I have a special guest for you today. Please welcome Vlad, the talking pirate rat.
Thank you for visiting, Vlad. I'm thrilled I get to pick your brain today.
Arrr, swabber! No one be messin' with me poor brain, lest ye end up in Davey Jones' locker!
Forgive me, Vlad. What was I thinking? I didn't mean it literally. (The scars on the top of his head make me wince.) It's just that you're such an amazing rat, being able to not only talk, but you can also sing.
Aye, swabber, thanks fer ye blog invite,
Yeo-heave-ho and a barrel of crumbs,
But don't be askin' this rat to write,
Yeo-heave-ho, got a bottle of rum?
I love your pirate ditties, Vlad. That was way cool.
Aye, got me voice from me sweet mum. Singing ditties is me specialty. Glad ye likes it, landlubber.
I'm sure people are wondering how in the world a rat can not only talk, but also sing. Can you explain it for them, Vlad?
(The hair along Vlad's spine bristles like a scrub brush. His eyes are misty. He wipes them with the back of his paws.)
If this is too painful to continue, I understand.
Nay, matey. Let me tell me tale. I once be a spry young parrot on a pirate ship. Woe, how me longs fer salty sea breezes ruffling me wings.
Ah, I love the crisp smell of ocean air, too.
To makes a long story short, after being kidnapped by two scurvy swine, me ended up in the clutches of a mad scientist, Bela Zantony.
Oh, yes, Uncle Bela Zantony is mentioned in the first Monster Moon book, Curse at Zala Manor. He was AJ Zantony's 13th great-uncle, a scientist.
A mad scientist, me heartie. Mad as a kraken in a witch's brew. A beautiful, plumed parrot t'was I when he took me into his lab. Blast! I awoke trapped in this wretched rodent's vessel.
I'm so sorry, Vlad. What a nightmare. How long ago did that happen?
Awk! Summer of 1698 me parrot self met me fate, but me brain lives on. Bela messed up when he transplanted me parrot brain into this blasted rat's head. He muddled up the aging process so I be cursed to live as a rat forever.
Here, Vlad, have a piece of muenster. I hope this isn't too uncomfortable, sharing your history with us.
(No response. Vlad's scarfing down the cheese. My bad. Note to self: Never offer animals a snack in the middle of an interview.)
Ahem! I'm sure AJ Zantony, Emily Peralta, Freddy 'Hangman' Gallows, and the other Zombuddies are thankful you survived through three centuries and are there to help them face the spooky predicaments they find themselves in.
(Vlad's slurping from my hot chocolate.)
Excuse my bad manners, Vlad, for not offering you a drink. You can have the rest of mine.
(Loud belch) Thank ye, swabber. Now, where's the rest of the grub ye promised fer this interview?
Coming right up, Vlad. Just one last question. Both Monster Moon books, Curse at Zala Manor and Secret of Haunted Bog, mention something about you knowing where pirate treasure is buried. Can you tell us how to find it?
Arrr, scallywag! I'll never tell. Awk! Never tell!
I had a feeling you'd say that. Thanks so much for visiting Random Acts of Weirdness, Vlad. Is there anything else you'd like to share with the folks?
Aye, mates, tis a merry time of year,
Me be wishin' ye much Christmas fun,
Remember, me loves rich tasty cheer,
Like, maybe a puddin' full of rum.
Thanks for coming, Vlad. Your feast awaits you in the kitchen. I hope you'll come back.
It'll cost ye scraps fer life, matey.
You got yerself a deal, Vlad! *wink*
Vlad's a regular character in the fun, spooky Monster Moon mystery series by BBH McChiller. If you'd like to learn more about Vlad and the Zombuddies, you can read about them in CURSE AT ZALA MANOR and SECRET OF HAUNTED BOG, for ages 8 - 12, available in hardback and eBooks: