Who is the enigmatic Sailor Sim? There are many stories about him, so many it was hard to pick just three to champion as my favorite. But here they are. One about music vegetables. One about heinous carrots. And one about octopus ink.
#1: Howlin’ Mad Heather – I love her tale because she came up with crazy names (Boreal Broccoli, ha!) and because there’s cheese in the story. Who doesn’t love cheese? (btw, this chick has an awesome blog why don’t you check it out?)
Sailor Sim was never a slim man. In 1786 he became lost in a tempest off the coast of Bora Bora and what started out as a pleasure cruise for coconuts became a life or death struggle as his ship, the “Boreal Broccoli,” washed ashore on the remote atoll of Notgonnaeatmypeas. There, Sim discovered the natives annually sacrificing an unlucky villager to the gods so that they might enjoy eating the local veggies a little more. Luckily Sim, a true epicure, used his ingenuity to melt his ship’s cheese rations over a fire and make the greens more palatable. The natives, in gratitude, helped repair Sim’s ship and ate their veggies happily. They also changed their island’s name to Nomnomnompeas.
#2: Kevin Haggarty – This story is kind of scary, if you have weak nerves you might not want to read it. There are some dreadful murderous carrots involved. The only thing I can say is, you won’t feel guilty about boiling carrots anymore. (Kevin has an awesome blog, Isle of Man, that’s always worth a look!)
Sailor Sim was a simple man. He enjoyed being out on his boat, as well as kicking his feet back on his favorite ottoman, while reclined in his favorite leather recliner. There were few things that really rattled his cage, save for one thing: carrots.
Sim hated carrots, and with good reason. When Sim was but the tender age of 11, carrots murdered Sim’s parents.
It was a night he’d never forget. Sim and his parents had just returned home after an extended vacation in the Virgin Islands, when they stumbled upon their house being robbed. The culprits were none other than a band of wild and rebellious carrots. As the family entered into their home, they were shocked to see the carrots rifling through drawers and carrying as many valuables as their leafy green stems could manage.
Sim’s father acted quickly, making a dash for the fireplace, over which his shotgun always hung. As he sprinted toward the hearth, the band of carrots were alerted to his presence and his intentions.
It was at that fateful moment that the lead carrot in charge grabbed a steak knife out of the utensil drawer, and lobbed it, end over end, in the direction of Sim’s father. The expert marksman had acquired his target. The steak knife sunk into Sim’s father’s back, and he was dead before he even his the floor.
Sim’s mother resorted to instinct and stood in front of her son, looking to protect him from the murderous ne’er-do-wells who sought to overtake them.
The noble gesture proved to be her last, as the carrots were upon her in a split second.
“Run!” she bellowed to her young, quivering son.
And run he did. He ran for miles. He ran till his short legs ached. He ran until he could run no farther and then he ran some more. Finally Sim, fell to the ground, completely exhausted and lacking the strength to continue another inch. He was resigned to his fate, whatever that may be.
When Sim awoke, he was surrounded by a crowd of “Men of the Sea.” They had heard of the events of the night before and felt pity for the boy. They took him in as one of their own and showed Sim how to be a proper sailor.
Sim is now an old man. Time has covered his wounds and he has moved on. But he’ll never forget the day that his parents gave up their lives, in his stead, to a gang of violent carrots.
#3: Lancelot Schaubert – I loved this tale because it’s mysterious and very tall – what does the pineapple mean? Why is he shouting at long last? It’s a tall well told that makes you continue telling it in your mind long after it’s done. (Lance literates at his blog, always full of wit and cool new info, go check out his post on a ninja warrior)
Lord Jim stepped up to the podium.
“Please state your name for the court,” said the judge.
“Jim, when did you meet Sailor Sim?” the lawyer asked.
“I was a’walking along the pier and came across this bearded old man. I asks a small child who it was and the child said, ‘That’s Sailor Sim. He was the one who found the way through the sea.’ ‘What way?’ I asks him. ‘The under-the-watercourse course. The river that runs under the sea. He was the one that sailed on the river that runs through a tunnel of water. He sailed the river all the way to the end and found the treasure at the end.’ ‘What was the treasure?’ I asks. ‘A pineapple,’ the kid says. ‘That it?’ I asks. ‘Nah,’ the kid says. ‘He lifted his pineapple up into the air and said, “Eureka! At long last!”‘”
“No further questions, your honor.”
Thanks ever so much everyone for contributing to the fun contest. All the winners can email me their addresses at:
And I’ll send you a supercool postcard with a tall tale written ‘specially for you.
Next tall tale we’ll go back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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Happy trails, partners.