For the last couple years I have been trying to imagine what is going on in my dog Shimar’s mind. I have a number of stories I have been developing and sharing with kids, co-workers, and others and I realized that these stories were beginning to create their own little world in my imagination. So one of my goals over this week while I took some time away was to put some of these short stories on paper and see where it went. They are more children’s stories than anything else. They are not strictly historical, although they do pull on some historical places and times (even though a good historian will see all the places where I combine different times and places-for example the lead up to the Battle for Havanna with the pirate use of the Island of Tortuga (which declined almost one hundred years earlier). But it is a story of cats, dogs, and ferrets who command ships so don’t expect strict the story to be bound by strict historical accuracy. In a time where there are a lot of serious things to talk about sometimes it is important to take a little time to tell children’s stories, to indulge in foolishness and to imagine what is going on in the mind of a one eyed dog with a lot of personality.
Welcome to the world of Shimar the Pirate Dog, Reggie the Terrible who will eventually become his first mate and their ship the Dirty Drawers that I hope to have episodes coming out over the next couple days. They are long reads for a blog but for fiction each chapter is fairly short, each of the first two chapters is about five pages, single spaced. I will include this page as a holder for the table of contents.
Shimar and Reggie are real dogs and their personality is the inspiration for the two main characters. The ferrets, Nick and Leah are also real but most of the other characters were made up to fill in the story. In casting the sailors and people Spanish and Portugal as cats while the English and many of the pirates are dogs is simply intended to play on the long running trope of the battle between cats and dogs and placing it in a historical battle. Portugal made a nice play on words for Purrtugal, and since the history of the Caribbean is a history of struggle between the English and Spanish empires around the time of pirates.