Friday, December 28, 2012

On the Fifth day of Christmas…The Duckies Made Me Sing, Five Sea Shanties!

On the Fifth day of Christmas…The Duckies Made Me Sing, Five Sea Shanties!

            Anne Drew wiggled through a crowed and plopped down next to John T Hawser, her fellow sailor, at the biggest table and snatched up a chicken leg from a platter of food. Everyone was crowded around this table, talking and laughing, and there was even a little bit of singing from the Bristol Buskin Frolic down at the far end.
“How’s your head Anne?” John inquired.
“Hurts a bit,” Anne admitted. She didn’t like to advertise injuries. “How’s your back?”
“It’s doing fair enough.” John nodded. The life of a sailor wasn’t easy on anyone. Each member of the crew of the Gabriel had his (or her) own small aches and pains they managed. “Nice to be back on land.”
“Can I get you gentlemen some Adam’s Ale?” asked Kate of the Dirty Duck Inn, ever ready with a pitcher of Adam’s Ale to quench the thirst of the Duck’s guests.
“Aye, please!” Anne held out her mug and Kate poured a generous amount into her cup. “Grammercy.”
            “Will ye sailors be gracing us this evening with some music, mayhap?” Kate inquired. “We haven’t had any shanties for such a long time.”
Anne and John looked to each other and shrugged. “If the Captain agrees to leadin’ I don’t see why not.” Anne looked about for Captain Frobisher. “CAPT’N!” She shouted.”
WHAT?” Came the roaring reply from a dusky corner of the Duck.
John raised his eyebrows. “Well, you’ve distracted him.” He gave Anne a nudge.
Anne tiptoed her way over to where her Captain had been busy with Chastity Trollop. Now he was vaguely annoyed at being interrupted. Deciding to play the ignorance of her captain’s romancing, Anne took a bracing swig of Adam’s Ale. “We’ve been requested to sing some sea shanties.”
“Can’t you see I’m busy?” Frobisher protested. Chastity, however, looked mildly interested in participating with the shanties. She had a few songs of her own that got a crowd laughing and singing along.
“They promised free something-or-other.” Anne lied, taking another drink of Adam's Ale. She hoped that she could wheedle a mug of mulled cider out of Master Peter Cabot, the owner of the Dirty Duck Inn.
“Free?” Frobisher’s ears perked up.
“Why not?” Chastity stood up, to Frobisher’s great disappointment, and the trio made their way towards the main throng of guests. Kate was already standing atop a cleared table (how the ducks managed that is simply impressive and nothing short of a miracle!) and was talking up something she called the “Shipwreck Shanty Show.”
“Can I join in?” Came two voices at Anne’s elbow. Maggie Pie, and Lettuce Gardener two inhabitants of Bristol who possessed lovely singing voices. Maggie’s fellow co-worker, Lefty the Ingles-man (who spoke an extraordinary amount of Spanish for one native to London), joined the group claiming that he knew all about shanties from having lived in one.
“Why not?” Frobisher agreed. “Oy! John, get up here!”
Within minutes the small group of shanty singers had grown to a chorus, still vastly outnumbered by the guests of the Duck. With a quick word to Mast Peter Cabot about the Captain’s free drink, Anne took a perch on the edge of the table and joined into a very loud and multi-keyed rendition of “Pay Me, You Owe Me.”
Much laughter and five songs later, the Bristol Buskin Frolic took over with some merry Yuletide songs and the shanty-sing turned dispersed. Captain Frobisher, with his “free” mug of mulled cider, had sat himself by Captain Hawkyns and Drake and was regaling them with much embellished tales of his latest voyage to the arctic. John yawned and said that he thought that he’d better get some shut eye for the night while there was still a bed to rent in the Inn.
Anne found herself a solitary position, leaning against a standing beam and just taking in the warmth that emanated from not only the fire, but also the people reveling and merrymaking. It felt good to be back in Bristol. 


I finished this and posted it before 9pm!!! YAY! I haven't liked needing to post things late. Makes me antsy. As always, I hope that you are enjoying these stories and shall post again tomorrow! 

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