Whale Love In The Time Of Piracy

A Maine pirate’s tale

Daniel Williams
5 min readJun 25, 2022


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A pirate is this:

“A sea-thief, one who without authority and by violence interferes with the property of another upon the sea…”

One time, I was kayaking in Branch Pond, a big pond in Maine, and I discovered if I parked my kayak in the water 200 yards from the old grist mill and sang like a whale, my song echoed majestically off the mill, sending my voice booming over the entire pond, and beyond, filling all the world with a sense of my great worth.

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So, I parked my kayak 200 yards from the mill and began to sing.

Again, this was Maine, so it wasn’t actually 200 yards. It was 200 yads.

Yes, y-a-d-s, yads.

Here’s another Maine pronunciation.

What do you call a chicken when it’s reduced to a hockey puck of meat?


Say it aloud: “chicken patty.”

If you said that to Mainers, they’d picture a compressed disk of chicken. They’d also picture chickens having a party.

They’d imagine a farmer marching into the chicken barn, seeing the chickens dancing, then saying, “You friggin chickens having a patty?”

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One day, I will write a book full of thousands of words that help flatlanders speak with a Maine accent.

One other day, I’ll write a different book called, simply, “F-Word.” It’ll be a coffee-table book packed with photographs of people on the cusp of saying the F-Word.

It’s one of my favorite faces.

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I’ll fill my book with so many people making the face: children, local politicians, kindergarten teachers, quilters, Subway…



Daniel Williams

A poverty-stricken, soft Batman by night. Illustrator and writing teacher by day. Previously: McSweeney’s, Slackjaw.