J is for the great jam wars

In the days when Bearnacle Bear was dreaming of the sea, a Bearish pirate captain came on shore and promised the adventure of a lifetime to young bears. Bearnacle begged his parents to let him go but his father looked skeptical.

“No,” he said. “Something isn’t right here.”

No matter how much little Bearnacle begged, his dad remained intransigent. Bearnacle was too little to go in a big sailing ship. He had that dangerous combination of curiosity and lack of common sense, which made him likely to lean over the ship’s railing just to get a better view of the churning sea… and then fall in.

“Papa, I won’t fall in the sea. Please! Pretty please?”

“Not for all of the honey in the universe. You’re not ready,” Papa said.

“Okay, Papa,” Bearnacle said. “You’re right.”

Late at night, however, Bearnacle, carrying the blanket that he had since he was a tiny cub, snuck aboard the big sailing ship. He found a little hidey hole in the captain’s quarters, into which he crawled in. He wrapped himself up in his favorite blanket and listened as the captain and the sailors launched into endless rounds of “What do you do with a drunken sailor?”

Drunken Sailors travel forth!

Bearnacle enjoyed the singing and the loud instruments, but he grew thirsty and tried creeping out of the hidey hole without being caught. One sailor spotted him, but the sailor fell over in a state of drunkenness, and he nearly fell on top of Bearnacle, who ran off in search of something to drink. He wandered through the empty ship. It was late at night and the ship was moving at a good pace. It was rocking and lurching. Fortunately, Bearnacle had never experienced sea sickness, and he had no problem walking through the darkened ship. After a few wrong turns, Bearnacle found the galley and jugs of ale and rum and some sort of punch. He tasted all of the beverages and, before long, he fell asleep on a wound up rope in the galley.

In the morning, Bearnacle woke up with a start. He felt tired and groggy, and he was staring straight into the grizzled face of a bear with an excessively tall chef’s hat perched on his head.

“Arrrr, what are you doing in MY galley?” demanded the chef.

“Nothing, sir,” said Bearnacle timidly.

“No doubt,” the chef said. “Nothing is what you’re doing. Ye need to work, and work ye shall.”

Before long, Bearnacle was stirring porridge in a giant pot that was bigger than he was.

“Take care that ye don’t fall in,” the chef said, laughing gleefully and loudly, with random snorts punctuating his laughter. “Ye will eat if ye stirs well and often. But ye shall not eat jam for we have none.”

“No jam?” squeaked Bearnacle.

“And barely any honey,” said the chef.

All of a sudden, Bearnacle hear a shout.

“Land ho,” yelled someone who was standing high up over the ship’s mast.

And the ship had landed. But where? And for what reason? All of the bears streamed off of the ship, apparently having forgotten about their breakfast. The chef continued working on food, and Bearnacle continued to stir the pot. But, being an intensely curious bear, Bearnacle soon set the long-handled spoon down and ran off of the ship, where he discovered that many of the bears were engaged in sword fights with humans. There was much yelling and posturing as the humans and bears battled it out. And then, Bearnacle saw what it was all about. A few very quiet bears were bringing large casks back to the ship. Bearnacle followed them, curious about what was in those large casks. He looked up and saw giant birds flying directly overhead. They included peregrine falcons, osprey, albatrosses, loons, grebes, and puffins.

Bearnacle was transfixed by the birds and, for a moment, he forgot about the casks being carried aboard the ship. Then he turned around and followed the casks, curious about what could be in them and why the bears were engaged in sword fights with the humans.

As Bearnacle followed the casks, he realized that they were being taken straight to the galley.

“Ahh, liquid gold,” said the chef. He bent over to check the contents of the casks. In the process, his chef hat slid off his head. “We’ll eat some and we’ll sell the remainder. We’ll be rrrrrrrrrrich beyond measure.”

Suddenly, Bearnacle realized that he was aboard a pirate ship dedicated to stealing as much jam and honey as possible. Bearnacle suppressed a giggle as he went back to stirring the somewhat congealed porridge. This was going to be more fun than he ever imagined possible. Bearnacle was imagining his future as a great pirate when, suddenly, the captain marched into the galley and picked Bearnacle up the scruff of his neck!

To Be Continued!!!!

6 thoughts on “J is for the great jam wars”

  1. Ugh, I don’t know. as fun and interesting it sounds, lil Bearnacle might be all over his head. The good news is they now have jam and honey on board 😉

  2. I’m captivated – your use of vocabulary is so descriptive and vivid – i’m hooked now. Please do continue your story for the bear, as I want to know what happens next!

    Initially reading the start of this story, it reminded me of the plot of Moana, with the little girl dreaming to find out what was out there. And also of the plot of the Maori legend of Hineoa and Tutanekai, when Tutanekai disobeyed her father to sneak out in the night time when everyone was asleep, and swim all the way across to Mokoia Island.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top