Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 11

“Awk! Land, Yo Ho Ho.” They parrot be flapping his beak and pointing one wing.

“Land Ho. Land Ho. Land Ho.” Each birdie be picking out a melody in his or her own way. They be finishing it off with one grand and glorious “LAAAANNNNDDD HOOOOO” which be sweeter than a jug o’grog with honey.

Aye mateys, it be THE greatest “Land Ho” EVER. And you knows who we gots to thank for that if’n you remembers way back awhile when one of Bluebeard’s wives name of Imelda be teaching them to sing together. And she be doing one slam bang rootin’ tootin’ heckofa job. The whole ship be giving them a hearty round of applause.

And thirteen winks later they passengers be spotting it too. They be “Land Ho”ing it up big time. Cuz this not be just any old lump of land. It be THE island. Not too big. Not too small. Not too close to they mainland. Not too far away. Not too flat. Not too hilly. Arr, it had something for every passenger who be wanting to make theyselves a home there.

“Shiver me timbers,” they captain sez to them he sez, “Journey’s end for some of you buckos. So – who be gettin’ off and who be stayin’ aboard?”

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 10

“Oho.” They captain he winked at his passengers. “So yer story be the best o’ the lot, eh? Well, come forward and let’s see if it is.”

Mateys, if’n you be payin’ attention to they other stories, you know who it gots to be. Yar, that be right. They clowder of cats, which numbered five in all, whiskered their way forward.

Mon Capitane,” a handsome buff tabby cat sez to him he sez, “Monsieur Claude LeChat here. We mean no disrespect to your other storytellers. We were just practicing our swagger. I suppose you ‘ave ‘eard zat we cats ‘ave us ze nine lives.’

“Heard it. Don’t know as I believe it.”

Mais oui, it is ze truth. We ‘ave three lives to play, three to stray, and three to stay. To celebrate our fourth life we ‘ave strayed onto your ship. And being on ze water – parfait.” He kissed the tip of his left front paw. “We are only five strong, but we could manage un petit bateau.”

“Ooh, ooh, like a ferryboat.” One of Bluebeard’s wives name of Graciela jumped up and down. “You could ferry guests to our inn. What a great publicity gimmick.”

“Whooppee.” The gorillas started typing on they computers.

And if that not be drama enough, one of they flamingos she honked, “Ahoy! Land ho! Land ho!”

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 8

Blog19-Gorilla“Sir.” They gorilla he nodded at Bluebeard. “I’m here with my band of bloggers.  That’s John. And that’s Paul. And that’s George. And I’m Vernon, Band Leader and Spokesgorilla.”

“YO VERNON.” A parrot be squawking down at him from the yardarm, “WHAT BE YE GALOOTS DOIN’ ON THIS HERE SHIP?”

“WE’VE GOT WRITERS’ BLOCK.” Vernon shouted back.

Ahoy, me hearties! Thereon hangs our tale. Ever since two mad scientists be learning they gorillas to talk and use a computer, they be blogging. And they gots them tons o’followers too. Then one miserable excuse fer a morning they be waking up and finding they gots them nothing to write about. So they hops this ship hoping the sea air’d get they creative juices flowing like as if they be gushers. And how be that working for them?

The four gorillas they all be holdin’ up they blank computer screens.


They be down. But they not be out. Vernon sez to Bluebeard he sez, “I feel like we could do some good work at your inn. So here’s the deal. You give us some space to hang out in and we’ll post rave reviews about it. Everybody wins.”

“N-n-n-n-ot us.” The rabbits and the frogs they be huddling up together. “You’ll have us for lunch.”

“Don’t worry little buddies.” Vernon patted them on they heads. “We’re vegetarians. We won’t eat you. And we won’t let anybody else eat you either.”

The frogs went “Ribbit, ribbit.” The rabbits leaped up and down.

“I guess that’s a yes. How about you?” Bluebeard asked his wives. He got 14 thumbs up.

“Yay!” Everybody on board be clapping whatever they got.

They ship she be quiet for 37 seconds. Then, “Is it our time now?” The voice came from the floor.

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 7

Blog19Flamingo“You’ll need some birds.” One of they flamingos flapped herself down onto the deck. “Hi, I’m JoLeen. Us birds up above have been yakking at each other while we’ve been keeping your ship moving. We found out that we all took this gig for a lark. But now we’ve bonded and we’re looking to stay together. Like at your new inn, Mr. Bluebeard. We’ll patrol the skies for you. Keep out the riffraff.” She bowed. “And welcome your guests.”

