Sea Maiden 12 Karen and Pirate by Robert Kline
This beautiful Sea Maiden and Pirate illustration is from a collection of Sea Maidens (mermaids), Sea Babies (mermaid babies), Sea Masters (merman), pirates and fairies created by renowned artist and novelist Robert Kline of St. Augustine, Florida. The illustrations are from Robert’s novel The Forgotten Voyage of H.M.S. Baci in Sir Edmund Roberts describes in his log, his various Sea Maiden, Sea Baby and Sea Master sightings. The following is the excerpt for this illustration:
The pirate images came to me from an anonymous source on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. They arrived with no explanation other than a curt note berating me for not discovering them myself: “Well, Mr. I know everything about Sea Maidens, looks like you missed a few! HA!” Subsequent serious research has led me to the conclusion the picture of the pirate with the Sea Maiden on his shoulder depicts an episode in the Outer Banks history that has found its way into local lore:
It seems the parents of the young man pictured lost their lives in a sea battle with the pirate Blackbeard. Being short of hands the pirates spared the boy’s life and pressed him into his scurvy crew, threatening torture and death if he did not follow orders to the letter. The young man complies, learning the ways of the sea and of the “Brotherhood”. The lad matured and as luck would have it was unable to escape but was also fortunate in that he was never forced to take the life of anyone attacked by Blackbeard’s band. But his luck could not last forever…in a pitched battle off the North Carolina coast, Blackbeard’s fearsome lot having boarded a merchant vessel, a huge fellow from the attacked ship managed to leap past a dozen struggling men and place a knife to the throat of Blackbeard. Not a foot away and yet unnoticed the young pirate appeared, he the only one available to help his infamous captain. He raised the massive pistol he had carried all these years and got the drop on the fellow threading Blackbeard. “Avast and fire,” Blackbeard whined, “an’ ya may save yer dear Captain! Fire lad, an send the low dog to ‘is maker afore he makes fish food a’ me!” The fellow with his dirk at Blackbeards neck turned. He was sure the young pirate would now discharge his weapon and end the standoff. “Kill ‘im, boy! Blow the fool at smithereens,” Blackbeard whispered from the side of his mouth. The youngster looked long and hard at the pirate. “Can’t,” was all he said. “Ya can’t? What does ya mean ya CAN’T? It’d be simple enough…pull the trigger, lad, just pull the trigger!“
The young pirate looked at his pistol as if he hadn’t thought of that before, “Just pull the trigger?” he asked and smiled.
“Blimey, lad, yer a might slow taday! PULL THE BLASTED TRIGGER!”
As quickly as it had begun, it was over. “Okay,” the boy answered and did indeed pull the trigger. There was a ridiculously quiet click. The boy laughed as he dropped the pistol and stepped to the ship’s rail. Before he dove into the sea he added, “It was never loaded all these years!”
According to the legend, he swam to Ocracoke Island and lived in hiding. A year passed, and then another, until one afternoon after a violent storm he spied a Sea Maiden lying on the beach. He took her to his little home in a hidden lagoon and nursed her back to health. Love ensued and they spent the remainder of their lives together. He called her “Karen” after he spent so much time, as he said, “Carin’ for her.” Though I cannot attest to the tale’s veracity, it seems possible. No less than sixteen natives of the island claim the story to be fact, the women delighting in the couple’s happiness and the men anxious to explain it was because she could not speak.
This illustration is available for purchase in the following matted sizes: 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, 11″ x 14″ and an 11″ x 17″ that comes unmatted on a piece of 1/4″ foam board.