It was a hot and humid day on Krawk Island when the three of us were up in our room, planning out our next adventure. We call ourselves the Pirate Triples. We are identical Pirate Shoyrus. Not even our own mum can tell us apart! We love to play in the oceans around our Island, and stir up trouble with the other Pirate kids in town. My name is Brea, and my sisters’ names are Brigette and Briony. Don’t worry; unlike the rest of the island, I can keep us straight.
We were sitting on our Briony’s bed that morning, trying to come up with a plan. We had already sailed our toy ships, gone swimming in the ocean, and bugged our dad as he tried to make a deal down in Smuggler’s Cove. We had chased the Pirate Warfs from one end of the island to the other, and sang pirate songs with the other kids in town. We were running out of good ideas.
“I know what we can do! We can go down to the beach with wood, nails, and paint! Then we could fix up that old ship and sail it!” Briony suggested.
“Yeah, great idea, Briony!” Brigette and I yelled at the same time. This was just the kind of trouble we were hoping to find. So with that, we gathered up the supplies our dad had lying around and left to fix up the boat.
It was about ten o’clock when we arrived at the old ship. We had brought the wood, nails, and paint along in our Flying Wagons. They don’t always fly just right, but they sure made that heavy load easier to carry.
It took about two hours to fix up the ship. It wasn’t huge, but it would do the job. Thankfully, Shoyrus can fly, so we didn’t need to worry about a ladder. Once we were done fixing up the hull, we painted it bright green. We had fixed the bottom section, which would be submerged in the water, and then pushed the ship in while it was a little lighter than it would be once we finished the repairs on the upper part of the ship. It was still very heavy, however, so Gabriel, Finn, and Ora the Pirate Chombies and Clio and Nyanna the Pirate Kacheeks helped us get it into the water. The hull looked a little funny because the part submerged in water was a washed out red and the part above the water was bright green, but we didn’t mind. We’ve always enjoyed Christmas time and the colours that come with it.
“Come on!” Brigette cried as soon as we finished painting. “Let’s get on board!”
With that, we all flew up onto the deck.
“Who’s going to steer?” Briony asked.
“I will!” I cried, and raced to the helm before anyone could argue. I had to pile a few extra pieces of wood up in front of the wheel so I could reach it properly.
Briony and Brigette manned the sails. None of us had ever sailed a ship before, but we figured it out quickly. The steering wheel was easy to operate, and the sails were not complicated because it was such a small ship. Within minutes we were sailing away from Krawk Island. We did not think until much later that telling our parents what we were doing might have been a good idea. The ocean was calm and quiet, as if nothing could happen. At least, that’s what we thought...
It was early afternoon when the trouble began. The clear blue sky was suddenly taken over by black storm clouds. Within minutes, we could not see a speck of blue in the sky. Then, to our horror, rain started pounding down on us by the bucket full. None of us could see a thing. Briony and Brigette lost control of the sails, and it was all I could do to keep the steering wheel straight. Briony and Brigette joined me at the wheel and we slipped around on the pile of wood I had been using as a step stool as we tried to keep the steering wheel in as straight a course as possible.
Then it happened. We ran into something. Because it was so dark, we could not see what it was that we hit. Whatever it was, it scraped along the bottom of the ship, ripping off some of the new planks we had nailed on that morning. The ship took in water fast, and soon we were in the ocean. We tried to fly out of the water, but we were too tired from our struggles with the sails and the wheel. Thankfully, we had all put life preservers on earlier in the day. We all knew you could never be so careful. We just had not thought we would ever actually need to use the life preservers.
I will never be able to guess how long the storm lasted. The waves pushed us from side to side, but the clouds were so dark, we could not see a thing. Seconds before the ship capsized, we tied our life preservers together so we would not get separated. After what felt like days, the rain began to thin and the clouds began to blow away. We found ourselves just off the coast of a small island. We managed to work up some energy and we swam to shore.
“Where are we?” Briony asked.
“I have no idea.” I answered. “It looks deserted... maybe we should look around and see if we can find anyone. If we find someone, they can tell us where we are.”
With that, we untied our life preservers and set off to look around the island. We were incredibly tired from our swim, however, so we decided to nap on the beach for a bit.
It was getting super hot when we woke up, and our stomachs began to growl. Brigette went into the woods that lay off the edge of the beach to search for berries. That’s when Briony found it.
When Brigette left to find berries, Briony and I started gathering sticks and rocks to build a shelter for the night. There was no way we could get home before dark. I searched the edge of the forest for twigs while Briony collected rocks to make the base of our shelter, and to form a ring for the fire. Suddenly I heard Briony call, “Brea, get over here quick and see what I found!”
I ran over to Briony as fast as I could. She had a bottle in her hand. She showed me the hole it had been sitting in under a rock. Someone had planted this there so they could come back for it later. There as a piece of paper inside, so Briony popped the cork out of the bottle and carefully pulled the piece of paper out. The paper was yellow with age and fragile, so she unrolled it slowly, smoothing it out on a large rock sitting nearby. We both gasped. Briony had found a treasure map in a bottle in a hole under a rock. Who would have thought our luck would change so quickly?
