WoozleBee the Mighty
I am Woozle the Fierce! I am the most feared pirate in all of Krawk Island! Nay, in all of NEOPIA!
WoozleBee tilted his body back and let out a vicious…squeak. Reddening at the cheeks, he cleared his throat and growled in a slightly more ferocious manner. Would being intimidating ever become easier?
He inspected himself closely in the Ancient Cursed Mirror, which had been handed down to him from Cap’n Threelegs, his intimidating pirate trainer, a fortnight ago. He squinted disapprovingly at his grey, too-soft fur. It was far too fluffy, far too silky, far too…not scary. With a sigh, he opened up his Mud Facepaint Kit and slathered thick, stinky mud across his fluffy cheeks, matting his fur and making his stomach heave. Being a pirate was sometimes a nasty bit of business, to be sure, but it was vitally important that WoozleBee managed to be extra fierce today! After all, it is not every day that a mere JubJub has the opportunity to graduate from Cap’n Threelegs’ Swashbuckling Academy!
“You missed a spot,” a ghoulish voice said from behind him.
A shiver ran through WoozleBee’s body and, instinctually, his fur shot out in all directions. WoozleBee growled as he turned to face his Ghost Goople petpet and friend, Goobs.
“Oh drat, Goobs! Look what you did! I look like a dirty, unwound cotton ball now!” WoozleBee whined, spreading more mud into his fur in a vain attempt to make it lie flat. Goobs laughed heartily and floated circles around the young JubJub.
“You really ought to consider trimming that fluff of yours!” Goobs’s transparent body wisped into the shape of a giant hand and he pointed obnoxiously at a stray tuff of fur. WoozleBee impatiently blew his petpet away and glanced at the clock.
IT WAS ALMOST TIME!
A giant wave of uncontrollable shaking due to nerves took over his body as he pulled on his red and white stripped covers for his feet and his golden hoop earring.
“H-h-have you s-s-s-een my eye-eye patch?” he asked Goobs through chattering teeth.
Before the Ghost Goople could respond, the door leading into the room swung open with a BANG! In strode two of the fiercest pirate trainees in WoozleBee’s class – Billy the Bruce and Hank the Hissi!
“Nicccccccceeee look, furball,” Hank hissed unpleasantly at the JubJub.
Although neither Billy nor Hank wore an eyepatch, they were both looking positively ferocious and just down-right mean. Hank sported a genuine velvet red coat and a leathery old hat, which had the largest feather WoozleBee had ever seen. And Billy’s raggedy jerkin gave him the true look of a seasoned, booty-stealing pirate. WoozleBee gulped.
“We thought we would practice some good ol’ plundering before the ceremony,” Billy growled, furrowing his brow and raising his fist in a menacing way. His eyes scanned the room and a wicked grin came upon his face. “We’ll just relieve you of that eyepatch over there.”
WoozleBee could scarcely react! Hank slithered quickly to the JubJub’s bedside table and snatched the most important piece of WoozleBee’s outfit from the stand. In an uncontainable panic, the JubJub’s body defensively snapped into a perfectly round sphere. It was most embarrassing and was, unfortunately, a part of a JubJub’s nature over which WoozleBee had no control.
“Thanksssssssssssssssssss for the entertainment!” Hank laughed and, guffawing horribly, the pair of hooligans left the room.
“WoozleBee!” a friendly voice cried out in alarm. A scuttling of feet approached and, after some prying and manipulation, Sandy the Shoyru helped unwind him.
“It was those ghastly fiends!” Goobs explained. He transformed himself into a perfect replica of Hank…except, instead of the sleek pirate’s hat atop his head, he wore a glorious fruit hat with an abundance of bananas, apples and grapes.
Sandy glowered at the image and helped WoozleBee to his feet. “Those horrible bullies,” she spat angrily. “They know that Cap’n Threelegs would never let them get away with that if they were ever caught–”
“But they won’t be caught,” WoozleBee exclaimed sadly. “They are too sneaky.”
