A Lesson in Leadership

In days of old, when men were bold,
And sailed the Seaven Seas
A mighty ship, a treasure ship,
Ran before the breeze

The captain stood aloft its deck
Eyes wary on the sea.
Against the wind, the bitter wind
A mighty hero, he

In the distance another appears
Unmarked and colors free
Another ship, a pirate ship,
A marauder of the sea

A cabin boy leapt from the nest
And rushed his captain true
A gasping breath, a fearful breath,
"Cap'n, what shall we do?"

He scanned the sea, and his crew
He scanned his decks too.
They looked to him, his men to him,
"Fear not, we shall get through!"

"Scurry down to my cabin, boy
And at the foot of my bed,
Open the chest, the oaken chest
And fetch me my shirt of red."

He donned the shirt the boy brought
And then his weapon drew
To start a defense, oh what a defense,
For the pirates fell to his crew.

The voyage lasted through the month
Then sails were seen once more
Three in number, the ships' number,
All pirates inward bore.

The captain looked at the boy
And this is what he said,
"To my cabin, boy, hurry boy,
And bring me my shirt of red"

The pirates neared, he put on the shirt,
Ships clashed in the fading light
Lightning flashed, as rapiers flashed
And the pirates lost the fight.

Another month, the ship made port
They banked their earnings there
A night's reprieve, a short reprieve,
Then again, 'gainst the oceans dare.

The ship sailed safely through the weeks,
But again did danger call
In the distance five, the ships total five
Fierce pirates, one and all.

The captain looked at his cabin boy
And dispatched him at a run,
For his red shirt, his battle shirt
And the battle was begun.

The fight lasted throughout the day,
The captain stood stalwart and brave
And with the night, the coming night,
His ship, his crew did save.

The cabin boy stood in awe
Of the victorious captain,
He had to ask, dared to ask
"My lord, a simple question."

The Captain looked at his servant,
And nodded at the request
He gently folded, the red shirt folded
And placed it in the chest.

"Why do you always wear that shirt,
When pirate ships you see?"
An answer sought, true answer sought
The captain considered carefully.

"The men look to me through battles fraught,
And flow with me to victory
As my blood is red, so my shirt is red,
Thus if I bleed, they do not see.

And if they do not see me bleed,
Their courage holds steadily,
They continue to fight, bravely fight
And never seek to flee."

The boy thought this very smart,
And a lesson on how to lead
To win a fight, continue to fight,
And never be seen to bleed.

Through many days, they sailed alert,
Nearly to the voyage end,
They saw a fleet, a pirate fleet,
And prepared again to defend.

The captain looked across the seas
And counted up the fleet
First to five, and then add five,
Ten pirates a sail, complete.

Upon the deck the boy waited
For the captain to look his way
Then he asked, and bravely asked,
"Shall I fetch your red doublet?"

The captain looked at his cabin boy
And answered with a frown
"Yes the red, the shirt of red,
And also, my britches brown."

Author's Note It should be noted that while I wrote the words to this version, it is based upon a joke I once heard.

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