“With bird songs.” One of Bluebeard’s wives name of Imelda piped up. “Nightly concerts on the veranda. Sweet music to send them off to sleep.”

Blog19Singingbirds“Um, about that.” JoLeen cleared her throat. “We’re really not songbirds. We try but, well, take a listen. Hit it, birds.” Aye me mateys, they bird chorus it be like a symphony. If’n none of they instruments be in tune. And they musicians is never played a note afore. It shivered all they ship’s timbers.

“OK. OK” Imelda uncovered her ears. “I can work with that. I used to be a music teacher. And we’ve got plenty of time before the first guests come. You’ll be singing like, well like birds, way before then.”

“Nice,” Bluebeard hugged Imelda. “So that’s frogs and rabbits and birds.”

“And us.” One of they gorillas he lumbered up to Bluebeard.

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 6

Blog19Rabbit1“My dear sir.” They biggest rabbit sez to Bluebeard he sez, “As you know – or maybe you don’t – most rabbits are homebodies. But we here are of an adventurous nature. When we spotted your ship, we gave each other the nod that said, Excellent, we shall become ships’ rabbits. Sail off to parts unknown. Forward, fluffle!” And on they came.

“Shiver me timbers, mateys,” the captain bent over to face they rabbits. “I’m guessing that didn’t work out like you expected. You all look a bit green around the edges.”

Blog19Rabbit2“Our timbers were shivered all right.” The big rabbit shuddered so hard his scruffy fur flapped back and forth. “We discovered that there’s a reason you never see any ships’ rabbits. We don’t travel well.” Even as he be saying that, one of they rabbits he leaped over to the ship’s rail and leaned over the side. “See? The whole trip’s been like that. So we’re looking to continue our adventures on dry land. Dry unmoving land. Might there be room for us in your fine establishment, Mr. Bluebeard?”

“You know it,” all the wives gave him their thumbs up. “Cute little bunnies.”

“I guess that’s a yes.” Bluebeard scanned the crowd. “Anybody else?”

“You’ll need some birds.”

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 5

Blog19BluebeardBluebeard coughed again. He sez to us he sez, “Yeah, I’ve got a blue beard. And yeah, I’ve got seven wives. And yeah, if I’ve heard that story once I’ve heard it a million times. How Bluebeard murdered his wives and hid their bodies in a locked room. But no, I’m not THAT Bluebeard. All of my wives are alive and kicking.”

“We got this, Bluey. Hit it, women.” The wives counted off like so, “A-one,” A-two,” “A-three,” “A-four,” “A-five,” “A-six,” “A-seven,” “Hoicks!” They put their arms around each other.


“See?  If I tried to lay a murderous finger on one of them, the other six would clap me in irons before I could say, ‘Hey, I was just kidding.’ But tell that to those village blokes. Every time one of my wives spends a few days at home alone for a little me-time, they come knocking on our door to see if she’s still alive. We’ve had it.”

The wives nodded.

Blog19Inn“So,” Bluebeard said, “We’re looking for some space of our own where we can farm or maybe put up a nice cozy inn. We’d have room for a frog pond – and for any other creatures who don’t want to judge or be judged.”

“Please, sir.” The whole fluffle of rabbits hopped forward.

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 4

Blog19Ferret“Your offer interests me, Madame Captain.” The ferret he be whipping off his top hat and bowing low and slow. His nose it almost be touching they deck. “I did not expect you and your crew to be so…civilized.”

“Ahoy there.” The pirate who’d been on top of the pyramid sez to him he sez, “We be pirates, not HUNS, Mr. Ferret.”

The ferret he put his hat back on so’s he could tip it to they pirate. “Begging your pardon, kind sir. And please, do call me Throgmorton. Seeing as we’re quite likely to become shipmates. If, that is, we ferrets can work out a deal with your captain. We simply MUST keep wearing our top hats.”

Yon pirate be going, “Shiver me timbers, matey, why wouldn’t you?”

“Because the last blokes that hired us said, ‘Ditch the top hats. They wimp up our image.’ We tried going on strike. But we ferrets are extremely prolific, which means there were plenty of scabs to take our place. So here we are – top hats and all.”

