Đăng vào lúc 02:16 25/06/2015 bởi Đỗ Thị Hải Yến
Captain Blackheart sends a ransom note to Jack’s Dad, demanding money in return for Jack’s safe delivery home. The note is carried by a parrot who likes to stop off for snacks along the way. But the big question in Jack’s mind is ‘ Will Dad pay up?” Listen to find out.
Read by Natasha (who really enjoys doing Captain Blackheart). Duration 14 minutes.
Just in case you can’t quite remember what happened so far, Jack was a boy of seven who went off to sailing school one summer. But there was a bit of a mix-up…and Jack found himself at pirate school instead. But the lunch they made was so disgusting, Jack was sick. And Captain Blackheart decided to put him up for ransom.
Now, I’ll begin….
“For ransom…” cried Jack.
“Aye, lad,” said Captain Blackheart. “I reckon your parents will pay a pretty penny to get you back. Better that than see you walk the plank…”
“Walk the plank…” cried Jack.
“Well, of course,” said Ben the cabin boy. “Anyone doesn’t pay the ransom, we make them walk the plank. But don’t worry. The sharks will eat you in no time.”
Jack felt even queasier after that.
“Black Spot,” cried Captain Blackheart. “Bring me that parrot.”
Jack watched while the ugly looking pirate called Black Spot walked across that deck. On his shoulder, there was the very same parrot who he had seen at the railway station.
“Walk the plank, walk the plank,” squawked the parrot.
“Shaddup, you stupid bird,” growled Black Spot.
From his overcoat, Captain Blackheart pulled out a piece of parchment, and a bottle of ink. He grabbed hold of the parrot, plucked out a feather, and dipped it into the ink.
“Ouch, that hurt,” screeched the parrot.
“One more squawk out of you, bird, and you’ll be going in the stew,” snarled Captain Blackheart.
“What was that?”
“I said, which stew,” squawked the parrot.
“Shaddup,” yelled Captain Blackheart.
Then he looked at Ben, handed him the feather and told him to start writing. Because Ben, it turned out, was the only person on the ship who could read and write, even though he was only the cabin boy.
Captain Blackheart scratched his chin with his hook, and tried to think.
“To Jack’s parents,” he began.
And then he looked at Ben. “Are you writing this down?”
“Yes, sir,” said Ben.
“Very well,” said Captain Blackheart. “To Jack’s Parents. Allow me the honour of introducing myself. My name is Captain Blackheart, the meanest, cruellest, black-hearted ruffian of the seven seas and the five oceans, and I am honoured, sir, to make your acquaintance. Into my possession has fallen a boy called Jack, whom I believe is your son — although you must be ashamed of the lilly-livered little land-lubber, and I could hardly blame you for dis-owning the cowardly wretch completely.”
“On first acquiring the said boy, my plan was to enrol Jack in my pirate school. I’d have taught him all the skills he needed for a life of mayhem, skull-duggery and piracy on the high seas. And yet, on the first day here, he has been sick. He doesn’t like the food, and he doesn’t care much for the waves either. In short, I am forced to conclude that he is nothing but a lilly-livered land-lubber.
“Therefore, I have no use for him. I will return him to you for a ransom of one million pounds, paid in gold bullion, or treasure. If we have not received the money in seven days, then Jack will be forced to walk the plank. And you will never see him again.
Yours in dastardly anticipation,
Ps If you happen to have a spare treasure map, please send that as well.”
The Captain rested for a moment. “Have you got that, lad,” he said, looking towards Ben.
“Indeed, I have Captain,” said Ben.
“But, but…” started Jack.
“Be quiet,” growled Captain Blackheart.
“Be quiet, be quiet, be quiet,” squawked the parrot.
“Silence,” roared Captain Blackheart.
He folded up the letter, pressed a seal of a skull and cross-bones into it, and handed it across to the parrot.
“Now, deliver that to Jack’s parents, you useless bird,” he said.