Briony and I built a tepee shaped shelter out of long sticks while we waited for Brigette to get back. We tried to fill in the spaces at the bottom with stones and rocks and the higher gaps with grass, but there were still many spaces where rain could get through. We did not mind too much – if it had rained, chances were the whole thing would have collapsed anyway. We were just about to give up with the grass when Brigette came back.
“Well, I didn’t find any neopets, but I found a ton of berries and mushrooms. I’m pretty sure none of these are poisonous,” Brigette told us. “Nice job on the shelter. I hope it doesn’t rain again.”
“Look what Briony found!” I cried and pointed to the rock on which we had spread the map. “We think it might actually lead to treasure!”
“Really?” Brigette cried, examining the map. “Let’s eat some berries and then follow it. We still have a few hours before dark.”
The berries tasted fine, but we passed on the mushrooms. Food should not squeak when you chew it.
We followed the trail into the woods. The trail was rocky and rough, which made walking difficult. We had to fly over some areas because trees had fallen or a big rock had rolled over the path. We followed the path for about an hour when we reached the entrance of a cave. The sun would not set for another few hours, but with the forest canopy, the path would lose light much quicker than the beach. We were able to move much quicker once we got into the damp, dark cave. We had to squint our eyes to see, but we still could not see far in front of us.
Before long we reached a door made out of a grid of sticks. It had a padlock on it, but time had worn down the sticks, and we managed to break our way through. The X on the map was right in the middle of this room. We dug with our hands and feet at first, but quickly found sticks and flat rocks which did a better job. After twenty minutes of digging, we hit the top of a wooden chest. Frantically, we dug around the chest so we could get at the handles to pull it out. The dirt had gotten right into the wood from years of contact, so this was a difficult task. Finally, we were able to pull the chest out of the ground.
“Should we open it here?” I asked.
“No,” Briony answered. “Let's open it up back on the beach. We’re losing light quickly.”
We traveled back to the beach as quickly as possible. Because we had already walked the trail, keeping our footing was easier. The chest slowed us down, however. Even with the three of us carrying it, the chest weighed a ton. For a while, I was not sure we would make it back to the beach before we lost all visibility.
As it was, we just made it to the beach as the last of the light was leaving the woods. The beach still had some light, but the moon was now shining, and a few stars had come out to join us. The chest too had a lock on it, but time and moisture in the ground had rusted it away. We were able to break it off with a large stone. We opened the creaky lid and inside we found tons of jewels. Diamonds, rubies, jade, emeralds, jasper, even some amber was inside the chest. With these jewels, our dad would never have another argument with the pirates in the Smugglers’ Cove.
“Wow,” Brigette whispered, “Who ever thought that getting shipwrecked and stuck on a deserted island would actually lead us to a treasure chest full of jewels?”
“Mum and Dad can’t be too mad once they see this,” I added. “We should make a fire, in case they send someone out to find us. Passing ships will be able to see the smoke.”
“Um, Brea?” Briony said, “We didn’t tell Mum and Dad where we were going. We didn’t tell them anything. They have no idea where we are. They’re probably searching the island thinking we’ve run off again.”
“Oh no!” I cried. “What are we going to do?”
“Those kids who helped up get the ship into the water! They know we aren’t on the island. Maybe they’ll tell Mum and Dad,” Brigette said in a hopeful voice. Soon after we had a good fire going and decided to try to get some sleep. It had been a long day.
The next morning we woke up to find our fire still smoking. We quickly added from more wood and got it going again. This fire was our best hope of rescue. We ate up the rest of the berries Brigette had gathered the day before, and she and I went off in the woods to collect some more. Briony was left on the beach to watch out for a passing ship. If she saw one, she was to jump up and down and scream for help. This would be a signal for Brigette and me to return, and would hopefully catch the attention of someone on the ship.
No ships sailed by that day, however, or the next day, or the next. We were running out of hope. Here we were, with more jewels than anyone could ever dream of, but they could not buy us a return to our friends and families. The best luck we had was that the weather had remained mild and dry.
It was our fifth day on the island when we finally saw a ship off the coast of our island. We did not believe our eyes at first. After a moment the news sank in and the three of us started jumping and yelling “Over here! We’re over here! Oh, please come rescue us!”
Someone on the ship must have heard our cries, because the ship turned towards shore. When it got closer, we saw our mum and dad, who are also Pirate Shoyrus, on the deck, waving to us with smiles on their faces. I imagine they had been angry when we first disappeared, but by this time they were as happy to see us as we were happy to see them. When their ship got close to the shore, they flew over to us and wrapped us in a big group hug.
“Oh girls, we missed you so much!” they both said. “We’re so glad we found you!”
“Look what we found, Mum!” I cried and pulled her over to the chest. We had pulled it into our shelter. I opened the lid and she gasped.
“Brea! How on earth did you find this?” she asked with a shocked look in her eyes. I quickly explained how Briony had found the map and we had followed it into the cave.
“Oh girls, you have no idea how lucky you are! Things are going to be a whole lot easier from here on. I can promise you that.”
“We know, Mum,” the three of us said with small smiles on our faces.
We got the chest onto the ship and sailed home. From then on, we never had to worry about money like we had before. Our friends did not have to worry much either. There was tons to go around, and we were happy to share. It was the least we could do for the friends who helped save us. In a way, we got to help save them too.