm coming!" Tess shouted slightly agitated
to her mother as she grabbed her suitcase and darted down the stairs.
"I'm ready for Krawk Island!" Joe said excitedly
as he ran down after Tess. Tess's mother grinned and led the way to the harbour
where the ferry was waiting for all the passengers to load.
Tess kept a scowl on her face as she, her brother,
and her mother found a spot to sit. "Why do we have to go to stupid Krawk Island?"
Tess mumbled as she looked down into the water.
Her mother frowned. "Oh come on, Tess. It'll
be fun!" Tess nodded unenthusiastically and laid her head down on her bags and
stared and the floor of the ferry until she fell asleep.
"All passengers unboard the ferry! All passengers
unboard the ferry!" The ferry manager's announcement woke Tess up and she grabbed
her suitcase and stumbled off the ferry. She raised her eyebrows at her mother
as if she was trying to say, 'I doubt this'll be fun.' Her mother raised her
eyebrows back at her and told her to go relax on the shore with Joe while she
took their bags up to the hotel room.
Tess's brother raced down to the shore and she followed
slowly, kicking the rocks that were in her path to the side. Tess sat down in
the sand and watched Joe try to build a sand castle. "C'mon Tess, help me!"
he called. Tess rolled her eyes and dug into the sand.
As she turned over the mold and on top of the
sand castle Tess found a gold earring. "Hmmm," she said as she inspected it.
"Looks like a pirate earring." Tess took the earring and clipped it over her
"Hey, Joe!" Tess called out. Her brother turned
to look at Tess. She drew out an imaginary sword and pretended to be a pirate.
"Arr... matey give me all 'yer booty!" Tess laughed and so did Joe.
"Here you are, pirate, all my booty!" Joe laughed
and threw sand at his sister.
"Ohh... I'll get ya fer that, matey!" Tess threw
down her imaginary sword and tackled Joe playfully.
"Tess, what's this?" her mother asked as she
approached Tess and Joe, "I thought you said Krawk Island would be no fun."
She smiled as to say, 'I told you so'.
Tess shrugged her shoulders and said reluctantly,
"Well, I guess I was wrong just now, but I bet the rest of the island is a snore!"
Her mother rolled her eyes and led Joe back with her to the hotel.
"You can stay out here if you want to, Tess,"
she called over her shoulder as she was walking. Tess sat back down in the sand
and continued on her little brother's sand castle.
"Hey, you," called a mysterious voice.
Tess stood up and looked around abruptly. "Who,
me?" Tess asked. The figure nodded and came out of the shadows. Tess's eyes
grew wide. "Y... you're a p... pirate..." she stammered.
The Kougra nodded, "Indeed I am. My name's Jake...
what pirate crew are you a part of?" Tess was puzzled. This pirate thought that
she was a pirate. It didn't make sense to her.
"But sir, I'm no pirate," Tess said a little
Jake tipped his head. "You aren't?" Tess shook
her head. "Oh, well you're wearing a pirate earring and you were just talking
like a pirate. Hold on... could I have a look at that earring?"
Tess looked at the earring and took it off. "Sure."
Tess handed the earring to Jake and he looked at it, and looked at it.
Jake gasped. "PIRATES! I've found the one!" Tess
was alarmed and started to run, but other pirates jumped out and held Tess to
"Let me GO!" she wailed as she tried to wiggle
out from the pirates' clutches.
"We aren't trying to kill you!" Jake said as
Tess stood up. She raised her eyebrows and let them continue. "That earring
you were wearing... can only be worn by those who aren't pirates... don't necessarily
want to be pirates but are the only ones who have what it takes. Anybody else
who tries to wear it... well, it will just fall off."
Tess smiled and looked at the pirates. "Does
this mean you think I should join your pirate crew?" The pirates exchanged glances.
"Not necessarily, but we want to try you out.
Are you up for it?" Jake asked.
Tess didn't say anything for a moment or two;
she was pondering what her mother would think about it. Tess didn't really care,
though. "Sure," she said enthusiastically. Jake nodded and the pirates looked
at her one last time.
Then one pirate gave her a slightly ripped bandana
and a red and white-stripped shirt. "I knew you were missing something. Come
Tess followed the pirates wondering what was
going to happen when she told her mother. She pictured her blowing up at Tess
and Joe admiring her. She smiled, not caring, and continued walking up the shore.
