There was a light breeze that sent a ripple over the lakes surface on that sunny afternoon. Whenever the breeze wold play across the lakes surface it looked as if a thousand Sun’s were sprinkled across it. Capt’n James sat high in his chair listening to the crackle of the walkie-talkie radio, while shouting instructions to his sailors abroad his battleship. To add more irons to the fire, he offered advise to his frigate boat Capt’n's, while waiting for the code to be transferred over the air.
“Listen First Mate Sally, be sure to fill your guns, and stand near the parrot, but don’t block it, okay?” Capt’n James said with a smile. The F-M Sally smiled back and nodded enthusiastically in understanding, while she readjusted her sparkly eye patch.
The “parrot” the Capt’n mentioned was, in fact, a clay pigeon that the P-Lake Pirate Association authorized for use, and was designated as the target for the “pirate battles” during this afternoons event. The boat owners who chose to participate, drew lots for team selection; red vs. blue; while taking their own children aboard their boat, as pirates, to have some fun. The goal of the game; besides getting wet; was to fire their squirt guns at one another while trying to break the other boats “parrots”; thereby rendering them sunk. The clay pigeons had a hole drilled in them, which allowed a string to be threaded through the hole, and then hung over the designated area of the boat, with care. The “parrot” could then be broken by squirt-gun fire…(not likely), super-soaker burst… (possible), water balloon grenade, or sword thrust… (most likely). Accidents could also smash a bird, ( no doubt, about this happening to at least a few boats), and it STILL counted against you. Blocking, or “protecting” your Parrot was strictly forbidden, and if discovered to have occurred results in, “walking the plank”, which in this case means, sinking your boat, taking all hands with it. Pirating on P-Lake promised to be a tough business! Frigates; which included row boats, canoes, paddle boats, and inner tubes had two parrots; one placed at the Bow, and one at the Stern; while battleships (Pontoon boats) had four parrots; one Bow, one Stern, one Port, and the other Starboard.
The battleships had a crew of 3+ children, while the lighter craft frigate had a crew of 1-2. The role of the frigate is to offer some protection of the teams battleship, who most likely stood a chance of defending against attack, and can offer sustain fire on an enemy frigate if lured close enough, to take out the other teams “Parrots” at any and every opportunity. Each “Capt’n” has a handheld radio so that could communicate within the battle group. To ensure the two teams would engage one another in battle, the “Mother’s” as they called, would secretly place a “Treasure Chest” on shore for the children to fight for. Once the chest was in place, they would cast hints for the kids to cipher over the hand held radios. The winner of the game was decided by either being the last team standing, or whichever team retrieved the treasure chest. The two teams floated about the lake taunting one another with team slogans, and occasion pot shots with super-soakers when in range, hoping to get a lucky hit on the other teams bird. Battle groups meandered around the lake waiting for the clue as to where the treasure lay, discussed strategy, and engaged enemy boats with water when necessary; for it was always necessary. When a clue was given the opposing teams worked their boats into a tactical position, as quickly as possible, hoping to put their teams boats in between the other teams boats, and where the treasure was supposed to lay. The two groups were adrift over by the beaver lodge performing weapons marksmanship, and qualification on the lilly pads under the hot sun, on a blue-sky afternoon; when the call came in.
“BATTLE-GROUPS! BATTLE-GROUPS! The treasure is located at Raccoon-Haven!”
Capt’n Fred looked at his crew, and smiled.
“Arrrrrgh…” He said as he leaned into the oars. He then directed one of his mates to hold up the radio as he shouted for his Battlegroup commander, Captain James, to come around and make way for his place, where the raccoon’s used to live. That is; until a NEW Captn’ came to town. Capt’n James turned the rudder, set the speed to three on the battery driven electric motor and laid a course for Capt’n Fred’s place while reminding the crew to look lively. They all just smiled excitedly.
Capt’n Joe; commander of the Sweet Mil 2; had just laid in a fresh supple of water balloons for the “Skallywags” on Capt’n James’ boat when they came into sight. Capt’n Shannon was now running the frigate, Sea Nymph, wide open at the speed of 5. However, when Capt’n Shannon first received the clue, he warned F-M Gavin to batten down the hatches and ordered the speed dials set to, TOP SPEED… which is 5.. Well, the old “Sea Nymph” eager to show her fighting spirit leaped up like a wild horse and immediately smashed her “Bow Parrot” against the bow itself smashing it to bits; and they very nearly lost her stern parrot when it submerged into P-Lake. Captain Shannon quickly dialed the speed down to to keep from losing her. Then he gradually increased the screw speed keeping the boat on a more even plane. The Sea-Nymph was the rear most boat, but he knew that She would catch up quick, and be in the battle soon.
As the Sea-Nymph was making way to get into the fight, The Sweet Mil 2 launched a volley of balloons that smashed the port side parrot of Capt’n James boat, taking that team down to three birds.
