The Vine

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Santa Claus Meets Juan Samore

Santa Claus Meets Juan Samore
A Pirate Christmas Story

Presumably, you know who and what Santa Claus is. So let me tell you some things about Juan Samore, then. CAPTAIN Samore, some would insist, he was a pirate as fierce and greedy, as bloodthirsty and successful, as ever sailed the seas for gold, guts and glory.

Handsome as he was wicked, Captain Juan Samore had a twirl to his moustache, a point to his goatee, a ring of gold in his ear, plumed feather in his velvet hat, and he wore the finest silk scarves. Needless to say, his manicure was as perfect as his language was foul in several tongues. Whereas some pirate captains have a parrot that roosts on their shoulder and others have a pet monkey as a familiar, Samore kept a large chameleon lizard that gripped onto his shoulder and hissed into his ear. Some think that the Captain could see through the independently twirling eyes of the lizard but anyone who saw the man would know that he felt through that reptilian’s heart.

One fine Christmas Eve found Captain Juan Samore celebrating with his crew aboard the Corpse Raider down in the Caribbean, and let me tell you, they were not observing the holy day in prayer or reflection of Our Savior’s Birth. No ma’am, they were being about as bad as pirates can be. Mind you, these were not nice jolly pirates like the ones that disembark from Hollywood these days, but truly avaricious ones who would not hesitate to kill your mother for her gold fillings. They had just captured a slave trader’s ship (which was not considered pirate in the day but you and I know better now). The slaves thought they had been freed but then the pirates chained them back down back on the rowers' benches of their own ship. They made the poor slaves row the ship in circles for their drunken amusement. And they were fighting, and drinking rum from off the plundered ship, and singing, singing those pirate versions of Christmas carols like:

Swab the decks with boughs of holly!
Tis the season to be Jolly...Roger

So occupied they were, with their singing and fighting and drinking, and laughing at the men who fell off the spinning ship’s deck that they did not notice what was coming in from the north.

It piled up high, wide and white and loomed over the Corpse Raider before Captain Samore could retreat, a hurricane-sized blizzard from the North Pole which whitened the Caribbean sky with a snow flurry and blinded the whole crew. Only the slaves could still see what they were doing, and the spin of the pirate ship joined the spiral of the snow hurricane winds, and up into the spout spun the whole ship, up, up into the storm.

Riding the snow blizzard, and now back to their drinking, crew and captain and ship sailed into the dark night of the north. ALL the way north they flew, and when the storm came to rest, it still had enough force to suck up the ice, opening up a little pond of water right there at the North Pole. The Corpse Raider splashed down into it, its bobbing mast looking for all the world like a North Pole itself. When the snowy whiteness of the blizzard thinned, the dizzy pirates found themselves floating in a tiny sea surrounded by ice in the cold Arctic sunshine. And who was that strange man? No pirate, you could tell, who taunted them from way above, up top in the crow’s nest? Wearing hat and gloves of fur and velvet that made the pirates jealous?

Santa Claus.

Santa swung his big bag over his shoulder and tempted the pirates with what was inside. “Let me see, looking at the list, you all seem to be getting a bunch of coal. Here ya go!”

“Arrrr, arrrrgh!” swore the pirates.

“Hey you shouldn’t knock it, you could burn it and keep warm,” said Santa. “But... what DO you boys want?” he asked.

Every pirate then stopped trying to light the coal, and drew their swords, daggers, and pistols, and in one voice yelled:

“Gold!” “And silver!” “And rubies!” “And emeralds!” “And pearls!” “And diamonds!” “GOLD!”

So Santa started pouring down gold, treasures of all kinds, along with many other precious things the pirates would not appreciate.

The ship filled up with Santa’s plunder, and began to sink. Slaves broke their chains and tried to save them all by tossing the gold into the sea, but the pirates yelled for more gold even as they were sinking into the icy water.

Some say that there were no survivors, that pirates and slaves alike swam down to Davy Jones locker for a very long stay. I say, someone must have survived, perhaps by riding a polar bear to shore, or else who would tell the story?

Captain Juan Samore climbed the mast hand over hook as his ship sank, until only he and the crow’s nest were above water.

Santa said to Samore, “It looks like you have room for just one more gift, Samore.” And he held out a life preserver, a color of such pure bright platinum, it looked like a white cloud with a silver lining. Samore knew just by looking at it that it was so light, and so buoyant that it could save not just his own soul, rescue the drowned crew and slaves, and raise up the sunken ship he had ruined. He began to warm his heart, and moved to reach his hook up towards the magic life preserver...

“But don’t choose now, consider THIS!” taunted Santa.

Santa then pulled the last treasure out of his bag and held it up in his other hand. It was a huge golden anchor, exquisitely tooled and studded with all manner of jewels. ANY pirate would consider it the ultimate improvement to his ship, an anchor of the heaviest gold.
Juan Samore then stretched his hook toward the anchor. Below, bubbles of drowned pirates broke the water around him. Thinking again, Samore again turned and reached for the life preserver which Santa offered in the other hand. Just then, the lizard on Samore’s shoulder shot out its sticky tongue and caught the golden anchor, making the choice for the pirate. The anchor dropped and the last of the pirate ship with Captain Juan Samore and crows nest and all disappeared under the North pole. Immediately the North Pole ice cap froze over, covering ship, captain, crew, slaves, treasure and all. Santa, of course was caught up in his reindeer draw sled which had been awaiting him nearby.

Many years have gone by but still the stories are told of adventurers, treasure hunters, filmmakers and fools venture to find Samore’s pirate gold under the North Pole, but all of them sink with the heaviness of greed, fame, or budgets.

Others say that if the North Pole ever again unfreezes, that Juan Samore and his ruthless pirate crew and ship would be loosed out into the world. That is a good reason why many people nowadays fight global warming, whether they know it or not.

But all of us know that every child and every soul who shows kindness, generosity, respect, good humor or patience gives the grace that is needed for Santa’s elves to retrieve the pirate gold ounce by troy ounce from under the North Pole, melt it, remold and reshape it into joy and blessings to return to the world.

-Princess Poysen Iviee Dec. 2004


At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

uperb tale, ms. ivieee!
- d-fly

At 12:42 AM, Blogger Da Goddess said...


At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good story... you should do more of these.


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