Joshua & the Pirates

            Once upon a time, a little boy named Joshua had trouble sharing with his friend, Sean. One day, he wouldn’t let

Sean ride his bike, even though Sean’s bike had a flat tire. And, ten minutes later, he wouldn’t share his M & M’s. That’s when Joshua’s mother opened the door and called: “Young man, share some M & M’s with Sean, and then march right in here.” He shared, but he wasn’t happy.

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

            When Joshua got into the house, Mom put her hands on her hips and said, “I’m disappointed in you. Sean shares with you, but you don’t share with him, and that’s not fair. You’re just like a little pirate.”

            “I am?” asked Joshua. “Why?”

 

           Mother said, “Because pirates don’t share care, and they don’t care.”

           Mother told Joshua to sit on the couch and consider why sharing is good. “You need to learn to share with your friends. How must Sean feel? He probably wonders if you care at all, and I’m surprised he plays with you.”

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           Mother made supper while Joshua set his mind on mom’s idea, but his brain couldn’t find a good reason for sharing. “Sharing means you lose something,” he figured. “What’s good about that? Maybe I should run away someplace where I wouldn’t have to share. That would be so great.”

           Joshua lay down on the couch. “Perhaps lying down will help.” But it didn’t. He soon fell fast asleep and dreamed he was walking down by the ocean, and he spied a pirate ship docked there as he walked out onto the pier.

 

           “Wow,” he said to himself. “I’ve never seen a real pirate ship before, and I wonder what it’s doing here?”

As Joshua got near the ship, it startled him to see a pirate leaning against a light pole. The pirate was enormous, wore a bandana, had a scruffy beard, and had a nasty scar on his cheek. He also had a patch over one eye. “He’s scary,” thought Joshua and hurried to the other side of the pier.

            Joshua was almost past the pirate but was stopped when he growled, “Hey, kid.” Joshua nearly toppled into the water.

           “Who? Me?”

           “Yes, you. Would you like to be a pirate? We need another man.”

 

           Joshua’s eyes widened as he shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know how to be a pirate.”

 

          The pirate bent down, grabbed Joshua by the shoulders, and looked him straight in the eye until their noses almost touched. The pirate’s teeth showed as he snarled, “Do you like to share?”

           Joshua lowered his eyes and shook his head. “No. I’m sorry, but I’m not good at sharing, and mom says I’m terrible at sharing.”

          “Great,” boomed the big ol’ pirate as he slapped Joshua on the back. “But to make sure, I’ll test you. What if a friend asked to share your bicycle—would you?”

 

           “No,” said Joshua. “That happened today, and I didn’t share.”

 

           “Good for you, but would you share M & M’s?”

 

           “Nope. My friend asked for some today, and I wouldn’t share until my mom made me.”

 

           “Then you’d make a perfect pirate.”

           “I would?”

           “Of course, because pirates don’t share.”

           “I knew that,” said Joshua.

          “Everybody knows that,” said the pirate. “I bet your mother even knows that.”

          “Yes, she does.”

          “So, you want to join our crew? We have fun, and you never have to share.”

          “Sounds great,” said Joshua, and he followed the pirate onto the ship, where he met the other pirates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

         

          “This is Joshua,” said the pirate, “and he doesn’t share.”

          “Three cheers for Joshua. Yippee, yippee, yippee."

 

          “Yippee?” asked Joshua.

          “Yes, that's a bit immature, but you know they don't share so it fits them." Joshua smiled and enjoyed a tingle inside—the bested feeling ever. “Being a pirate is fantastic. Mom and dad never gave me three cheers.”

           The cook rang the dinner bell. The pirates about fell over themselves, rushing downstairs to the dining room. They filled the two benches, pounded on the long table, and yelled, “Food, food.” Since Joshua was the last one downstairs, there was no seat available.

 

          He asked a pirate, “Could you move down and share the bench, please?”

          With that, all the pirates turned toward Joshua, glared, and chanted: “We’re not fair, and we don’t care. We’re all pirates, and we don’t share.”

 

          Joshua’s eyes widened, and his mouth dropped open. What a shock. One pirate growled, “Stand at the end of the table and eat there.” Joshua wasn’t as happy anymore, and the happy tingle inside was gone.

          When the cook brought out the food, those pirates shocked Joshua again. Why they had no manners at all. They grabbed the food and ate as if they were starving, plus they yelled and stole food from one another. No one said “please pass anything.”

          “Boy, would mom teach them a thing or two about manners.” But mom wasn’t there, and Joshua needed food.

He asked nicely, “Hey, you guys. Could you please share some food with me?”

 

          But asking nicely didn’t help. The pirates stopped eating, turned toward Joshua, glared, and chanted: “We’re not fair, and we don’t care. We’re all pirates, and we don’t share.” They continued eating and yelling at each other. “Boy, Mom wouldn’t let them talk with their mouths full, and she would never allow yelling.” As he watched those pirates, he thought, “I bet pirates don’t have any friends if this is the way they act.”

          After supper, the pirates prepared the ship for tomorrow’s voyage. Joshua figured this was his chance to eat leftovers, but no food scraps remained. He couldn’t find anything under the table either—nothing! Poor Joshua didn’t get one bite of food for supper, so his tummy was growling and aching. They made him wash and dry all the dishes since he wasn’t big enough to do heavy ship work.

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           Later, Joshua was trying to forget about food, which he found difficult when the big ol’ pirate bellowed: “Time for bed. We’re sailing early in the morning.”

          The pirates jumped in their beds without even brushing or flossing their teeth. “Boy, would mom get on to them,” he thought, “no wonder they have bad breath.” 

 

          Unfortunately, there was no bed for Joshua. He noticed the big ol’ pirate had an enormous bed with plenty of room for two. Joshua walked over to him and whispered (so no one else would hear): “Mister, you have a big bed, and would you move over and share your bed like mom and dad used to do?”

          With that, the pirate grabbed Joshua by his shirt and said, “Look, kid. I’m not fair, and I don’t care. I’m a pirate, and I don’t share. You got that?”

           “Yes, sir,” said Joshua and turned away as a tear ran down his cheek. He had to sleep on the hard floor. Not only that, he had no sheets, blankets, or pillow. His body shivered, and his tummy hurt. He was cold, hungry, and miserable.

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

           Then he heard someone calling: “Wake up, Joshua. It’s time to eat.” But it wasn’t a pirate; it was mom. Joshua laughed in relief because he was so happy he was home. There was no yelling or grabbing food during this meal. No pirates here, just Mom and Dad.

           He looked at his mother and said, “Mom. I’ll never be a pirate again. From now on, I will always share.”

“That’s nice,” said Mom. Dad smiled and nodded.

 

          And Joshua never was a pirate again. Well, hardly ever.

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