“Quick, run to the stern and launch some balloons at the boat coming up behind.” Capt’n James said to F-M Jake.
“I think we can out run her, Dad, if we hold course and speed. It’s a paddle boat, and their crew looks to be tired.” F-M Jake said.
Capt’n James smiled as he watched his F-M Sally launch a burst from her super soaker, soaking Captain Shannon’s back as the Sea-Nymph entered the fight, with first mate Gavin firing his super soaker at the Abel boat, catching both Cooper, and Capt’n Fred with the burst. At this, F-M Cooper drew his sword and challenged F-M Gavin to, “Try that again!” Giggling hysterically, F-M Gavin drew his own sword, and yelled; “Prepared to be boarded, Ye Dogs!” As F-M Maddie Sprayed Gavin with her gun. At this, everyone with in earshot laughed, including the mothers on shore who were gathering to watch as the sea battle drew near the shore.
With water flying about both battle groups as they neared Capt’n Fred’s dock, The prop driven boats discovered, to their great disappointment, that they would have a bugger of a time navigating the lilly pads, and the coon-tail weeds that grew thick in the shallows near the dock in question. These nasty plants could foul a prop quick as a sword-swipe. While the two Battle ship Capt’ns ciphered out their best play in light of the aquatic fawna, a fierce water war raged on, as one after another, the prop driven boats; including the James Boat, Sweet Mil 2, and some smaller unnamed vessels became tangled in the weeds, both the battleships themselves were stuck twenty feet from shore, the Sweet Mil 2 only ten feet from Fred’s dock. With nobody brave enough to leap for the dock, or into the muck filled mire that would suck a person in to their knees; the water balloons filled the air as each team sought to “sink” the others battleship by smashing their parrots.
By and by, each battleship stuck in the vegetative mire, was down to their last parrot as the smaller craft would sneak in to take a shot at the battleships. The battleships one advantage in this was that there last birds were facing the cat-tailed shoreline, and thus blocked from attack by the shallow water depth and coon-tail. Though, one carefully arching water balloon toss hit the James boat main balloon storage magazine destroying half of the boats balloon supply. While the jeers, and cheers of that incident filled the air, Capt’ns Fred, and Shannon saw an opportunity and acted upon it at the same time, and sped for Capt’n Joe’s dock. Capt’n Fred had the inside lane, and was rowing to beat the devil. While Capt’n Shannon relied on the power on his electric motor that produced 36 lbs. of thrust. Both boat were taking on water at a frightful pace as each capt’n fought for advantage to reach the dock first. Capt’n Shannon, with his bow parrot destroyed, and stern parrot intact, decided against exposing his backside to the enemy boat, reduced power, and quickly cut over, and while F-M Gavin readied himself at the bow reapplied full power, thereby pulling up behind Capt’n's Fred’s boat while F-M Gavin reached out with his sword and smashed Capt’n Fred’s stern parrot to smither’s. Sensing the move, Capt’n Fred directed his mates to concentrate their fire into the wildly laughing F-M of the Sea-Nymph.
Accepting the loss of the stern parrot, the nearer they drew to the goal, Capt’n Fred ducked is boat to the starboard, under the gentle shouts of his F-M Son Cooper toward the near side of Capt’n Joe’s dock, while Capt’n Shannon took the far side. All at once F-M Gavin, Cooper, and Maddie all drew swords and took to blasting at one another with chops and hacks under the shade of a tall, poplar tree, trying desperately to smash the parrots that hung around their necks should a land battle occur.
One of the Mother shouted for the children to be careful, and not cut their bare-feet on the broken parrot pieces. To which Capt’n Fred shouted; “ARRRRRRRGGGGG… They don’t have B-E-A-R FEET, they got PEOPLE-FEET!!!”
Everyone in listening distance roared with laughter at Capt’n Fred witty comment; including the children. Unfortunately, while they were distracted a water filled balloon fired from the James boat smashed F-M Cooper square in the chest taking his parrot out in the process, thereby leaving F-M Gavin and Maddie to duke it out on shore, while water mayhem continued near the Abel dock.
One of the braver souls from the Sweet Mil 2 boat leaped overboard into the muck and immediately sank to his knees. While rescue attempts were being made by his ship-mates, the other boats in the area saw it as an opportunity to take the entire battleship crew out, and did so by moving in to the shallows, near the big willow tree, by canoe, to take a poke at the parrot, which was hidden from view. And thus did all hands of the Sweet Mil 2, sink from the fight.
At exactly the same moment, both F-M Maddie and Gavin thought that making a grab for the Treasure, might be the best move and raced to where the chest lay. Reports from the “mothers”, who witnessed the land battle in full, indicated that it was to close to call, and thus the first treasure hunt of the P-Lake Pirates Association ended in a draw.