"Are there still pirates?" My daughter was about four years old at the time, and quite precocious. Even though I knew that my answer would unnerve Sarah, I admitted to the continued existence of pirates. I always tried to be honest with my kids.
"What if pirates come to take our treasure?"
I tried allaying her fears by explaining that pirates sailed the seven seas and only attacked towns or villages on the coast, and given that we lived over three hundred miles inland, we were pretty safe. I added that these days most pirates limited their activities to the China seas, which was very far away, so we were doubly safe.
"But they could still come, right?"
I had to admit that, though unlikely, there was a chance that pirates could show up on our doorstep.
When she asked about a strategy for handling such a situation, I told her that we really didn't have much of a treasure, certainly not the sort of treasure that pirates would be interested in.
"But then they might get angry and they might hurt us!"
Clearly the whole responsible, honest, sincere parent thing wasn't working. It was time to try a different tack. "Pirates like rum, right?"
"If they come, we can give them rum. Then they'll get drunk and forget about the treasure and being angry."
I wonder what happened to that large bottle of rum we purchased in case a large crowd of cutlass bearing, eye patch wearing visitors came by.
Is there a moral to this story? Can I somehow link it to the bloody brain? Probably, but do I want to? Not really.