"Alright, here we are!" Jake said as he turned
to face Tess when they reached a pirate ship. The other pirates all ran to separate
corners like some kind of routine.
"Excuse me, Jake...?" Tess started to ask but
Jake turned his head and put his finger up to his mouth to tell her not to talk.
"No talking. Just wait," Jake said as he signaled
with his other hand to the rest of his crew.
Off in the distance there was a foghorn-like
blast. Tess jumped up in alarm and Jake started walking down the center of the
ship. Tess figured she was supposed to follow so she carefully walked behind
the Kougra making sure the rest of the crew wasn't setting off booby traps.
She kept her arms up in defense and sneaked along.
In a split second Jake spun around and slashed
at Tess with his claws sheathed. Tess didn't panic but slashed back at him with
her arm. Jake being stronger than Tess knocked her down. "Erf!" Tess exclaimed
in slight pain as she fell on to a nail.
Jake smiled, "Welcome to our pirate crew, Tess!
Honorary pirate, that is." Tess's eyes widened.
"H... how'd you know my name?" she asked.
Jake snickered. "We pirates know all. No, actually
it's engraved on that necklace," he explained, pointing at Tess's neck. "Anyway,
now since you are in our crew you need a tough pirate name. How about... " Jake
thought for a minute and scratched his chin. "Jeeda?" Jeeda nodded and waited
for Jake to continue.
Jake started pacing around Jeeda; looking at
her thoughtfully. "Let me guess... you came from Mystery Island?" Jake asked
as he stopped in front of Jeeda. The Kacheek's mouth dropped down.
"H... how'd you know?"
"The way your puny muscles are formed on your
arms. Islanders tend to have less muscle, but it's gathered more around here,"
Jake pointed to the part of Jeeda's arm that had the most muscle, "because of
their swimming and berry picking habits."
Jeeda crossed her arms and stared in slight agitation
at Jake. "You learn how to tell this stuff naturally during your training as
a pirate." Jake turned around and scanned the boat carefully, then yelled out,
"HAGS! Get over here! ...And fast!" A tired out
pirate Korbat with slightly ripped wings flew over to Jake instantly.
"Y... yes, Jake?" Hags asked almost out of breath.
"Show our new pirate to her room," Jake grinned
and pointed to Jeeda who waved shyly at Hags. The Korbat took a deep breath
and flew slowly toward the other side of the ship. Jeeda padded after him trying
not to make too much noise; she wasn't sure if there was anything rigged up.
Hags stopped in font of a mahogany wood door
with sharp, soot-black hinges shaped like vampire teeth. "This is your room,"
Hags sighed sounding very melancholy. "It's small but you won't spend much time
in here anyways. Unless you're sleeping." Jeeda couldn't help but feel sorry
for the poor old Korbat. He looked as if he had been working for these pirates
for at least five years.
"Hags?" Jeeda asked before the Korbat could fly
"What is it?" he asked in a dreary, yet aggravated
Jeeda sniffled, "Well, I was wondering if these
pirates treat you bad because you don't look too happy... well, I wouldn't either
if I were a servant for these pirates, but... " Jeeda was then cut off buy a
Hags's eyes grew wide and his mouth dropped open.
"You think I'm a servant for these pirates?" Hags kept his angered stare on
Jeeda until she answered.
"Well, I mean it just looked like it... " Tess's
voice trailed off.
The Korbat rolled his eyes, "Girl, I am one of
the oldest pirates here. Other than Jake, who is our leader, and Chet. It's
just that, well, I am the only pirate in my class who has never gotten to train
an honorary, or a to-be, pirate. We have gotten three new recruits, excluding
you, in the past few weeks and so far Jake hasn't assigned any of them to me."
Jeeda felt sorry for Hags but she didn't cry;
she was a pirate. "Is there anything I could do?" Jeeda asked as she looked
into Hags's sad deep blue eyes.
"Not really you should just get settled in your
room and come down to the dining hall in fifteen minutes." The Kacheek gulped
down her tears and nodded.
Hags couldn't help but smile. After Jeeda slammed
the door to her room shut, Hags flew over to Jake.
"Hey, Jake, I was wondering... " Hags started
but he was cut off by Jake.
"Yeah, I've been wondering too. Why haven't you
swabbed the back deck? I asked for you to do that yesterday!" Hags crossed his
arms and put a flat expression on his face. But Jake stared him down and Hags
flew off to the back deck.