“Well,” Sandy said stiffly. “You’ll show them. What goes around is bound to come around!”
For the next ten minutes, or so, Sandy helped WoozleBee get ready for the ceremony. She tied a black spotted headpiece around his untamable hair and, he had to admit, he actually did look quite pirate-y when she was through with him.
The graduation ceremony had a great turnout! The audience was full of family, friends, neighbors and general well-wishers. WoozleBee could see his bright blue dad, stunningly yellow mom and baby sister in the front row. They were waving brilliant banners and calling his name supportively and he could not help but smile.
“Welcome, Neopians, to the Swashbuckling Academy!” Cap’n Threelegs greeted the excited crowd enthusiastically, waving his wooden arm in a grand gesture. “Tis a great day fer a great ceremony!”
The crowd roared approvingly as the captain went on to explain the logistics of the graduation. Each pirate trainee was to undergo three tests to display their newly acquired skills. First, they were to demonstrate their fancy sword handling abilities against Punchbag Bob. Second, they were to lead a sea-worthy pirate shanty. And third, they were to challenge someone present to a brief duel.
A duel!? WoozleBee quickly peered into the audience and found his family…all curled into perfectly round balls of soft, shaking fur!
And so, the ceremony began. It was a blur of excitement! Called to the center stage by Cap’n Threelegs, trainee after trainee impressed the crowd with fancy twirls, chants, leaps and pirouettes! Poor Bob.
Finally… “Where be WoozleBee?” Cap’n Threelegs called out.
Slightly atremble, the one (and only) JubJub in the class approached the stage. He was handed a dull sword and he found himself face to face with Punchbag Bob.
Lunge! Parry! Passata Sotto! Riposte! WoozleBee FLEW into action, his sword a mere flash of steel. The audience ooh’d and ahh’d as he performed an impressive, and highly effective, attacking movement. He finished off with a beautiful twist…and bowed. A roar of approval met his ears.
Next, WoozleBee cleared his throat, closed his eyes and began to sing. He put his whole heart into the shanty and bellowed out passionately –
“What’s to do with a silly sailor?
What’s to do with a silly sailor?
What’s to do with a silly sailor,
Early in the mornin’!?”
By the time all sixteen stanzas of the shanty were completed, the audience continued to sway on their feet, convinced by the music that they were, indeed, on a whaling voyage. Even WoozleBee’s parents had managed to unroll themselves during the shanty and appeared to be perfectly proud of their son.
Lastly, it was time for the duel. Cap’n Threelegs passed him a wooden dueling stick and asked him to call upon his opponent.
“I choose…” WoozleBee gulped. It was time to truly teach those bullies a lesson. “Billy the Bruce and Hank the Hissi!”
There was a stunned silence. Did the JubJub really call upon two opponents?!
“Of courssssssse,” Hank hissed maliciously as Billy, who was now wearing WoozleBee’s eyepatch, cracked his knuckles.
And so, the battle began…and WoozleBee popped straightaway into a small little ball! Hank and Billy laughed, slapping their dueling sticks confidently in their hands, and approached the small wad of fluff. The crowd held its breath and then…
BOOM!!! WoozleBee soared across the stage, rolling quickly and efficiently! He bowled down Hank and Billy, sending their sticks flying in the air. They landed on their rears and, before they could stand and prepare a defense, they were steamrolled by the JubJub. The crowd went wild, whistling and applauding on the powerful force. Cap’n Threelegs called the end of the duel, a large grin upon his face.
“Let me introduce the newest pirate…WoozleBee the Mighty!”
The applause was deafening. Never before had WoozleBee been so proud of himself.
“Hey, Mighty.” Someone tapped his shoulder…Billy! His cheeks were red with embarrassment and he held out his hand, in which sat his eyepatch. “I think it is time for you to get this back.”
WoozleBee shook his head and smiled. “Keep it. I think my fur makes me scary enough.”
Billy grinned at him and shook his hand. “That’s for darned sure.”
In the history of pirates’ first days as pirates, it was ranked as being one of the most monumental days.