Home  |  Authors  |  Books  |  Stories  |  What's New  |  How to Get Involved 
   T h e   B a l d w i n   P r o j e c t
     Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children                 @mainlesson.com
Search This Site Only
 
 
Good Stories for Great Holidays by  Frances Jenkins Olcott


 

 

THE PUMPKIN PIRATES

A TALE FROM LUCIAN
BY ALFRED J. CHURCH (ADAPTED)

ONCE upon a time, one Lucian the Greek was filled with a desire to see strange countries, and especially to discover whether there was any opposite shore to the ocean by which he lived.

So having purchased a vessel, he strengthened it for a voyage, that he knew would without doubt be long and stormy. Then he chose fifty stout [288] young fellows having the same love of adventure as himself, and next he hired the best captain that could be got for money, and put a store of provisions and water on board.

All this being done, he set sail. For many days he and his companions voyaged on deep waters and in strange seas. At times the wind was fair and gentle, and at others it blew so hard that the sea rose in a terrible manner.

One day there came a violent whirlwind which twisted the ship about, and, lifting it into the air, carried it upward into the sky, until it reached the Moon. There Lucian and his comrades disembarked and visited the inhabitants of Moonland. They took part in a fierce battle between the Moon-Folk, the Sun-Folk, and an army of Vulture-Horsemen; and, after many other wonderful adventures, they departed from Moonland, and sailing through the sky, visited the Morning Star. Then the wind dropping, the ship settled once more upon the sea, and they sailed on the water.

One morning the wind began to blow vehemently, and they were driven by storm for days. On the third day they fell in with the Pumpkin Pirates. These were savages who were wont to sally forth from the islands that lay in the seas thereabouts, and plunder them that sailed by.

For ships they had large pumpkins, each being not less than ninety feet in length. These pump- [289] kins they dried, and afterward dug out all the inner part of them till they were quite hollow. For masts they had reeds, and for sails, in the place of canvas, pumpkin leaves.

These savages attacked Lucian's vessel with two ships' or rather two pumpkins' crews, and wounded many of his company. For stones they used the pumpkin-seeds, which were about the bigness of a large apple.

Lucian's company fought for some time, without gaining the advantage, when about noon they saw coming toward them, in the rear of the Pumpkin Pirates, the Nut-Shell Sailors. These two tribes were at war with each other.

As soon as the Pumpkin Pirates saw the others approaching, they left off fighting Lucian's crew, and prepared to give battle to the Nut-Shell Sailors. When Lucian saw this he ordered the captain to set all sails; and they departed with speed. But looking back he could see that the Nut-Shell Sailors had the best of the battle, being superior in numbers, having five crews against two of the Pumpkin Pirates, and also because their ships were stronger. As for their ships, they were the shells of nuts which had been split in half, each measuring fifteen fathoms, or thereabouts.

As soon as the Pumpkin Pirates and the Nut-Shell Sailors were out of sight, Lucian set himself to dressing the wounds of his injured companions. [290] And from that time on both Lucian and his crew wore their armor continually, not knowing when another strange enemy might come upon them.


 Table of Contents  |  Index  | Previous: The Nutcracker Dwarf  |  Next: The Spirit of the Corn
Copyright (c) 2000-2017 Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.