Beantime Stories / The Legend of Compass Rosie
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Compass Rosie set sail from the port of Tiddlywinken on October 31, 1501.

Compass Rosie's crew loved the sea and they loved to sail to faraway lands. Visiting new places and learning new things was great fun. Every time they returned to Tiddlywinken, they brought interesting souvenirs, exotic gifts and exciting tales.

As the years went by, the crew grew older and older. The hard work of sailing a ship grew harder and harder. One day, the Captain announced that it was time for Compass Rosie and her crew to retire. The crew agreed but they were sad.

It was good that they did, because once they left the ship, Compass Rosie mysteriously sank where she was anchored, leaving only her top decks and masts standing out of the water.

In the years that followed, as the crew members passed away one by one, they were laid to rest on a hilltop overlooking the sea. From there, you could also see where Compass Rosie lay in the harbor.

You might think this was the end for Compass Rosie and her crew, but a most unusal thing happened whenever one of the sailors died. Once prayers had been said and all the mournful family and friends had gone back to their homes, the sailor's ghost slipped out of his grave and floated down the hill to rejoin his mates on Compass Rosie. Click here to watch. As more and more spirits returned to the ship, she began to glow brighter and brighter on moonlit nights, and word spread that she was haunted.

Before long, the whole crew had reassembled and they were eager to set sail again. Unfortunately sailing a ship was still hard work that required muscles and ghosts don't have muscles. They wondered what to do.

Fortunately, another unusual thing happened. In a nearby farmer's field, there were three scarecrows: Tattie Boggle, Slim and Captain Red Coat. The farmer had dressed them as pirates and given them pumpkins for heads. One day the scarecrows decided that scaring crows wasn't all that much fun. They would much prefer to be real pirates, to sail the seven seas and to dig up treasure chests left by other pirates. So, they quit their jobs as scarecrows, took their savings out of the scarecrow bank, and went to the harbor to buy a ship.

Compass Rosie was the only ship for sale. The fact that she glowed in the dark and might be haunted didn't bother the scarecrows, who had decided to call themselves the Three Pumpkin Pirates. They bought the ship, repaired the hull, bought new sails, made friends with the ghosts, and prepared to set sail.

Ever since then, the Three Pumpkin Pirates have sailed here, there and everywhere, looking for adventure. The ghosts of the original crew are having a wonderful time, happy to be at sea again.

To tour the ship and see the ghosts, click here.

To join the Pumpkin Pirates on a Halloween treasure hunt, click here.

Visit Australia with Compass Rosie. Click here to see an album of photographs.

Copyright 2001, Jerry Jindrich. All rights reserved.