Back when I were just a young sea-dog, I found meself sailin’ under the iron grip o’ Captain Nobeard. A fearsome pirate, was she, known fer cuttin’ down anyone who crossed her!
Well, being a new pirate, I figured I’d be needin’ a parrot fer me shoulder. Picked one out, did I, in the first port where we made berth. Being that the bird were always spinning in circles – a great lookout, thought I – the name I chose fer him was “A’turnin.”
No sooner had I come back aboard the ship, though, did I find meself under the gaze o’ Captain Nobeard!
“Well, matey,” said she, “I see you be having a fine new pet!”
“Aye, Cap’n,” said I. “His name be ‘A’turnin,’ on account of his…”
“Enough!” the captain shouted. “Since ye been having such fun ashore, tonight you can sweep the anchor chain!” Handed me a broom, did she, and tasked me to sweep every inch of metal holding our anchor.
I took to the chore as any sea-dog would, but each time I was about to get underway, A’turnin would flap down from me shoulder and perch there on the broomstick!
“Back on the shoulder with ye!” shouted I to the bird… but he paid no mind, so I took to tossing him in the air, in the hopes that he’d land back on me shoulder. Each time I did, he’d come back down to rest on the broomstick, keeping me from my work. I’d throw A’turnin off, and he’d come flapping back. I’d throw him again, and there he’d perch!
This went on through the night, until the red horizon of morning dawned. When the captain came out to check on me, she were beset by a great fury.
“What is the meaning of this, swab?!” demanded she. “Why be the anchor chain still unclean?!”
I swallowed then, did I, and answered as honestly as I could:
“I’m sorry, Cap’n!” said I. “I been tossin’ A’turnin all night, and I haven’t swept a link!”