Thursday, September 16, 2010

So, here on the occasion of 390 years having passed since the good ship Mayflower left England for the New World, here's a passage from The Adventurous LIfe of Myles Standish and the Amazing-But-True Survival Story of Plymouth Colony (Nat'l Geographic, 2006. oh baby, I illustrated it, too.) a book of mine which far more people would have purchased and read if the world wasn't so horrible and rotten [she wrote with a twinkle in her eye]:

Did Myles and Rose Standish squeeze each other's hands as the Mayflower sailed into the English Channel? As the buildings of Plymouth got smaller and smaller? Did they shade their eyes and squint up at Master Jones? There he stood, up on the lofty poop deck, taking them sailing into the west and away, September 6 [old calendar], 1620.
...It's likely that even tough, 36-year-old Myles Standish was seasick as a "fine small gale" blew the tiny ship out on the North Atlantic. Almost all of the other passengers were. These homesick, seasick, psalm-singing landlubbers got on the crew's nerves and got in their way as sailors worked the sails and the multitudes of ropes that drove the ship. Little kids chattered or cried when men were trying to sleep. The crew cussed at and made fun of these "glib-gibbery puke-stockings," who began their days praying and singing on the upper deck. One in particular kept threatening to toss them all overboard – until he got sick, so sick that he died. It was his body that went into the sea. Had God Himself, the superstitious sailors wondered, punished their big-mouthed buddy? They cut out the teasing, just in case.

1 comment:

  1. That's hilarious! I love history told from the perspective of the least thought about characters.