Chloe Ann’s daddy asked too many questions.
Do you know why the grass is green?
Do you know why you hiccup?
Do you know what the best part of eating your daily orange is?
Ha! That was easy. There was no best part to eating a mushy, stringy orange—unless it was bear-cading your teeth with the peel.
The Vitamin C helps your immune system—so you don’t get sick.
Don’t care ‘bout getting sick, Daddy.
Oh, you’ve never had scurvy, Ann.
The yellow sunshiny rays prodded Scurvy Ann awake. Being a responsible pirate, she yawned only once before feeling under her fluffy pillow for her eye-patch and hook. And she allowed herself only one stretch, but it wasn’t long as her toes strained against the ends of her pink bunny-rabbit-fake-flannel-fire-poof-footsie-pajamas. Her legs had become as long as her strawberry-blonde hair, which is the perfect kind of hair for twirling around hooks. And twirling is the perfect kind of activity when pirates plot their pirately exploits.
She hopped out of bed (what choice did she have wearing bunny-rabbit pajamas?) and into the kitchen, It was a light hop so as not to disturb sleeping scallywags. Except for Murphy, a big galoot of a furry animal with little grace or purpose in life but for digging holes. Their backyard was on the verge of becoming one gigantuous sinkhole like the one her daddy had shown her on the six o’clock news.
He was also a dog of excellent hearing.
"Move over, Murphy,” Scurvy Ann ordered, giving a mammoth tug to the suctiony ‘frigerator door. The bin holding the evil oranges was easy pleasey—fortunately.
Unfortunately, large spherical fruits are somewhat tricky to maneuver with one hand and a hook, so Scurvy Ann being the innovative type, prudently stuffed the oranges into her pajamas bottoms.
With four in each leg, she waddled out to the backyard, (Murphy at her side, perplexed) and unloaded the booty into two of the dog’s smaller canyons.
Heave to ye grossness! Her mother couldn’t make her eat gagging squishiness today. No ye hornswaggler. The oranges were GONE.
She hopped quickly back into the house and her room.
It was Saturday—play-clothes day, and there they lay on her wicker chair next to Paddington Bear. Scurvy Ann whisked them to the side with a mighty swipe of her hook.
The right side of her closet was full of the frill she loved(secretly, as it would be frowned upon in pirate circles). Lace and grow-grain and Swiss-cheese dot. Mmmmmm.
She picked the special dress her mother had made with the Peter Pan collar—shiver me timber.
Scurvy Ann frowned.
Her mother asked a lot of questions, too.
Do you know want me to add gingham, or rick-rack, or ribbon to this dress?
All of them.
She was dressed now and madly ecstatic that the only pulpy oranges eaten this day would be the ones the lonesome seagulls pecked at on lonesome shores.(Lonesomely).
“ARG!” growled the wild-haired pirate, brandishing her hook as she stomped into the kitchen.
“There be no sunshine here!”
“I’ll remember that. If the Dreaded Pink Pirate could let the dog outside, her mother would be much obliged. Do you know what obliged means? And what are you doing wearing that dress?” Her mother pulled open the fruit bin. “Hey, where are all the oranges?” She shut the refrigerator door and looked Scurvy Ann squarely in her one unpatched eye.
“ARG! No more questions, Poopdeck-swabber!”
Scurvy Ann took off to the backyard, Murphy bounding beside her. She spied the freshly covered mounds.
So did Murphy.
Murphy looked up from where he’d begun investigating.
“No, Murphy! Get away!” she scolded. But being a dog of very little fear, he merely wagged his tail.
That’s when Scurvy Ann heard her father clear his throat. Both her parents stood by the dog house, hands on hips. Her mother tapped her flip-flop on the crunchy grass. “Well, young lady?”
Scurvy Ann, head down, squatted to her knees, which now strangely smelled of oranges.
“Murphy did it.”
While she sat in time-out, she heard her parents talking.
“She’s a stinker, Bryan, isn’t she?”
“Yup, she is. But, you know what the best part of being her parent is?”
“We get another chance at the wonder of childhood. I mean, didn't you ever want to be a pirate?”
Scurvy Ann gave up wondering about the questioning nature of groan-ups and sniffed her knees again.
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