The Little Ship: A Short Tale

She was a yare ship.

She sailed beautifully across the water, sliding through it like a ballerina on a stage. Never was she used for her true potential, always floating around in the shallow end, always looking longingly out to the vast ocean so blue.
She was cleaned, she was varnished, she was kept to be a trinket. She never learned her true value, her true potential, her true capabilities, despite being made to show her capabilities as a sideshow attraction.
She wanted, oh, she wanted to sail the ocean, ford seas, having the adventure her closeted life never allowed her to have. The anchor weighing her down, the captains never realizing her potential, never allowing her to learn hers.
She was a yare ship.
But she might as well have been kindling, for all she was made to be.
When the great storm tore her away from the moorings, the anchor no longer weighing her down, the captains left behind at the quay, wondering what did they ever do wrong, what didn’t they do for that beautiful ship, kept so carefully, so closeted, not even put to work, not used for the purpose she was made for.
What did they do wrong?
Where did they go wrong?
The ship wasn’t ready for her purpose. They simply HAD to protect her, smother her, or she will be wrecked, won’t she?
They loved her so much, they didn’t want her to see the vast blue ocean, attractive, but with lurking dangers underneath until she was of the appropriate age.
Of the appropriate age. Who decides that? Should the ship be kept at dock all the time, never preparing her for the storms that are part and parcel of life at sea?
The vast blue ocean wasn’t as blue and inviting as the beautiful little ship always saw when she looked longingly from the dock. It was black, frightening, choppy waves beating against her hull, high enough to wet her deck. Sharp rocks tore at her, limpets clung to her, her once lovely, carefree self, was once again, weighed down, even heavier this time, her beautiful visage spoilt.
Yet she went on, wanting the loving arms of the captains caring for her once more. But she went on, wanting to see the ocean, which, despite failing her naive expectations, offered her the freedom and allowed her to gain seafaring knowledge, which was no less exciting than the prospect of freedom was at first to her.
She had a tough time, oh, she had a tough time. She appealed to the GREAT CAPTAIN, beseeched him to help her find her moorings once more, but in HIS wisdom, the GREAT CAPTAIN prolonged the little, battered ship’s journey, wanting her to really learn what life at sea is actually like, and thus learning her potential, fulfilling her capabilities.
The GREAT CAPTAIN was at helm. HE will steer the little ship and lead her back to her moorings in time.
The little ship felt safe. She was proud of her seafaring knowledge, wanting to show her captains of old  what she was capable of now that she had gained some knowledge at sea.
Soon, the little ship somehow found herself in familiar waters. She sped up, excited at the thought of seeing her dear captains again. She reached and docked, preparing to be engulfed in the loving arms of the captains again.
But she wasn’t prepared for what she saw.
The pure disappointment showing so clearly on their visages.
What happened to their cherished ship? Why were the sails torn? Why was the hull broken? Why was the beautifully painted masthead faded? Why was their once beautiful, sleek little ship, now returning broken, bruised, battered? Why? Why? Why???
She wasn’t their cherished little ship anymore. She was broken. She was old now.
They tried to patch her up the best they could, but lost all hope upon her. They appealed to the GREAT CAPTAIN for assurance, for answers, but neglected to heed HIS answer that was staring right back at them. That the little ship is learning to navigate the waters of the ocean that will be a part of the rest of her life, that the little ship is not a sideshow trinket, that the little ship has a purpose.
All they saw was that broken, battered, ugly little ship. Which was of no use to them. The captains sadly went off, leaving the little ship to her fate. In their opinion, she might as well be wrecked upon the next storm. She was too old to be loved.
The little ship was heartbroken. She wanted to do exactly that, throw herself upon some rocks. Because to her, if the captains see no use in her, what was her purpose being there anymore? She waited for the next storm.
It came. The storm came with its black waters and choppy waves. The little ship set out, throwing a last sad longing glance, but the glance was directed to the familiar moorings of the well loved quay. She doesn’t fit in the beautiful quay anymore. Resolutely, she set out towards some rocks.
Just as she was about to wreck herself, she felt a soft caress directing her away from what she was about to do. The soft touch at her helm guiding her, pointing her towards a long path she couldn’t see the end of.
Then she heard the words;
The little ship was awed and humbled. She complied. She loved her captains and realized that they do love her, albeit they don’t understand her most of the time. With a loving thought towards her captains of yore, she set out once again, without fear, for she knew that capable hands will be guiding her towards fulfilling her purpose.
The GREAT CAPTAIN was at helm.
All is well.
27 November 2013

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