It was a sunny, warm, summer afternoon. Pirate Pete was aboard his mighty pirate ship, sailing on the Atlantic Ocean, towards South America.
“Sir, I was wondering if you could man the deck for a few minutes,” one of his mates said to him. “I am not feeling well.”
“Sure, Rusty,” said Pirate Pete. “There’s not much doing, anyway.”
Rusty went below the deck, while Pirate Pete took the wheel of the ship. Soon, Pirate Pete became drowsy and he fell asleep. While he slept, the cleaning crew came on deck and started cleaning the ship.
“Oh look,” said Slappy, who was one of the crew. “Pirate Pete is sleeping.”
“What’s he doing at the wheel anyway?” asked Steve, another crew member. “I thought that Rusty was to manning the wheel today.”
“Yes, you are right,” said Slappy. “That is odd, isn’t it?”
“Very odd,” Steve agreed.
“Well enough of this chit-chat,” said Slappy. “We’ve got to get this deck cleaned up for the party we are having tonight.”
“Yes, I suppose we’d better get our work done,” said Steve.
Slappy took a mop and a pail and started scrubbing the deck. Steve went around the deck picking up items and putting them where they belonged. He noticed Pirate Pete’s treasure chest sitting right out in the open.
“I’d better put this away,” said Steve, to himself. “I don’t think that Pirate Pete would want his treasure chest sitting out like this.”
Steve picked up the heavy treasure chest and carried it below deck. He put it into Pirate Pete’s cabin.
An hour later, Pirate Pete woke up. He glanced around the deck and saw how nice it looked.
“Oh, I guess Steve and Slappy cleaned up today,” he said to himself. “Well, I hope they have a good time at their party, tonight.”
Soon, Rusty came back onto the deck.
“I’m feeling a bit better now,” Rusty said. “I can take over the wheel now if you’d like.”
“Alright,” said Pirate Pete.
Pirate Pete walked around the deck, admiring the work that Steve and Slappy had done.
“The floor looks so clean,” he said to himself. “I could almost eat off it. Well, I’d better go and put my treasure chest away now. I wouldn’t want someone to be looting through it at the party tonight.”
“Sir,” Slappy called to him from the far side of the ship. “Rusty is ill again. Would you like me to take over for him this time?”
“No, that’s alright Slappy,” said Pirate Pete. “I’ll do it.”
Pirate Pete, once more took the wheel.
“See if you can get Rusty to see the doctor,” said Pirate Pete to Slappy.
“Yes sir,” said Slappy, half carrying and half dragging Rusty to the ship doctor’s cabin.
A little while later, Slappy came back.
“It looks like Rusty has a case of the flu,” said Slappy. “The doctor said he should be alright in a few days.”
“Well, that’s good news,” said Pirate Pete. “Look Slappy, could you bring my treasure chest over here?”
“Sure,” said Slappy.
Slappy came back a few minutes later, his face as pale as a ghost.
“What’s wrong Slappy?” asked Pirate Pete. “Don’t tell me that you are coming down with the flu, too?”
“No,” said Slappy. “I hate to tell you this, but your treasure chest is missing.”
“What!” exclaimed Pirate Pete. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” said Slappy. “I looked everywhere for it.”
“Well this is crazy,” said Pirate Pete. “Someone has stolen my treasure chest! Who were the last ones on deck?”
“I guess Steve and I were,” said Slappy, reluctantly.
“Alright that does it, both you and Steve are fired,” said Pirate Pete.
“You’re not even going to give us a chance to see if we can find it,” said Slappy, angrily.
“No,” said Pirate Pete. “I’m not. I would tolerate almost anything from my mates, except for stealing.”
“Look Pirate Pete,” said Slappy. “I didn’t steal your treasure chest and I know that Steve would never do such a thing, either. Let me go and get Steve so that we can settle this matter.”
“No, I’ve got a better idea,” said Pirate Pete. “You take over the wheel for a few minutes. I’ll go and find Steve.”
Pirate Pete stormed off the deck and went below.
“How could they think that they would get away with this?” he asked himself over and over again.
Pirate Pete passed by his cabin as he was searching for Steve. Something shiny caught the corner of his eye. He poked his head inside the doorway and there, sitting on the floor was his treasure chest. He instinctively went over to it and opened it up. Everything seemed to be in order. Just then, Steve walked down the hall.
“Hi Pirate Pete,” he said. “Nice afternoon, eh.”
“Yeah, real nice,” Pirate Pete said.
“By the way, I hope you didn’t mind me bringing your treasure chest down here for you,” said Steve. “I didn’t think that you’d want it to be left up on deck, in case someone stole it.”
“You brought this down here,” said Pirate Pete, feeling the colour rise in his cheeks.
“Yes,” said Steve.
“Oh no,” said Pirate Pete. “Look, I’ve got to go and see Slappy.”
Pirate Pete walked with his head bowed. He was very ashamed of the way he had treated Slappy.
“Did you find Steve?” asked Slappy.
“Yes, I did,” said Pirate Pete. “I also found the treasure chest.”
“You did,” said Slappy, with apparent relief.
“Look Slappy,” said Pirate Pete. “I’m very sorry about the way I treated you earlier. Apparently Steve was thoughtful enough to take the treasure chest down below so that no-one would get into it at the party tonight. I’m sorry that I jumped to the wrong conclusions.”
“Does this mean that I still have my job?” asked Slappy.
“You bet,” said Pirate Pete. “That is, if you will ever work for me again after what I just did!”
“Nonsense!” exclaimed Slappy, happy that this whole mess was sorted out. “I’d work for you any day!”
Moral of this Story: