Hassani-crew

Born on a pirate ship.
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2001-03-09 21:00:53 (UTC)

I am José, I work for Captain..

I am José, I work for Captain Hassan the pirate. Captain
Hassan is by most accounts quite a lousy pirate. We`re not
rich like some of the other pirate companies. Some of the
crew don`t like this, but I don`t mind. We`re not even at
sea at the moment. The mast for the mainsail is broken. Me
and the rest of the crew are doing boring, backbreaking,
menial farmwork for crusts of bread and a corner in an
outhouse to sleep in. Captain Hassan is gone looking for a
new mast. This farm work- it’s nothing new really, we spent
a full solid year doing this shit last year, apart for one
raid. We harvested the winter oats for those farmers,
ploughed in the stubble good and deep, harrowed the ground
for a good loose seedbed. Then we threw out the spring
seed. We watched the barley and wheat leaves pop green out
of the earth and get longer and tiller. We saw them head
and turn gold, ten grains to the ear. Fields full of money
they were- all down to our watering and manuring and
pickin`out the scutch and the ones gone bad- and all the
money to be pocketed by the fat little tight-fisted
bastards that happen to own the land. Five or six tonnes to
the acre we reaped and what all of us got paid wouldn’t
hardly buy a bushel.

Then we ploughed and harrowed and walked the oxen up and
down again and made a fine good bed that the seed would
stretch it’s roots down into and hold on tight. For now it
was August, the winter seed wouldn’t be sown till September
so that the greenfly and blackfly would be gone. Dead from
cold before we took the seed out of the bag. Winter seed is
different- the ground would turn to solid rock and back to
wet soil again before we saw heads. But there’s still work
a plenty in the short cold days, and those hunched over
little farmers would make sure we earned what little we
got. They beat their wives and they beat their children and
they beat the plough cattle like they were bags of dead
meat, and the childern that weren’t theirs that lived there
they beat worse of all. We were the only ones that weren’t
bate, coz they were afraid of us. Pirates have been known
to kill without much provocation. But we wouldn’t coz we
knew we couldn’t escape if the law came.

Well, if pickin`weeds and manuring in the summer was hard,
the work we did when we couldn’t feel our hands or our
faces was many times worse. The cold never left you alone,
it felt like a knife cuttin`into you and you were always
shivering. Poor Tommy didn’t last through. He woke up one
morning and his toes were pure black. We told him we had to
cut them off, Ger got his sword that was good and keen and
we all tried to hold him down, but the young fella had a
wild look on him and he bate us offa him with blows that
were beyond his might and sprinted off quick as a deer. He
never came back to the workhut and we looked for him, but
we only found Tommy when he was long dead and more mould
than man. Purple like a bruised potato. We threw him off
the seacliffs for a burial and Captain Hassan said some of
his prayers. He was a pirate like the rest of us, even if
he’d never been out of sight of dry land for long. Like any
one of us, though, he’d have wanted to fall apart in salt
water. Just like a dead boat.


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