Kätlin Vainola. “Kelly Becomes a Pirate”

Reading sample

Kelly and her mother borrowed a book titled How to Become a Pirate from the library, and got down to work. First of all, they altered some old clothes, tearing them a little and cutting fringes in some places. Then they found her father’s old hat, which was perfect for a pirate. Kelly already had a spyglass, and she borrowed some nice- looking leather boots from the neighbour boy.

On the morning of Kelly’s birthday, her mother painted a couple of tattoos on her arm and wrapped the little girl’s chequered bandana around her face.

“I can’t even recognize you,” her father chuckled. Kelly was pleased. It turned out that no one recognized Kelly at the

costume party, either. An adult had her sit at the boys’ table!

It was really interesting to sit in their company. No one had all that much time for eating. When the bowl of chips had been passed around a couple of times, the boys ran off across the ship. Kelly did not want to give herself away, so she went along with them. They fought pretend pirate battles, visited the captain’s cabin, and wedged themselves into every nook and cranny they could find on the ship.

When the party was coming to an end, all of the children were called back to the table. Kelly and the boys scampered back to the princesses, puffing and panting. The girls were dancing and doing one another’s hair.

“We went up on the ship’s deck,” Kelly told them, and removed the bandana from her face.

Everyone was completely stunned.

“Kelly? Have you been at the birthday party, too?” the girls asked her, amazed.

“Yep. I became a pirate,” Kelly said, nodding. “We visited the captain and he let us steer the ship a little.”

“I don’t want to brush hair and dance anymore,” Karita announced, and took off her tiara. “I want to see where the captain is, too!”

Before you knew it, the entire group of princesses had stopped their dancing and were running around the ship. And so, you could see princesses and pirates balancing and scampering over the deck as friends.

Translated by Adam Cullen