A Pirate’s Life For Me

I put the pirate costumes into Ziploc bags and waited for the gathering.

Nothing needed explaining, for when each child opened his or her bag the game was clear and there were only squeals of delight and a scramble to get dressed.

They knew all about PIRATES !

Each pirate group (there were two: one of boys and one of girls) had a big flag on a tall stick. They staked it into the ground or carried it around and set about making a hideout. Compasses hung around their necks, sometimes skeletons and soft, rubber swords kept the enemies at bay and the only scratches were pretend.

Each group had an old garden fruit basket full of stuff. They had a treasure chest and lots of LOOT. Thrifted poker chips and large plastic checkers had been sprayed by Grandpa in wonderful colors of bronze, gold and silver. There were goblets and skulls and spyglasses.

There was dynamite to blow up other ships and treasure maps to plot the course.

Each pirate had a little drawstring bag for loot

which I had made out of pirate fabric.

There were parrots for the shoulders of the captains.

Once a pirate . . . some children stayed a pirate.

All day. All night.

Trophies became gold loot. Skulls of the unfortunate were lying around as a reminder to be very careful. Large tree branches held flags covered with pirate skulls. Skull goblets abounded. Signs pointed the way to harbors and lagoons and off-limits caves.

Pirate Loot bags for everyone.

The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee

Ho, for The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee,

he was as wicked as wicked could be.

But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see,

The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.


His conscience, of course, was black as a bat,

But he had a floppety plume on his hat

and when he went walking it jiggled – like that,

The plume of The Pirate Dowdee.


It is true he was wicked as wicked could be, 

His sins outnumbered a hundred and three,

But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see,

The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

(-Mildred Merryman-)



(Family Gathering 2018)

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