The Pirate Gold Adventure
Sogwa and Mischief met one day in the City That Only Kids Can See, also called the Kiddy City. They were shopping for Halloween, the Kiddy City’s biggest holiday. Halloween there is celebrated twice; with trick-or-treating and with freaky house parties.Sogwa said, “Maybe I’ll get a pirate costume.”
Mischief said, “Then what’ll I go as?”
Sogwa teased, “Why not a parrot?”
Mischief said, “No!”
Sogwa mewed, “Aw, you’d make a great pirate’s parrot!”
Mischief squeaked, “No!! Besides, there were no pirates!”
“Oh yes there were!”
“Oh no there weren’t!”
Sogwa said, “Yes there were, and I can prove it by finding pirate gold.”
Mischief said, “You’ll never find any pirates, or any pirate gold.”
“You wanna bet?”
“All right, you’re on!” said Mischief. “For what stakes?”
Sogwa thought about it. “How about, one hour tidying up the winner’s house.”
“And the winner gets a new movie disc?”
So that was their bet.
But how to learn the truth about pirates and their gold? Sogwa and Mischief went to visit their friend, the Sphinx Cub, daughter of the Sphinx, who knew kiddy-riddle magic.The Sphinx Cub told them, “To learn the truth about pirates and their gold, go to the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. There summon two cat-god spirits; one will be good, the other one evil; make sure which one is which! Destroy the evil spirit, listen to the good spirit, and then take a time trip.”
To speed them on their way, the Sphinx Cub taught them these riddle-spells; the Chicken, the Walls, the Fireman, the Days, the Dog, the Elephant, and the Woodchuck.
Sogwa and Mischief thanked the Sphinx Cub, then left to begin their quest.
Mischief said, “What’ll we start with?”
Sogwa said, “Why not the Chicken?”Mischief said, “Okay! So riddle me this. Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Sogwa said, “To get to the other side.”
A portal opened, and it took them far away; for they had done the Teleportation Spell.
They teleported to the base of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. From there they went through the entrance, and down a dark corridor. Squeaky Mischief lead the way, seeing by sonar. He took Sogwa down, down, down to the King’s Chamber.Mischief said, “Now let’s do the Walls.”
Sogwa said, “Okay! So riddle me this. What did one wall say to the other?”
Mischief said, “Meet you at the corner!”
Two spirits appeared; for they had done the Summoning Spell.
The spirits were twin cat-gods, one good, one evil. Which one was which?Sogwa said to the spirits, “Are you really what you seem to be? Can you prove that you exist? Maybe you’re a dream, or an illusion, or a trick. Prove to me that you’re for real!”
The spirit on the right said, “How dare you question me! I am always right! Obey me!”
The spirit on the left said, “Of course you can doubt me. Listen, and judge for yourself.”
With a loud yowl, Sogwa attacked the spirit on the right. She clawed, she slashed, she hacked, she did kitty kung-fu. Mischief hung upside-down in a corner and watched. He was glad to stay out of her way. Soon Sogwa was in a cloud of shredded ectoplasm.
“Where is it?” she screeched.
Mischief said, “It’s gone.”
“I was just getting started!”
So Sogwa calmed down, sat down, licked her paws, and purred. She said to the spirit that was left, “O wise and good spirit, please help us! Find us the pirates and their gold.”
Sogwa and Mischief went down that hallway. At its end they found a wall, with a map carved on it. The map was of the pirate’s Caribbean hideout.
Sogwa and Mischief memorized the map; then they retraced their steps, and left the Great Pyramid. Once they were under open sky they did the Fireman Riddle.
Sogwa said, “Riddle me this. Why does a fireman wear red suspenders?”
Mischief said, “To hold his pants up.”
They flew off into the air; for they had done the Levitation Spell.
Mischief and Sogwa flew far and fast. They hurtled a quarter-way around the world, and landed in the Caribbean, on an island, on a sandy beach. There were no pirates there anymore; so it was time to do the Days Riddle.
Sogwa said, “All of them!”
They teleported back in time to the pirate days; for they had done the Time-Travel Spell.
When they saw the pirates, the pirates saw them. Right away the pirates attacked, waving cutlasses. To defend themselves, Sogwa and Mischief did the Dog Riddle. Sogwa said, “Riddle me this. My dog has no nose; so how does he smell?”
A horrible odor arose; for they had done the Stink Spell. The pirates fled the stench. They ran to the dock and onto their ship. Once aboard, they aimed their cannons.
