Once upon a time, in a fishing village by the sea, lived a fisherman. Though he was a decent sailor, and had traveled many of the world’s oceans, he always had trouble with his balance as the ship rocked back and forth. He would fall all over the ship when trying to walk from one end to the other. Due to how poorly he handled himself during rough water, the other fisherman would joke and call him Weakleg.
One day, he inherited a ship from his father, and so he became a captain. The ship was expansive in size. It was easily as long as the street you live on, and taller than the highest tree you’ve ever seen. And so, the other fisherman upgraded his title, calling him Captain Weakleg.
At first things were pretty good, he was catching fish and keeping up with the others in the area. But as the years went on, he began to bring home less and less fish. His most recent outing had brought back an embarrassingly small amount of fish — only a single barrel — and most of the fish were too small to eat.
The captain brought his pet, Snowflake, with him on every expedition, claiming she was good luck. What kind of pet do you think it was? A parrot? Perhaps a dog?
No, it was a soft, white, lop-eared bunny. His crew members had a good laugh about the pet, seeing how it did him no good at all in bringing fish their way.
Word got around that maybe he wasn’t such a great sailor after all. The men who worked on his crew began to look for other ships to sail on.
Within a few years, the last of his crew had finally left him. Even though he was discouraged, he had hope that the next voyage would be different. Perhaps he could still fill the vast storage of his enormous ship to the brim with the finest fish.
It was a cool, fresh morning, the sun was rising over the ocean, and the captain was preparing to set sail. Nearby, he could overhear the other fisherman talking about which spots they would go to find the best fish. One sailor had a smile of gold teeth, except for the ones that had fallen out. His words in particular caught the attention of the captain.
“If I had nothing to lose, I know where I would go. Straight up north to Cooley’s Current. The fish there are bigger than anywhere else, and there are so many of them too. But even with that, I’d still be a fool to go anywhere near those waters. No way will I ever go there, not with the chance of running into that thing.”
The captain’s ears perked up a bit.
“What thing?”, said another sailor.
The first sailor, with a look of dread on his face, replied “No one knows for sure. Everyone who goes out that far into the frigid waters of Cooley’s Current never returns. So something is out there, I don’t know what, but I know to stay far away from it.”
The captain grabbed the cage containing Snowflake off the dock, and headed up the wooden walkway to board his ship. He headed straight to the captain’s bunk, where he kept his father’s old maps. After digging through some drawers, he finally found it. The one charting the way far north, to Cooley’s Current. This was certainly farther than he’d ever sailed by himself, and with such a large ship.
The captain looked at Snowflake, resting in her cage while enjoying a leaf of Bibb lettuce. Then, pausing for a moment, he gave a deep sigh.
With great haste, he rolled up the map and tucked it under his arm. The captain headed back up to the deck of the ship and lifted anchor. He walked directly to the ship’s wheel and pointed the boat north.
Looking out over the boundless expanse of water before him, and with a smirk on his lips, he spoke into the wind, “Well, like the man said. If I have nothing to lose…”.