After Hags was finished swabbing the deck, he
was about to go tell Jeeda it was dinnertime, but Jake stopped him. "Jeeda must
find out on her own that it's dinnertime. TRUE pirates don't need assistance,"
Jake stated as he drew his sword and leveled it with Hags's nose. He nodded
hastily and flew off to the dining hall.
Jeeda lifted her head up from her door. "They
were just arguing about me, weren't they?" Jeeda asked herself. "Well, I should
go to the dining hall now." She creaked the door open and looked around for
She noticed a Korbat tail whip around a corner
and guessed that it belonged to Hags. Running up to that corner she saw the
same tail whip around another corner but it stopped half way. Jeeda walked up
confused and saw about ten pirates from Jake's pirate crew lined up outside
of a room.
"Excuse me... but what are we waiting for?" Jeeda
asked the closet Neopet who was a pirate Chomby.
"Food," he answered in a gruff voice. "What do
you think?" The Kacheek smiled a sheepish smile and backed up only to bump into
a Neopet behind her.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" Jeeda
gulped and turned around and looked up at a Zafara.
"Um... I'm the newest pirate on the crew, sir,"
Jeeda explained. A burst a fury raged in the Zafara's eyes as they turned a
fiery shade of red and orange.
"That's ma'am to you!" Jeeda nodded slowly and
scooted down as the line shortened.
The Zafara started shuffling through her pocket.
"Here," the Zafara said as she handed Jeeda an eye-patch. "Ha, I knew there
was something missing. Welcome aboard the toughest pirate crew of all Krawk
Island..." The Zafara stopped and looked at the Kacheek.
"Jeeda!" she finished.
"Welcome, Jeeda! Now move it; the line has shortened!"
Jeeda ran up the line back behind the Chomby.
"Oh hello, Jeeda," Hags said as he plopped some
slop onto her tray. Jeeda smiled and picked up the tray, unsure what to do,
so she walked up to Jake.
"Jake," Jeeda started.
"Just choose a seat and sit down but don't start
eating yet." Jeeda chose the closest seat and sat down. After the last crewmember
had food on their tray Hags got some for him and sat next to Jeeda.
Jake stood up from his table and got the crew's
attention by whistling. "Alright," he started, "Today we have the honor of welcoming
our 15th crew member, Jeeda. Stand up, Jeeda." Jeeda obeyed and stood up from
her seat. Jake motioned to his with his paws and Jeeda walked up next to Jake.
"Jeeda has yet to be assigned a trainer. So now
I shall announce the lucky pirate who will get to train this fine young Kacheek."
Jake and Jeeda both noticed Hags crossing his fingers. "Hags!" Jake changed
his mind and announced the Korbat's name.
A wide smile struck across his face and he flew
up to Jeeda. Jake had a slightly angered look on his face about his decision.
"But remember, Hags, you are her trainer, not her friend." The Korbat nodded
and the two sat down.
"You may feast!" Jake left the stage and jumped
down to his table and started eating and chatting with Chet.
Jeeda smiled, "Congratulations, Hags!" Hags smiled
and stuffed his face with the buttered bread he had put on his plate. Jeeda
dug into the corn but got full after a few bites suddenly remembering her family.
Chewed up corn came spilling out of Jeeda's mouth.
"Hags! I have to go; I'll see you tomorrow, I promise, but I have something
I need to sort out." The Korbat stood up and followed Jeeda out of the dining
After Jeeda had left the ship Hags caught up
with her. "Who?"
Jeeda looked out into the sky, "My family...
they don't know..." Hags didn't say anything; he didn't have time to. Jeeda
had already darted out into the dark night.
"I'll be waiting by the back deck tomorrow!"
Hags's voice echoed in the sky.
"Good-bye!" Jeeda called back.
As Jeeda came back to the spot of beach where
she met Jake she noticed her mother and Joe were looking around. "Tess!" Jeeda's
mother called out. "Tess!"
Jeeda walked closer. "Mom?" Jeeda's mom turned
her head around and saw her daughter.
"Oh, Tess! You're back!"
"Tess? What are you talking about don't you-oh
that's right." Jeeda sighed and started to explain.
"So this Jake person just waltzes up to you and
changes your name?" Jeeda's mom asked.
