A couple of centuries ago there lived a crusty old pirate called Ahab. He was a man of action and had an eye patch, a hook for a hand and a peg leg to show for it. Nowadays, however, he liked nothing better in the evenings than to sit in a tavern eating, drinking, wenching and exchanging yarns with the other pirates.
On one such evening he was recounting his tales of the high seas when one of the other pirates asked him “Tell us old Ahab, how did ye come to lose yer leg?” “Well me hearties,” replied old Ahab “we was out on the high seas one day when a mighty storm blew up an’ a mighty wave crashed across the deck. Swept a dozen of us overboard! Me shipmates: they all went to the Devil, but I fought me way back to the ship where they threw me a line. But as they were hauling me in a mighty shark grabbed hold of me leg and wouldn’t let go! I fought the damned fish off wi’ me bare ‘ands but it were too late to save the leg. When I got back on board the sawbones had to cut it off, an’ when I got back to shore the carpenter fitted me with this ‘ere peg! Aaaarrrh”.
Then another pirate asked him “An’ tell us old Ahab, how did ye lose yer hand?” “Well,” says Ahab “we was out on the high seas one day when we espied a mighty treasure ship. We gave chase, but she were well armed. Musket balls were flying everywhere; sent two dozen of me shipmates to the Devil an’ one tore through me ‘and. Injured it so bad the sawbones ‘ad to cut it off. An’ when we got back to shore the blacksmith fitted me with this ‘ere hook! Aaarrrh”
A third pirate stepped forward and asked “But ‘ow did ye lose yer eye old Ahab?” Ahab looked a little uneasy and said “Well, I was walking along the ‘arbourside one day in this very port when I ‘eard a seagull above me. I looked up an’ the damn bird crapped in me eye.” The other pirates were quiet and looked puzzled. Finally one of them asked “You lost yer eye ‘cos a bird crapped in it? Well, ‘owd’ that ‘appen?” Ahab was unusually subdued and looked embarrassed. Finally he muttered “Well, it were me first day with the ‘ook…”