Once there was a Viking Sea Captain who was prepared to go a ‘Viking.’ He ran into a major hitch, the Jarl would only let him sail if he took the Jarl’s youngest son along as his third mate.
The son, called ‘Big Ears’ was a real twit, but the Captain was stuck with him. As they sailed down the Fiord he was heard to say, “This could get interesting,” (an old Oriental Curse.)
While crossing the North Sea they encountered a terrible storm. Chaos ensued. The ships musician was washed overboard, their oars got tangled, and the Bear Sark got in a Fight with several other sailors.
The Captain decided to put-in at Scotland to acquire a new musician and restore order to the oars. Arriving on a bleak and rocky shore line near a fishing village, the crew agreed after a short ‘thing’ to tie up to an old stump at the edge of deep water, this being both prudent and unlikely to scare the Skots, while a small boat took the Captain to negotiate for a musician. The Captain assigned ‘Big Ears’ the ‘safe’ task of tying up the ship.
Arriving late in town the Captain did negotiate a deal with a piper named Sean, but it was to late to return to the ship. On arising to return the next day a young sailor and a Skots girl were missing. Much of the morning was spent seeking ‘Heather and Jan’ and getting them married.
After all the excitement the Captain, Sean, Jan, and the ‘Bear Sark’ returned around midday to find “Big Ears” still trying to lasso the stump with a big rope. Sean was heard to comment, “Obviously, Big Ears can’t beach Hauser’s.”
On learning of the joys of ‘rowing to the Pipes’ it was eventually decided to cut the voyage short and sail back to Norway. Sailing with a fortunate following wind into the Fiord the crew hoped Wyrd would be with them and the wind would not change. And that Sean wouldn’t have to play before witnesses.
As the ship sailed up the Fiord the lookout called out ‘Boat ahoy’. A closer examination revealed that the Jarl’s to bards were mid channel fishing. The sail was shortened and the steersman prepared to maneuver, and the oars were rigged just in case.
At this point two unfortunate things happened. The wind shifted and failed, and ‘Big Ears’ awoke from a nap. Seeing the sail empty and the oars inactive, ‘Big Ears’ turned to Sean and said, “What are you waiting for, hit it!” Sean squeezed his Bagpipes and Played. The sailors pulled on their oars. The Bards Froze at their oars instead of getting out of the way. The ship sprung forward and cut the small boat in half.
Since then this has been known as ‘Keeling two Bards with One’s Tone.’
* annnd… pun-nishment achieved