To defend themselves, Sogwa and Mischief did the Elephant Riddle. Mischief said, “Riddle me this. What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence?”
Sogwa said, “Time to get a new fence.”
The pirate ship shattered into flinders; for they had done the Demolition Spell.
The pirates swam out of the wreckage of their broken ship and paddled to shore. Mischief said to them, “Surrender now!”
How could the pirates refuse an offer like that? They surrendered.
Mischief said, “Now tell us! Where’s your pirate gold?”Darkbeard, the pirate captain, said, “Our gold?”
Sogwa said, “Give us the truth!”
Darkbeard said, “Arrr... the truth? That we can give ye.”
Sogwa demanded, “What’s the truth?”
Darkbeard said, “That there be no pirate gold!”
Mischief said, “None at all?”
“Once there be, but now no more!”
Sogwa asked, “What happened to it?”
“We spent it!”
Mischief asked, “On what?”
Darkbeard said, “On worthless junk! On gadgets that break! On talking toys and gnarly battle cards! On software and upgrades! On the batteries not included! Arrr! We spent it on sneakers, baseball caps and T-shirts! We spent it on super-squirters, digital pets and bling! We spent it on a wide-screen TV! And of course we spent it on candy!”
Sogwa said, “Candy? But you’re grown men!”
“Aye, candy! For sugar be rare and precious upon the high seas. There be a fine price for sweets. Most prized of all be the Food of the Gods!”
Mischief said, “What’s the Food of the Gods?”
Darkbeard said, “Chocolate! Well I remember when first I met the chocolate dealer. He said, the first M&M be free! So I tried one, and ever since then I be chocolate’s slave!”
Sogwa said, “Is any gold left at all?”
Darkbeard said, “What pirate ever saved money? We spent our last rusty zinc cent to buy half a Skittle. What be worse, that wide-screen TV, which cost a bloody treasure-chest full of gold, why it showed us an ad, and that ad was for a toy, and that toy costs two treasure chests full of gold! Arrr! Ye canna win!” And Darkbeard wept.
But Mischief said, “What’s in all those barrels that are washing to shore?”
Darkbeard said, “That trash? It be nothing but our scrimshaw. We had a hundredweight of fake whale-bone, we had knives, and we had time upon our hands; so we doodled a bit.”
Sogwa opened a barrel. She said, “But it’s beautiful!”
And it was. In their spare time, and on fake whale-bone, the pirates had carved pictures of fish, and seagulls, and dolphins, and whales, and billowing sails under a sky full of clouds. The pirate scrimshaw showed pursuits, and battles, and victories and defeats. Their scrimshaw showed beautiful sunsets and ugly pirates; and even the ugly pirates were beautiful.
Mischief said, “This ought to be worth some money.”
“Arrr...” said Darkbeard. “Even though it be fake?”
Sogwa said, “It’s on fake whale-bone, but it’s real scrimshaw, so it’s real enough.”
“That’s Art!” said Mischief.
Darkbeard said, “And if I find a market for this here... art?”
Sogwa said, “Then you shall eat chocolate again!”
Darkbeard said, “Does art pay any better than piracy?”
Mischief said, “It pays twice as well!”
Darkbeard said, “But twice nothing still be nothing.”
Sogwa said, “Will you try anyhow?”
“Aye,” said Darkbeard, “if ye fix me ship, as ye promised!”
Mischief asked Sogwa, “What’ll do it?”
Sogwa said, “What but the Woodchuck?”
Mischief said, “Okay! So riddle me this. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?”
Sogwa said, “A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would, if a woodchuck would chuck wood.”
The broken wood flew into the air, and wove itself together, and rejoined to make a ship again; for they had done the Mind-Over-Matter Spell.
Darkbeard thanked Sogwa and Mischief; then the pirates sailed off to market, with a cargo of real scrimshaw on fake whale-bone.
Sogwa said, “Why not the Chicken?”
Mischief said, “But that’s an old joke!”
Sogwa said, “It was always old. So riddle me this. Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Mischief sighed; then he said, “To get to the other side.”
A portal opened, and they teleported back to the City That Only Kids Can See.
Once home they admitted that they both won and they both lost.
“For I said there were pirates, and pirate gold,” said Sogwa.
“And I said there was neither,” said Mischief. “But there were some pirates.”
“But there wasn’t any pirate gold,” said Sogwa.
So they agreed to take an hour each tidying up each other’s homes. After that they got each other new movie discs.
That Halloween, Sogwa went as a pirate, and Mischief went as a parrot.