mermaid plait

Seven retired sea captains

1. John F., 82. Claimed to have sailed on the Mayflower, the Erebus, the Lusitania, the Lisbon Maru and the Sloop John B. On closer inspection had been renaming pedaloes at the local boating lake. Possessed a fetching swan neck and a great pair of pedalling thighs. Once laughed in the face of a choppy Northerly.

2. Lord Sir B. de F., 67. Both feet up to the knee in Davey Jones’ locker. Creaks in the Northerly Wind. Once sat for the portrait on a bottle of rum.

3. Captain Q., 99. Fishy. Had her beard plaited by mermaids in ‘67 and has kept them in ever since. Hears bells in the deep. Also bells everywhere else too. It is possible the mermaids put bells in the beard, they are tricky like that.

4. Admiral Gruff, 201, owner of a lonely heart. Deceased. We have tried to remind him of this last fact many times. He never would listen. That is how he came to get deceased in the first place. Anyhow, if you want to hear some salty tales his is the grave at the top of the cliff, knock once and ask for Gerald.

5. Mme. Carruthers de Squawk, 88. A dashing figure in a frock coat. Once surfed across the Mediterranean on a ship’s biscuit. Best known for putting one too many r’s in 'Arr!’. Inventor of the pineapple.

6. Captain M., 12. Captaining backward. Will shortly be finishing up his retirement and taking up a place on a grizzled sort of last voyage across some unknown sea or other. Has drunk of the cherryade of the fishes. You met him once in Cromer but neither of you remember it. Heave ho.

7. Captain B.-E., 87. Known for his fingers. Most fingers of any captain ever. Whole cabins full of the things. More fingers than you. Still never got the hang of the piano. Rumours that he was the walrus are untrue.