Chapter 1: To Parrot Island

Captain Greeneye was a pirate.  He was lean and tall and, despite his name, didn’t have green eyes.  In fact, he had only one eye, and even that wasn’t green.  It was the patch over his other eye, or where his other would have been had he not lost it during a particularly fiesty family dinner, that was green, and it was this that had given the Captain his name.

Captain Greeneye stood on the quarterdeck of his ship, the Black Dagger, with his arms akimbo.  It was a cold blustery morning, and on this particular cold and blustery morning Captain Greeneye did not feel like sailing on the cold and choppy sea.  On this particular cold and blustery morning Captain Greeneye decided he would rather pay his old friend Harrison Gus a visit.  Not that Harrison Gus was old, they just had been friends for quite a long time.  

“To the coast” he called out to his crew.  They jumped up from their breakfast, threw their cups and plates over the side, and ran to their posts.  All except one, who, in his excitement, threw his cup and plate down onto the deck and jumped overboard.  Almost at the same moment, another of the crew threw a worn-looking rope over the side, tied to the gunwale.  Standing at the helm, the Captain sighed. Moments later the soggy pirate climbed back on board and shook the water out of his long brown curly hair. He looked up at the Captain and with a sheepish grin ran to his post.

The ship made good speed and soon Captain Greeneye was walking down the gangplank and onto a long pier. He pulled his long black leather coat tightly around himself against the cold and walked briskly into the village, and found his way to a two storey wooden house with a maroon door. He knocked.

Soon he heard little feet running down stairs and the door opened to reveal a boy, an excited young boy in red, blue and green pirate robot pijamas, rubbing his eyes and smiling, “Captain!” the boy exclaimed, “Oh I’m so glad you’ve come to visit!” He jumped up and down in his excitement, one sock coming off.

The Captain harrumphed, looked over his shoulder and said “Harrison Gus, the weather is cold this morning”.  He looked back at Harrison Gus and added “and blustery”.

“Oh” said Harrison Gus, looking down at his naked toes. The Captain cleared his throat.  Harrison Gus looked up “Oh, oh Captain, why, please come in!” He backed away from the door, then dashed forward quickly to pick up his sock, his head landing firmly in the Captain’s belly. The Captain sighed and grabbed the boy by his shoulders, turned him around, and pushed him down the hallway.

Harrison Gus made the Captain his usual weak milky cup of tea and the Captain sat at the breakfast bar cradling the luke warm brew in his gnarly hands.

“My eleventh birthday was last month” said Harrison Gus “Now I’m old enough to become a pirate like you! Is that why you’ve come?”

The Captain stirred his cup thoughtfully for a while. “Well” he said “if you’re going to be a pirate, you will need a parrot”

“A parrot!” Harrison Gus clapped his hands in delight.  “I know just where I can get one.  Mr Ogilvy’s pet shop down the street!  He’s got iguanas and kittens and everything!” The Captain raised his eyebrows. “And parrots…” Harrison Gus added quickly.

“Yes… well… it’s not an ordinary parrot we need.  We need a parrot from Parrot Island” the Captain eyed the biscuits and cakes prettily displayed on a tiered cupcake stand. Looking nonchalant, he reached slowly for a triple chocolate muffin with chocolate icing on top.  It went down in two rather frantic bites, leaving crumbs and a smear of icing on the Captain’s lip.

“Oh” said Harrison Gus “Where’s that?”

A raspberry and white chocolate muffin disappeared into the Captain’s gullet, leaving more crumbs. “Oh, it’s a ways.  A good many days sail”. He stared at a third muffin.

“Oh” said Harrison Gus. He suddenly looked at the cupcake stand, the top tier of which was covered in crumbs but nothing else.  “But you don’t have a parrot?”

“I did” said the Captain gruffly, and promptly grabbed all five ginger crunch slices on the lower tier of the cupcake stand and stuffed them in his mouth. “Wew, iw we gong oo go we ood oh” he said even more gruffly.

Harrison Gus looked openmouthed from the now empty cupcake stand to the Captain. “Sorry?”

The Captain grunted and chewed vigorously. “I said” he said, so gruffly that somewhere the gruffalo shuddered, “that if we’re going to go we should go. And you’d better find something warm to wear!”.  At that Harrison Gus stopped staring, squealed, and dashed upstairs to get dressed. He didn’t notice the Captain smudge a little tear under his eye with a dirty thumb.

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