Tall Tales







Old Stormalong and the Octopus

A Rhode Island Tall Tale

retold by

S.E. Schlosser 

One day Old Stormalong, the ultimate sailor, was sailing the Courser through the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean when a particularly large wave knocked the anchor loose. The anchor plunged right down to the bottom before the sailors could reel her in, and it got caught on something. The big ship lurched to a halt and the sailors rushed hither and thither, back and forth trying to figure out how to shake the anchor loose.

Finally, Old Stormalong pushed the sailors aside and gave the anchor a tug himself. But that anchor was stuck firm, and the sailors begged Stormie not to pull at it again, because they were afraid that he would wrench a hole in the bottom of the world and all the water would spill out into space. So Old Stormalong he decided to go down to the depths to see if he could unhook the anchor from whatever it was tangled to.

Taking a knife between his teeth, Old Stormalong dove into the water. For a few minutes nothing happened. Then the waters below the massive ship began to bubble and churn. The waves grew higher and higher until the ship was tossed around like a rubber duck in the bathtub. Even the old sailors grew seasick and clutched the rail, groaning aloud. After a few minutes the waves started to calm, and then Old Stormalong popped his head out of the water. "She's good to go, boys. Hoist anchor!" he shouted.

Old Stormalong climbed aboard while his men hoisted the giant anchor. As soon as they caught their breath, the sailors asked their captain why the anchor had gotten stuck on the bottom.

"It was a giant octopus playing games down in one of the canyons," Old Stormie explained. "It took a-hold of the anchor with four legs and was using the other four to hold onto the bottom of the sea."

"How did you get the anchor loose?" asked the first mate.

"Well, I just arm-wrestled the old whale-bait until it shouted for mercy and then tied its arms into double carrick bends. It will take the better part of the month for all the knots to come undone."

 

You can read more Rhode Island stories in Spooky New England by S.E. Schlosser.

 

Comments

These stories are great

cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wow! i love this story 9 years old and i love it this is something i'd recomend for any action kind of guy.

p.s.author i could never make a folk tale as good as this one.

Haha, nice one! I'm quite deep into maritime folklore but never heard of Stormie. Yeah, we all have new things to learn.
This guy reminds me of the Polynesian heroes like Maui. Or any other heroes of such hero-tales in every culture. Interesting how these nearly supernatural heroes crept their ways right into a relatively modern era. People need stories, tales and storytellers and will always do. :)

so awesome

nice story... but what was the lesson?

i like it a lot but it needs more action.

Reminds me off Stormalong on Misadventures of Flapjack. :P

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