After lunch I was milling about in the area between the old and new duck. While there I noticed a father pulling a wagon. His wife was slightly in front of him carying their very young daughter. The wagon contained varyied items one would associate with young children and also contained a childs pirate hat.
“‘cuse me sir but ya seem to be missin’ yet pirate.”
Chuckling the father responded, “oh he’s up ahead. Hey Ryan! Come look, it’s a real pirate!”
At that I suddenly found myself in the company of a 3 yr old, slightly bashfull boy wearing a treasure map shirt. He, apparently feeling under dressed, scrambled for the hat in the wagon and as fast as possible had it on his head. He then stood staring at me, his eyes as big as saucers. I asked him if he was having a good time. He said “oh yes!” then I asked him to tell me of all the things he had seen. He talked of the joust and a dragon and something else I couldn’t understand. “you know, you can’t be a proper pirate without a message in a bottle.” so I handed him a bottle and he grinned ear to ear. So then I asked him if he had ever rowed a boat before. He didn’t seem to sure so I offered him an oar, which he happily took. Then, placing his bottle in his pocket, he began to follow me around in a wide circle around his parents. Dad whipped out the camera and began to take pictures. After one loop I decided to let Ryan take the lead. “where should we go lad?”
“we have to follow the river all the way around over to that castle”
“Oh, of course! Lead on cap’n”
So off we paddled again around the parents, with a stop to fix his hat, then we set a straight course for the dungeon tour. After arriving Ryan said “come on we have to explore in there.” I back pedaled a bit with a “well I think we better talk to your parents about that first”. Dad stepped up to the plate and took him in, leavin mom and sister alone.
I spoke with mom and the sister a little and learned that Ryan has been just obsessed with pirates the past few months. She thanked me repeatedly for playing with him, and tried to tip me. I insisted that I could not accept tips but that if she felt the need, find a muscian and give it to them on my behalf.
Four hours later I saw Ryan boarding the dreadnaught happy as could be. I called out an “ahoy” and the mothers face lit up. She and little sister came over and again thanked me and informed me she had indeed tipped the limey birds.