And the parrot flapped his wings, and flew away.
Oh no, though Jack, as Ben led him down to galley.
What’s Dad going to say when he gets that?
I’m in trouble now.
The wind was blowing hard, and the ship was rocking from side to side.
Jack lay down in the hammock in the cabin.
He suddenly remembered what Dad had said to him about not being captured by pirates while he was away at pirate school.
And Jack had said not to worry. He’d just fight them off with his cutlass.
Oh no, thought Jack.
Maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
Now they are going to make me walk the plank.
And the sharks will eat me.
Now, it took the parrot quite a long time to fly all the way to Jack’s house.
That’s partly because a storm was bowing across the ocean.
And partly because he wasn’t a very fast parrot.
But mainly because he kept stopping for little snacks along the way.
Still, finally he got there.
And when the parrot arrived, he could see Jack’s six sisters. And they had just organised a tea party for their dolls in the garden.
The parrot dropped down to the ground, with the letter in its beak.
And all the sisters flapped around, shouting and shrieking.
“I’m looking for Jack’s Dad,” said the parrot.
And, whilst he was at it, he gabbed a bit of the doll’s cake and ate it all up.
One of the little girls rushed inside shouting. “Dad, dad, there’s a parrot here to see you.”
But Jack’s Dad thought it was just a joke.
Eventually he came outside, and saw a slightly podgy looking parrot polishing off its third helping of cake.
And there was a letter at its side.
He picked up the letter and started to read.
And scratched his head.
And then he started to laugh.
“It says Jack’s been captured by pirates, and is being held to ransom,” he said.
“Oh, that’s just Jack with his silly pirate games,” said one of the sisters.
“Remember he said he’d fight them off with his plastic cutlass,” said another.
“You are quite right,” Jack’s Dad decided.
And he sat down to write a reply.
“Dear Captain Blackheart,” he began. “I too am honoured to make your acquaintance, dear sir. My son Jack, far from being a lily-livered land lubber is the bravest boy who ever sailed the seven seas. He assured me personally, before he left, that if he was captured by pirates he would fight the rascals off with his cutlass.
No force on earth can keep him prisoner, and certainly not the cowardly Captain Blackheart.
Your faithful servant,
P.S. Your parrot has eaten all my cake.”
And when he was finished, he handed the letter across to the parrot. “Now take that back to the Captain, fatso bird,” he said. “And don’t delay.”
The parrot flapped its wings, but was finding it quite hard to fly, on account of all the cake he had just eaten.
He flew across the land, and then over the sea.
Until finally he landed on Captain Blackheart’s pirate ship.
“Ah-ha,” cried the Captain. “So you’ve returned, my pretty bird. Let’s us see how soon that stupid boy’s father plans to pay us our treasure.”
Jack was already hard at work scrubbing the floor of the ship.
He watched as Captain Blackheart handed the letter to Ben — because he was the only person who could read.
And Ben started to read….
“Dear Captain Blackheart,” he began. “I too am honoured to make your acquaintance, dear sir. My son Jack, far from being a lily-livered land lubber is the bravest boy who ever sailed the seven seas. He assured me personally, before he left, that if he was captured by pirates he would fight the rascals off with his cutlass.”
Oh no, thought Jack.
I was only joking.
And he could see captain Blackheart growing redder and redder and redder…as if he was about to explode.
“No force on earth can keep him prisoner, and certainly not the cowardly Captain Blackheart,” continued Ben. “Your faithful servant, Jack’s Dad.”
There was a silence on board the ship.
All the pirates were standing still, looking at the deck.
And all you could hear was the rustling of the wind in the sails.
Whilst Captain Blackheart turned red, then green…then purple.
“PREPARE THE PLANK!” he roared suddenly.
And he looked at Jack. “Your father has gravely insulted this ship, sir,” he snarled. “And one week from today, you will walk the plank.”
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