Blog19DoRag“Shoot,” Captain Wilhemina Cook sez to him she sez. “I’ve seen worse toppers on me ship. One swabby even wears a black velvet do-rag with jewels in the shape of the Eiffel Tower.  Top hats? No biggie.”

“Well then, you just hired yourselves a fesnyng of top-hatted rat catchers extraordinaire.”


“Nicely done.” The ship’s captain he be eyeballing the crowd. “Now then any more stories?”

Bluebeard coughed.

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 3

Blog19-FemaleCaptain“Ahoy mateys, I be Captain Wilhemina Cook.” Son of a son of a sea dog, thar stood a woman pirate captain. That be shivering a ton o’timbers. But Captain Cook’s electric stink eye made they passengers be swallowing whatever guff they be about to spill.

“So, Mr. Ferret,” she said, “Why be a pirate? Recruiting team – hit it!”

Six burly pirates elbowed their way to the front. A smaller pirate with a harmonica skipped after them. He perched hisself on a barrel, blew a few test notes, and launched into a old-timey hornpipe. The other pirates linked arms. They booted them some high kicks while they sang out they chantey:

“With a hey and a ho and a whoop-de-dee, The pirate’s life’s the best thar be;

We elects our captain fair and square, Be he man or be she woman, we don’t care;

You gets yer ration o’grog every day, And if you loses yer leg you still gets yer pay;

We stores some treasure in a big fat pot, It pays for yer care if’n you gets shot;

Yo ho ho that’s all we wrote.”

 They ended up making a pyramid – one pirate on two pirates on three pirates. The crowd gave them a standing ovation. Arr, they had no choice. Thar be no place on that ship fer them to park they rear ends.


Blog19-HelpWanted“And now for the best part,” the captain said, “When me crew they is elected me captain, not all of me swabbies be that forward-looking. Some of those lubbers, they jumped ship first chance they got. So I be here looking to add to me crew. We gots us jobs for all, no matter who or what ye be. Like you, Mr. Ferret. Thar be a rat catcher opening that gots yer name on it.”

The ferret rubbed his chin.

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 2

Blog19-Parrot“Awk, my turn, my turn.” One of they parrots flew himself over and perched his feets on the shoulder of the ship’s captain. “We be on this ship on account of we be looking to join up with a pirate ship – or two – or three.”


A fat guffaw burst out from a lubber lurking somewhere in the passel of pirates.

“Don’t larf at us, you old barnacle,” the parrot flapped up and down. “Every pirate ship needs itself a parrot – or more if’n you can get ‘em. We be ferocious defenders. We gots us the snapping beaks. And the wicked sharp claws. Yer enemies they be crying for they mammas afore the sun goes down.”

“That’s one way of doing it,” another parrot flew out of the crowd and landed on the ship’s railing. “But thar be a better way. We flies over to yer rival ship all friendly-like and offers to show them whar yer ship be. Then we leads them to the ends of the earth – and beyond.  Nobody is ever seeing them again.”


All the pirates went, “Yo ho ho.”

“EEUW, gross,” a fastidious ferret piped up. “Why would any sane creature want to be a pirate?”

“I can answer that.” The pirate captain stepped forward.

Noah’s Ark meets the Canterbury Tales – Part 1

Ahoy mateys, last time we is left that ship sailing along under Bird Power. Which be steady, but sl-o-o-o-o-o-w. The passengers be clumping together and muttering like as if they be brewing up a mutiny.

But the captain he be one smart macaroon. He sez to them he sez, “Arr, but ye be a mixed bag o’ kree-turs. I bet you all gots you stories about why you be on me ship. Let’s hear ‘em.”

Blog19-FrogA bullfrog hopped forward. “Call me MZ, Spokesfrog – er, Croaksfrog. Here’s our story. Once upon a time we were happy in our pond, sitting on our lily pads and eating flies. Then word got around that witches were turning princes and princesses into frogs. Suddenly the pond was full of puckered-up fortune hunters hoping to bag rich royalty.”

“Those sloppy smackers were bad enough. But it was even worse when they stomped away going, ‘Shoot, it’s just a frog,’ like being a frog wasn’t good enough. We’re so over that. We want a place where it’s not a curse to be a frog.”


Shouts of “We hear you, brother!” “Frogs rule!” “Frogs forever!” spread around the ship, along with stomping and flapping and wagging and clapping. MZ wiped away a tear.

So did the captain. “Stap me vitals, that be one heck of a story,” he said, “So who’s next?”

“Awwwk, and that would be me.”