"No, he wanted me to join his pirate crew. I
passed some kind of secret test and he wanted to make my name sound more pirate
like," Jeeda corrected. Her mother nodded slowly and sternly.
"You know you aren't going back to that ship.
You can't be a pirate, Tess; we're leaving the day after tomorrow."
Jeeda's mouth dropped open. "What do you mean
I can't go back? I promised Hags I'd meet him at the back deck tomorrow for
training! You can't just make me break a promise! And it's Jeeda!" The Kacheek
was almost out of breath exploding at her mother in rage. A light of fire beamed
in her mother's eyes.
"I just happen to be your mother! And I..." She
was cut off by Jeeda.
"Don't get to decide what I do!" Jeeda turned
around and ran off away from her mother and Joe.
Jeeda slowed down after her family got out of
sight. "It sure is getting dark," Jeeda told herself. The Kacheek yawned and
sat down on a bench near the water. "I could just rest a while here." Jeeda
stretched out and lay down on the bench and slowly fell asleep.
The next morning Jeeda woke up to the sound of
Pteris chirping. Jeeda faced the north and looked down on the sand at her shadow.
"I should get going, don't want to keep Hags waiting." As soon as Jeeda found
the pirate ship Hags, Chet, Jake and all of the other pirates were running away
carrying giant treasure chests.
"RUN, Jeeda! RUN!" Hags called out as he threw
some rocks at the ship.
"What's going on?" Jeeda persisted.
"We're being attacked!" Jake yelled from the
cannon. Jeeda ran over to Jake and loaded the cannon. "By who?" she asked.
"Two Kacheeks: a little boy and his mother,"
Jake explained quickly as he set the cannon off.
"Mom..." Jeeda whispered to herself. Then the
cannon fired. "WAIT! Don't hurt them! I know how to get rid of my family." Jake
dropped a cannon and barely missed his foot.
"Are you telling me that those rampaging set
of angry Kacheeks are your family?" he said in a soft yet angered tone. Jeeda
wasn't sure whether to nod or say no but she just slowly nodded and backed away
into the ship.
She quickly whipped her body around and noticed
Joe and her mom on the upper deck throwing everything in sight down on her fellow
crewmates. "Stop!" Jeeda begged as she ran up to the upper deck. "Why are you
"Why do you think? You little bad seed!" Jeeda's
mom picked up a bucket of water and splashed it on Jeeda.
"Okay, you have crossed the line, mom!" Jeeda
picked up a sword and edged closer to her mom.
"Are you prepared to make any sudden moves? Or
do you wish to perish right now?" Jeeda asked as she leveled the tip of the
blade to her mom's throat.
"Tess... you are going to be in so much trouble,"
her mother said backing away from the blade.
"I'm not under your rules anymore!" Jeeda shoved
the blade forward and her mom jumped off of the plank. "And for the last time
it's Jeeda!" Jeeda's mom made a big splash in the ocean and swam away hastily.
"Joe?" Jeeda said as she turned her head slightly toward her brother.
"Y... yes, big sister?"
"Do you wish to join your mother forcefully,
or will you be a good boy and go now?" Joe didn't say anything but just sat
in the boat and started crying at Jeeda's feet. "Oh brother," she sighed. Joe
looked up at Jeeda's angered face and jumped off the boat and joined his mother.
"All taken care of, mateys!" Jeeda called back down to the rest of the crew.
Jake and the rest jumbled back onto the ship
and lifted Jeeda up onto their shoulders chanting, "Jeeda! Jeeda! Jeeda!" Jake
was off to the side though. After Jeeda was let down off of the crews shoulders
he signaled for her.
"Yes, Jake?" Jake led Jeeda into a room near
"Do you know what this room is, Jeeda?" She shook
her head. "Well, this is where we keep records of the most outstanding performances
made by pirates in our crew."
Jeeda thought for a minute. "Are you saying that
you think I belong here?" she asked. Jake shrugged his shoulders slowly.
"Possibly," he said as he pulled something out
of a box. "This, dear Jeeda, was the peg leg worn by the legendary pirate who
long ago did the same deed as you," Jake said in a soft voice as he handed the
peg leg to Jeeda.
Jeeda took the peg leg and started at for a minute.
"What does this mean?" Jeeda asked inquisitively.
Jake continued, "Welcome, Jeeda, as a full, honored