John writes, "I am 63 years old and I have just started writing. This story is taken from a dream I had."
Once upon a time, there were three pirates. A more
bloodthirsty trio would be hard to imagine. For years they roamed the high
seas, killing and plundering the ships of the Royal Fleet. They had treasure
scattered all over the known world, on little islands whose tiny populations
welcomed them and the wealth that they brought. True, they had to tolerate a
few murders and many assaults, but, gold was gold, and they were
The three pirates may have been brutal, but they were not dumb. They had no intention of taking all of their treasure to any one of these islands, after all, the citizens were darn near as mean as they were, and would have killed them and stolen it all.
So, they found a tiny, isolated island with no people, and
stored their vast wealth there. One day, they came ashore to get a bit of gold.
They anchored their ship offshore, rowed to land, loaded their gold and were
about to head back, when they saw it. Off near the horizon loomed a great
warship, with Royal colors flying.
Well, these pirates were prepared. They had cannon ashore and readied them, anticipating a great battle. Suddenly they heard the crack and roar of cannon fire, and their great, sleek ship was gone. Then, a small boat left the Royal ship and made its way toward them.
Just out of cannon
range, the boat stopped, and a grand young man stood and said, "Surrender, and we will take you to prison. If you do
not, we will leave you here to waste away."
"Never," they cried. And the small boat left, and then the large ship sailed away.
A year passed and the three survived. The island had a fresh
water spring and fish were plentiful, but living was hard. They quickly grew to
hate each other and fought constantly until, at last, they divided the island
into three parts and stayed away from each other. Still, it was hard. The
isolation was more depressing than the fighting.
Then one day, a ship appeared on the horizon. A boat lowered and approached. A mild voice called to the men, who forgot their arguments and stood together on the shore.
"I am the new Prince of the Kingdom. Times have
changed. You have suffered enough. Come home with us and all will be
One pirate shouted, "You're lying, it’s a trap."
He hustled to the small boat they still had and began rowing away from the
The Prince sighed and said, "He will lose himself in
the ocean and die, but I will not force anyone. Come, the rest of you, and be
The second pirate wept and said, "I have done great wrong. I cannot be forgiven, not now. I must stay here and suffer. I still must do penance."
The Prince assured him that he had suffered enough, but the
pirate wept and crawled away to suffer. "What of you?" he asked the
third man. "Will you come and be saved?"
The third man said, "Yes, I will. I, too, have done
great wrong, but if you are gracious enough to offer me forgiveness, I cannot
refuse." With that, he was taken to the great ship and returned to the
The Price was true to his word. The man apologized for his
evil and was forgiven. He spent the next year working at several jobs, and he
lived a comfortable and peaceful life, and wherever he roamed, he always told
everyone about the great Prince's compassion.
But, he was troubled. He thought often of the man left on
the island and his suffering. He filed a request to see the Prince, and when he
approached him, they talked of the plight of the third pirate. The Prince also
said that he was often troubled by the pirate's decision, but, he was unable to
go see him again. He did, however, agree to have his great ship take the man to
see if he could convince his old shipmate to come to the
So the ship set sail and after months of travel came to the
tiny island. The third pirate was still alive, but very ill. This time, he
agreed to come back, after his comrade told him how the Prince had kept his
word and how he had lived well in the Kingdom.
By the time the ship returned to the Kingdom, the old pirate
was near death. Still when they set foot on shore, the Prince was there to
greet him. The man cried when the Prince forgave him, then he died. His old
comrade said, "Well, at least he died knowing that his crimes were
The Prince was weeping, "Yes, that is true, and it is good, but still, I wish he had come sooner, so he could have enjoyed his time as a free man."
(© 2014 John Wright – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)