Old Ephraim's Tale

Old Ephraim Truit, captain of
The schooner, Leaping Shad,
Sat down to spin a yarn one night
About some thrills he'd had.

Says Eph: The most excitin' night
That I can recolleck
Was one time when we put to sea
From out o' Turtle Neck.

All day a hurricane had brewed;
At night it reached its peak.
The thought of setting out from port
Left everybody weak.

"An' yit," says I, "these orders is
Plain orders an' we must
Port helm an' fight the hurricane
To Portugal, er bust."

The ragin' briny grabbed the ship
An' tried to make a wreck
Of Leaping Shad when we put out
That night from Turtle Neck.

My gallant mate, Gahoofus Plunk
A bearcat with the crew,
He ramped around an' cussed an' fit,
An' never missed a chew.

An' so we plowed through smoth'ring seas;
The gale was like a knife--
It ripped our sails and smashed our spars,
And threatened ship an' life.

But when the lurid dawn come up
Across the scuddin' seas,
The hurricane had spent its force,
An' things commenced to ease.

And then a shout: I turned to see,
Abaft our after deck,
As big as life an' twice as real,
Our coast line, Turtle Neck!

"What ho!" I cried. "Belay! Avast!
How come and what's the cause?
We've raced through miles of seas, an' yit,
We're still just where we was!"

The while I gazed, Gahoofus Plunk
Came aft with slinky tread
An' climbin' up the ladder, stood
With flushed and hanging head.

"Uh, Captain Eph," says he at last,
"Twas all my fault, I vum!
The anchor I fergot ter hoist--
Thet's why we're still ter hum."

I stood and thought a leetle while--
I'd fit the waves an' foam
Fer years, but never had I sailed
So fer and stayed ter home.

I looked at Turtle Neck an' thought
There's something funny here--
It was a harbor yestidday;
It's now a cape--that's queer!

An' then I knew! Dod—gast my spars!
The Shad, it sure was stout!
With anchor wedged, that ship had pulled
The harbor inside out!

--Author: LeRoy W. Snell
--Source: OCR scan of a copy of text typed on a manual typewriter by LeRoy Behling (with some minor corrections for OCR and typing errors and to clean up the formatting)