Bessie’s Story

Anna is a young pirate who dreamt of swashbuckling escapades with her parrot, dog and dolphin by her side. Even though she was orphaned when she was very young and knew little of her real family, Anna knew her love for adventure and sailing came from her grandfather Captain Tom Garfield who was also a pirate. She’d heard rumours of a treasure her grandfather had buried but she had no one to ask if those stories were real. Apart from inheriting the family house, all she really had was her grandfather’s ship and pocket watch. The pocket watch didn’t even work – in fact it rattled a bit – but Anna loved it anyway.

Anna was at home getting ready for another adventure to faraway islands and went into the attic for a few last supplies. There, she found an old box that she hadn’t noticed before. She opened it to find some things that must have belonged to Grandpa Tom. There was his telescope, his compass, a map and a partially torn photo of him looking dashing, with his sword and pirate hat. Anna looked at the map and stared at the spot marked “X” and at the title of the map: “home”. She concluded the “X” must be the treasure she’d heard about. She put the photo in her pocket, the telescope under her arm and decided to change her plans to look for the treasure.

She knew her grandfather had moved from a nearby island, so Anna called out to her parrot and dog to come at once, it was adventure time! Anna’s dolphin was never far from her ship and was waiting for them as they boarded. They quickly set sail for Grandpa Tom’s “home”. Anna hadn’t bothered to match up her Grandpa’s map with that of his island, and she was about three hours into her trip before she studied the map, only to realise that the coastline on the map was actually from her home island! She wasted no time in turning the ship home. But by the time they got there, Anna was too tired to do anything so she went to the cafe to study the map further and work out exactly where to start looking.

Anna ordered a burger and a strawberry milkshake and placed the map on the table. The details on the map were hard to read and didn’t make any sense. She needed help. She pulled out the photo hoping there was a clue. But nothing. Something didn’t seem right though, she just couldn’t put her finger on it. The waitress was soon over with Anna’s food.  As she put it on the table, she dropped it on floor with a loud BANG and started to cry. She said “who are you? And why do you have a photo of my dad?”  Anna told her it was her Grandpa and they realised at the same time they were mother and daughter. The two spent the rest of the night catching up, and then Anna explained what she was doing with the map and then her mum told how she too had been looking for the treasure when a coconut fell on her head and erased her memory. The photo of her father had jolted it back. Anna’s mum showed Anna the rest of the photo that she’d had carried for 15 years everywhere she went hoping one day it would make sense. The rest of the photo was of a woman dressed as a witch and a baby dressed as a teddy bear. Anna’s grandpa was not a pirate at all, the photo she had was taken at Halloween!

Anna’s mum told her more about her Grandfather and the chest too.  Grandpa Tom was a salvage diver and had found the chest along with a few other things – including Anna’s pocket watch – in a ship wreck not far from the island.  Grandpa hadn’t found the key and it was such a beautiful chest that he didn’t want to break it to see what was inside.  He buried the chest so it wouldn’t get stolen.  Anna listened intently, but there wasn’t any detail that was helpful.  On the back of her mum’s half of the photo was written “find the tree named after me, and there my buried treasure will be. Four paces to the west, and you find my chest”. “I’ve never heard of a ‘Tom tree’, said Anna, but her mum replied that his whole name was Phillip Thomas Garfield Jr.  Anna had never heard of a ‘Phillip tree’ either.  She wrote his full name on the map and then knew exactly where to look.

There was a line of palm trees along Palm Tree Grove and on one of them there was a carving PTG.  She now knew what that really meant.

Anna barely slept that night and was ready at sunrise for her mum picked her up to look for the treasure.  They found the chest in no time and took it home.  It really was a beautiful chest and they could see why Grandpa Tom didn’t want to ruin it. They searched the attic for anything that could help with where the shipwreck was.  Anna wanted that key!  She called for her animal friends to get the ship ready.  They were going to set sail as once.

To save time, they decided to take EVERYTHING they could find that belonged to Grandpa.  As Anna grabbed the telescope, it knocked the pocket watch on the floor and broke it open.  And there lying on the ground was a key.  The key.  Anna called for her mum but she couldn’t wait.  She ran straight to the chest.

She carefully opened the lid and revealed Grandpa’s treasure.  It wasn’t a treasure chest at all, it was a clothes trunk, full of pyjamas and undies.  Anna was so happy to have her mum back, she couldn’t be sad.  In fact, this became just the first of their adventures together….

By Bethany Greenstreet

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