Once upon a time, it might've been a Thursday, in a quaint little town, there was a street. Down this particular street, a terrified boy was running for his life! He was being chased by three other little boys. Though they were in fact decidedly larger than the boy they were chasing, they are still considered to be relatively little. This is where our story will begin...

"Captain! Oh, Captain!" they cried. "Your ship is about to set sail, to the island of knuckle-sandwiches!" 

The boys wailed with laughter at this last remark. "Come on, fellas, 'Captain Scaredy Pants', ain't coming out." With that the three bruisers took off down the same street from whence they came.

The terrified boy waited until he could no longer hear their laughter before he came out from behind the dumpster he used to evade those rascals. He had gotten old spaghetti noodles stuck in his hair, his mom sure wasn't going to like that.

"Is that you, Captain?"

"Yes, Mr. Spinelli."

"Oh no, not again. Those boys giving you a hard time?"

"Yes, Mr. Spinelli."

"Oh geez, you should stand up for yourself sometimes you know."

"I would, but I'd like to live to see my eleventh birthday. If I go up against Jake and his goon squad I don't think I'll make it."

"You kids! All right, Captain, get on home now. Your mom’s probably worried."

Captain tried to wipe off all of the gunk and grime from Mr. Spinelli's dumpster as he walked. He was just fishing some old sardine bones out of his pocket when something small and grey and furry fell from the sky, knocking him clean off his feet.

"What the heck was that?" Captain wondered if Jake had decided to start throwing cats at him now. Just then, the furball started to move...It wasn't a feline at all; it was something much more amazing!"

"Oi, me poor head. What's a pirate got to do to not get shot out of the sky these days?" 

The small furry thing resembled a small furry man wearing a tiny shiny suit and a very large hat. Apparently, this tiny suited creature could also talk.

"Well, don't just stand there—help me up," he said to Captain. He couldn't believe his eyes, he reached out a hand to help the little thing. 

"What are you, little thing?" Captain asked.

"I'm not a thing, I'm a jook, and the name's Wazzer. Who are you?"

"My name's Captain."

"Your name is what?"

"Captain Ambrose Smith-Fielding to be exact. It's a goofy name I know."

The pair of very large ears dangling from Wazzer's even larger hat stood straight up, and he smiled a great big smile.

"You're a captain!? You're exactly the person I need!"

"What? No, I'm not a captain. My name is Captain."

"All I know is that our captain is gone, and we was just now trying to rescue him when we was attacked!"

"Who is your captain?"

"Well, Greentooth Joe, of course." "I thought I had a weird name."

For your information, they call him that because he's got the foulest breath in the southern hemisphere. Could burn the hairs right out of a donkey's nose it could! Anyway, me and my crew were just on the way to rescue him from the evil Baroness when one of her mineral minion ships blasted me out of the sky!"

"I'm sorry for your trouble, but what does that have to do with me?"

"Don't you see? Me and the crew need another captain to lead us, and I landed right on top of you. It's like destiny, innit?"

"What crew?"

"The crew of the Sparrow's Beak—the finest pirate airship in the whole world. Well, really the only pirate airship in the world."

"Pirate airship? There's no such thing."

"There is, too! And I'll show you right now...Wazzer calling the Big Beak, Wazzer to Big Beak, come in." 

After he'd finished speaking into the strange golden watch device on his wrist, a crackly voice came in reply.

"Wazz, is that you? We thought you were a goner for sure."

"Well, I ain't; now swing down 'ere and pick me up. I found us a new captain."

"A new captain? That's pretty exciting...All right, Wazz, we'll be down in a few ticks, Big Beak out."

Before Captain could ask whom Wazzer was talking to, a great rumbling filled the sky above them. Like thunder, only louder, and something huge started coming out of the clouds above them. It was a flying pirate ship, with propellers and everything! For the second time that day, Captain couldn't believe his eyes.

"Well, that's her, the Sparrow's Beak. Ain't she beautiful?" "Uh-huh," was all he could manage. 

"Captain Ambrose and the Airship Pirates: A Children's Story" is just one of five children's short stories as well as other short stories, poetry, and short plays in the book, Community College Students' Literary Collage.  The book is available on's website. 

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