There once was a band of pirates that shipwrecked on a deserted island. Their rugged old ship crashed into a gigantic black mountain jutting out of the sea.
They had been on their way to a land of great riches, but it seemed they would never get off this suffering island. So, they made due with what they could find and hunkered down for the long haul. They rescued most of their gold and diamonds from the ship and each of the pirates guarded their personal treasure like pirates are so good at doing.
One pirate in particular, though, was very good at bargaining and saving his loot. His name was Clampshaw. He was a good-natured guy. He was fair and kind when he bargained with people for things and his treasure steadily grew.
Then one day, many years later a little boat found the island. All the pirates were saved . . . that is, if they wanted to be. The one person on the boat when it arrived was an old man. He said he was going to a place where there were great riches, but of a different type. He said there were good, kind people who would probably welcome them like they were family. He said they would never be hungry because they had plentiful gardens. He said they would rarely get sick because they had such good medicine and got plenty of exercise. But there wasn’t much use for gold there.
The old boat captain said that he would save them, but they had to trust in his navigation and do their best to respect his rules for the boat. The rules were basically to take care of each other and to be nice, not to steal and to try to not curse at each other as much.
So, many of the pirates piled on. But there were some that didn’t! And old pirate Clampshaw thought this was curious. He looked and he saw that most of the pirates that got on were the poor ones that had gambled and drunk their gold away. They were ready for a new way of life.
So Clampshaw limped over to the old man, his peg leg sinking into the sand of the beach at each step. And he asked the old man, “So what does a dirty old pirate have to do for you to take me to that place?”
The old boat captain said, “You have to try to behave and be nice as much as possible.”
“ARRR!” Clampshaw shouted in delight, “That’s my specialty! I’m the nicest, fairest, clean-mouthed pirate on this island!” Clampshaw turned around to go get his treasure chest to bring with them.
“Oh!” The old boat captain added. “And you can’t take any of your treasure with you.”
“Huhhh??!!!!” Clampshaw gave the old man a confounded, sparse-toothed look and said, “You mean, I caint take me barrels o’ loot wit me?”
“The boat can’t hold it. And we don’t have any use for the gold where we’re going anyway.” The old boat captain added.
The old pirate slumped in despair. He sat down on the beach and watched the half-full boat kick off from the shore and disappear from sight.
The rest of his life on that little forsaken island he wondered if it was better to be rich in gold in a lonely place, or be poor in gold in paradise.