'Edward and the Pirates'


Editor's note: Once Edward has learned to read,

books and his vivid imagination take him on great adventures.

Next to home, the library was Edward's favorite place. He had his own library card and could borrow all the books he could carry. One day Edward found a book lying on a shelf behind some other books.

The book was old and covered with dust.

Edward blew away the dust and read the title:

Lost Pirate Treasure.

He sat down and began to read: "Some pirate treasure has never been found ..."

Edward was still reading when he felt someone tap him on the shoulder. It was Ms. Torres, the librarian. "Time to go, Edward," she said. "The library will be closing soon."

Edward checked out the book and walked home, arriving just in time for supper.

That night Edward went to bed early, taking his book with him. When the pirate ship was being tossed about on stormy sea, it was Edward who bravely took the helm ...

Sometime in the night, Edward felt his bed being bumped.

Edward sat up and looked around and saw he was surrounded by pirates!

"What are you pirates doing in my room!" he demanded.

"We've come for that book," answered the pirate who seemed to be the leader. "We think it tells where our treasure is buried."

"I can't give it to you," Edward explained. "It's checked out on my library card - you'll have to wait until I return it."

The pirates begged, but Edward wouldn't change his mind.

They pleaded, but Edward folded his arms around the book and shook his head no.

They even promised him a share of the treasure - but that didn't work either.

"You'll have to walk the plank!" threatened the pirates. Edward stood firm.

Finally one of the pirates drew his sword and waved it over Edward's head.

"Hand it over!" he roared.

But Edward wouldn't budge.

"Better be quiet," he warned the pirates, "or you'll wake up my mom and dad."

Edward had just finished speaking when the door to his room burst open and someone riding a huge white horse charged in.

It was Edward's mother!

She was dressed in a shining suit of armor and was carrying a lance. She pinned the sword-waving pirate to the wall.

But then the other pirates drew their swords and closed in for the attack!

Suddenly a flurry of arrows flew through the air, knocking all the swords away.

A figure dressed in a green tunic bounded into the room, bow drawn, arrows at the ready.

It was Edward's father!

"Back off!" he commanded the pirates. "Go stand in the corner."

The pirates did as they were told.

"Don't hurt us," they begged.

Edward felt sorry for the pirates.

"They only came for this book," he explained to his mother and father. "I don't think they meant any harm."

Edward handed the book to the pirates.

The head pirate held it open while the others huddled close by, talking in whispers.

After a few minutes, the pirate gave the book back to Edward.

"It's of no use to us," he said sadly. "We can't read."

"You can't read?" asked Edward.

"Not one word," answered the pirate. "None of us can."

"I'll read it to you then," said Edward. "That is, if it's all right with my mom and dad."

It was.

"But don't stay up too late," Edward's mother told him firmly.

"And close the window when you leave," said Edward's father to the pirates.

As his mother and father left the room and went back to bed, Edward opened the book and began to read aloud:

" 'Some pirate treasure has never been found ...' "

Excerpt from EDWARD AND THE PIRATES by David McPhail. Copyright (c)1997 by David McPhail. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

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