A short children’s story – “The Ship’s Cook”

So, every day I put the baby on the changing mat, switch on the voice recorder on my phone, and start telling a story off the top of my head… (been a while since I posted any – transcribing is a bitch.)

This is a story about a chef who lived on a boat.  A fishing boat, that was always out at sea. and his job was to make sure the captain always had the best food.

Now, the Captain was a big fat man who loved his fish, which was handy because they lived at sea and fish was all there was to eat.

But the Cook had lied to the Captain when he got his job.  He had lied and said he was an expert in cooking fish, but he wasn’t – he was just a common-or-garden chef.

Now, luckily, most fish are easy to cook.  The fishermen would bring them to him, from the day’s catch, already gutted, s all the chef would have to do is put them in a pan, boil them, grill them, skin them, chop them up sometimes – it was easy.

But one fish was the captain’s favourite, and the chef had no idea how to cook it.  And that fish was a jellyfish!

The thing with Jellyfish is that they can sting – even when they are dead, they can sing. He was scared of being stung so he had never cooked a jellyfish.

One day after a few months at sea, with lots of nice cod and haddock, plaice, hake, sole, tune and trout, the cook’s worst nightmare came true, and one of the fisherman brought down to the galley a jellyfish from the day’s catch, and he said:

“The Captain wants this for his tea!”

The Cook was terrified.  He didn’t even want to touch the Jellyfish. But he knew he was in trouble because if he didn’t cook it the Captain would be mad, and would know he had been lied to.  But he was so scared he went about cooking the potatos and the veg and the starters and the dessert – he made a feast – but he never touched the Jellyfish.  He just left it there on a tray on the sideboard.

He was scared – he coudlnt cook the jellyfish but he didn’t want to disappoint the Captain.

In the end he hid in his cupboard.

He herad the fisherman come in, pick up all the food and take it up to the serving quarters, and he heard them have a big feast. He stayed in his hiding place.

Much later on, he was still hiding and he heard a knock! knock! knock! at the galley door. The captain burst in and shouted

“Cook – Cook! Come here!”

The Cook crept out from his hiding place and winced as he looked up at the Captain.

“That” said the Captain “was the best Jellyfish I have ever eaten!”

The cook hoped his surprise didn’t show too much on his face, and he tried to smile.  The Captain continued

“the stingers were still on, you got the flavour from them, and the worst thing with jellyfish is if they are overcooked, but i like mine raw and you did it perfectly”

The cook smiled and said “i though you would – I didn’t cook it at all”

After that, the cook had nothing to be worried about because he learned that the one thing he couldn’t cook was the one thing he didn’t need to.


Morals: Lying is good.  Cowardice is rewarded.


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