Aye, dear log, tis time and more I should ha' put quill to yea. I have been looking out to sea. The water be so deep a green that I am minded of the fields about me Da's farm. From the time I first remember, each summer, they stood and waved as far as I could look about me. Green breaking waves rolling back and forth with the wind. I mind me that I wished, e'en when I were bare nine years old, to sail a boat o'er those emerald breakers of grain, sail far, far away. 'Course I ne'er imagined that the grand boat would smell the same as me Da's pig farm. Still, it were my escape, I needed it then no less then I do now and no mistake.
When I were a young maid, can't ha' been much more then five or six summers, me Ma up and died whilst a dancin' a Maypole. She were no old spinster woman but after birthin' so many wee lads and two lasses as well she were not so strong as once she were. When me Da and brothers come and told me that we were to bury her, I mind that I was a feared for her. I didna ken she were dead and gone see. I thought she were only sleepin' and I thought it a foul trick to plant her so. I fussed on so much that me Da could no countenance it a more. He gave me unto his brother, Uncle Tambur, so as he could have time for his grievin'.
Uncle Tambur had bright golden eyes like honey. They glimmered so bright that I thought the fire from his pipe had gotten in behind them. When I think on dragons I think on me Uncle's eyes, shining, cool, powerful. I mind that he were always willin' to play with me too and I must ha' liked him fair well, certainly more than I liked me Da that day. I went with him that day right readily.
As the years turned I ran to him more and more. When e'er a storm blew up twixt me brothers and me or more often twixt me and me Da, I'ld run down the road to me Uncle's house and like as not drag me lil' sister as well. Then Uncle would hear me tale of whoa and set down to play with us, cuddle us and hold us close. He'd wrap his great hot arms around us and stroke and press the hurt from me, a touchin' on me and sayin' gentle words. He were kind, soft, not calloused like me Da and me brothers. Nay, he were cool and smooth and strong like a protective dragon and me sister and me were his hoard.
I no thought anythin' on it, his playin', until I had me ninth natal day.
Me Da' had begun taken in lodgers when me Ma passed. Sailors they were mostly from the port hard by. Rough men, seafarin' men, but older men, not for them the wild stews of the wharf. They wanted to spend their leave quieter at a good table a eatin' and a drinkin' well, tellin' tales and singin' shanties. They it were who first told me of the sea and its bold brave defenders. They told tales of ships, plunder, sea-drakes, watery maids and the fearsome pirates who ruled the waves. I hearkened to those tales and loved them.
But on this day, my ninth natal day, I 'spected me Da' to spend the day with me. Da were always with me on my natal days. Most days, Da' had little time for me. He tried, I know, to spend what time he might but there were too few hours twixt six bells and even song, too much work to do. Me natal day, though, he spent with me and me alone since me Ma passed. On me ninth natal day the levy broke after the hard rain we'ld been havin'. Da' and all me brothers were hard put dealin' with the hogs and savin' our home from the flood. He couldna' come that day. He left me with an old cove name of Slanteye Pots. Slanteye were a good man for a story and could sing a fair shanty but he'd seen to many sunsets to be of use savin' the farm. He tried to keep me close with his clever stories but I wanted me Da that day and naught else. I took off runnin' toward me Uncle Tambur's in the midst of the gail.
It were no far distance and even in the storm I found it right enough. I might have thought it odd that he were inside when all the others were a fightin' so hard again' the weather but I did no. Me uncle the dragon showed me in and kissed away me tears as he always did. He called me his treasure and dragged me into his lair. He set to strokin' on me, pushin' in me as he were want to do, when the door banged open and I looked up. There were Slanteye Pots a standin' in the doorway and his mouth dropped open when he saw us. He musta' followed me out into the tempest. Followed me all the way to me Uncle's, the poor old man.
Of a sudden, Slanteye let out a terrible roar, shouted at me Uncle to heave to and loose me. He shouted that I were a child. He were shoutin' still when the dragon, the cool, soft dragon, reached behind the headboard of his bed and shot fire clean through his weathered old body a droppin' him to the floor. The dragon then laid down on me, his treasure, as he'd been doin' when Slanteye'd kicked in the door. I pushed at him then and tried to heave him off, for I was a feared for poor Slanteye a layin' on the ground. I'd ne'er shoved the dragon afore that day. I'd always done as the dragon wished. Now I felt his wrath. He smashed me in the gut with his great heavy hand and all the wind fled me. The dragon pushed me down again as I gasped for air. He arranged me beneath him like a doll. Once more he laid himself down and o'er his shoulder I saw a wonder. Slanteye Pots, his face full a rage, stabbed down into the dragon's back with a marlin spike. He did it again and again. The dragon roared and flailed but the old seadog did not stop a cuttin' till the dragon roared no more.
Slanteye pulled me free of me uncle. He rubbed the blood from me with an ancient cloth. When he were done he stood me up beside the bed and said, "Princess, pirate-princess". He patted me shoulder then sat heavily on the floor and I watch the light leave his old brown eyes.
Here I stand aboard the Malestrom a thinkin' on wheat like water and ancient pirate heroes. I think on me child dreams of sailin' far and far upon the wavin' green as far away as far can be and e'en farther still. I think on that, that and slayin' dragons.