Gather round gentle readers for I have a tale to tell which will chill the hearts of landlubbers and salty seadogs alike. Close the curtains and brighten the lights for you will not want to see the dark and shady corners. Check the locks on the windows and the bolts on the doors. Are you settled? Then this tale I will begin.
Twas the last day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand and seven. The stout ship Paragon was safely anchored off the ancient port of Marin on the fair isle of Martinique .
The day dawned bright with the lightest of zephyrs to make ripples on the azure sea.
Able Seaman Sharon was up early to catch the sun rising.
Having started the morning's brew she mounted the companionway steps and flung back the hatch. A scream to curdle the blood of many a strong man came forth,
for there nay more than a foot from her head was the hugest, grossest rat that ever stirred from the dark regions of this earth.
Cap'n Andrew, recognising the cry of distress leapt from his bunk to give aid.
Stealthily creeping along the combing was the largest rat the crew had encountered in their voyages in foreign seas. Its body alone was twenty inches, its tail the same again.
Its eyes were pink and the tail was scaly,
it stood shoulder high to the foresail winch, a height of ten inches no less. Its coarse and oily hair was brown and rank with dockyard slime. With no respect to rank and authority it continued to amble its way aft. Cap'n Andrew and Able Seaman Sharon stood plotting. How could a rodent of such proportions be removed from the Good Ship Paragon?
With great stealth and courage the Cap'n walked the deck.
Dorades were examined but no rat was seen. All hatches and portholes were barred so it had not gone down below. This careful investigation showed the entrance point of this rancid rodent. The anchor chain had been climbed from waterline to deck
and yet the boat was anchored near quarter of mile from shore! A marathon swim indeed! Eventually discovery was made of scratches on the aft freeboard.
Sir Mighty Rodent had not found the Good Ship Paragon to his liking and sought other boats for his breakfast feast.
The crew rejoiced and broke fast with strong coffee and soft white bread. Here was a tale to tell in the harbourside taverns that would earn them many a tankard of ale!
P.S. No we hadn't spent too long in the rum locker! This is a true tale just to prove that there are the occasional glitches in Paradise !