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The Prairie Schooner

35 Years of Fine Art and Fine Craft on “the quiet side” Fiber Art | Yarn | Handweavings Felt | Pottery Open Noon to 5 PM daily (closed Tuesday) 3831 Clark Lake Road – Sturgeon Bay, near Jacksonport (920) 743-1560 1½ miles east of Hwy 57 on County WD

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” DR. SEUSS

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3831 Clarks thin Lakeshafts Roadof wheat seared did. It was a magnificent ship, and would of seemingly 1½ milesthe east Hwy 57 onitCounty serve us well as we began making way. airof toward us as becameWD apparent Surgeon near Jacksonport While upon the waters, we each uponBay, nearing that this was a volley of 920-743-1560 performed our duties as we saw fit. The arrows. Some thudded as they burrowed lookouts, John and Joel, climbed the into our masts and gunwales. The rest www.whitefi masts, leaning out from the yards to better whistled overhead and all around our search for whatever might come our way sides like a hoard of unearthly wraiths. by manner of fortune or imagining. I was These mercifully only found the ocean to happiest walking the deck from fore to their end, and not muscle, bone, or flesh. aft and back again, checking on all the The advantage was now with us, as their many facets of marine engineering that a store of arrows was half depleted and we good master ought to keep stock of. Kathy had not yet begun to fire at what now had was at the helm, finding a pliable branch become even closer range. Kathy yelled with which to swing the rudder port or “Fire!” as she turned the rudder into the starboard, depending on contrary wind savage flotilla. Our cap pistols barked, direction, current change, or other whim of sending up our own cloud, this time of the sea or spirit. smoke from the black powder contained As most spring weather goes, it was a in the narrow strips of paper ammunition usual blustery day, and provided us with with which they were loaded. The heathens excitement as the deck rocked beneath were terrified at the sound. They had our feet from it, making footing precarious neither seen such a sight as our courage, for the sailor of little or no experience in nor the superiority of our weapons and the ways of the wind upon the water. Our resolve. Their chief made some sort of youngest shipmate, Joel, was walking guttural utterance, intelligible only to aft to explore another mast, one he had those of his fellows, at which they all broke not yet climbed, when a sudden gust of heading and made a half circle with their wind rolled the deck hard and sent him canoes, paddles flailing at the water in over the gunwales. “Man overboard!” was attempt to get away from us. Our merciful shouted, followed by cries of “Shark!” and spirits took pity on them as we ceased fire all seamen on watch came running to lend and watched them land their boats and hand to retrieve him from the threatening take foot upon the beach and run, only to deep. It spat him back out at us as we become lost in the thick jungle overgrowth grappled at his arms and legs, pulling him that was their island. Kathy spun the wheel aboard. He was none the worse for wear, seaward, and we once again continued our albeit embarrassed for the likes of it. No journey, this time with greater caution. other mishaps of ill-advised foot placement Eight bells. High noon. Dead calm. were recorded in the ship’s log that day, Our enthusiasm flagged. Hot, and adrift as all took heed of what had happened, without the ether’s push behind us. We felt and what acting without regard for the depleted and unsure of what to do next. unexpected meant while at sea. Restlessness invaded our disposition, Tired from the averted disaster and but yet each was filled with a fatigue that selfless acts of heroism, we now all lay prevented us from carrying on. Then, prone upon the deck with eyes closed, suddenly, a harkening from one of the deeply drinking of the warm sun upon distant islands off our starboard quarter our faces, and were made drowsy by was heard. “Lunch!” With this rousing the rhythmic rocking of the deck as the call, Kathy and I headed off back home wind lulled us as if back in our cradles of for provisions. John and Joel went off to perhaps ten years previous. To an observer, their respective island for the same, and I’m sure we appeared as turtles lined along we agreed to muster back at the ship a half submerged log, soaking in the sun afterward when we would be refreshed and rays to warm their blood. So it was with fit again. us, taking advantage of what nature had to We all had a fine mess, returned to our offer for our growth and well being. vessel, finding our vigor restored, and After a time, my reverie was shaken continued on our journey of discovery. with a shout of “Cannibals! All hands on There were a few more challenging Deck! Man the guns!” And sure enough, encounters that afternoon with a the ever aware and sharp-eyed John had hurricane, as the wind had come up again, spotted three canoes heading our way, and pirates. The pirates went much the as while at rest, we had approached an same way as the cannibals, having no uncharted island unawares. I could hear stomach for the staunch resistance as the thrumming cadence of the lead canoe’s what we gave. Our cannon came into play chief metering out a beat the paddlers as we loosed our shot at them, wrecking followed, making them appear at a distance their vessel for strategic maneuvering, as some sort of mechanical toy with leaving it seaworthy enough to employ their simultaneous stroke. But, mark my their retreat. We found these actions to not word, they were no toy. Never was seen be as extensive as those experienced in the such a band of savage and bloodthirsty morning, and were over much sooner once renegades. Wild hair and painted faces they had begun. Perhaps it was due to our marked their visage, a sight one might have increased maturity in dealing with such easily thought up in a nightmare. They threats, that they were disposed of more approached. expediently than were our earlier dealings We took up arms. Being the individuals with untried ventures. of proper deportment that we were, we The rest of the voyage was peaceful, and held our breath and waited, keeping our we had time for reflecting conversation, fire until the foe committed to battle by free from further imagined challenge. making the first offense. Then, a cloud We spoke more of what were our actual


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Peninsula Pulse - 2017 Hal Prize - August 4-11, 2017 v23i31  

Each fall, the Peninsula Pulse newspaper in Door County, Wisconsin invites people of all ages, backgrounds and artistic abilities to submit...

Peninsula Pulse - 2017 Hal Prize - August 4-11, 2017 v23i31  

Each fall, the Peninsula Pulse newspaper in Door County, Wisconsin invites people of all ages, backgrounds and artistic abilities to submit...