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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
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
 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-  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
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.
 And from that time on both Lucian and his crew wore their
armor continually, not knowing when another strange enemy
might come upon them.