Now there was a certain captain, well known and quite accomplished, who was required to sail his ship past this island. The captain knew his enemy, and he also knew his own weakness. When the island came into sight, he commanded his men to gag him,and tie him to the mast pole. He commanded further that each and every sailor should plug their ears with wax, so that they could not hear the singing and shouting of the Natives as they passed the island.They were not to untie him, or remove the wax from their ears until they reached a certain distance from the island.
"Really, Captain, do you think it necessary to take such drastic measures? I really cannot bring myself to tie my Captain to the mast, bound and gagged." His first mate said.
"I am in complete earnest." Captain replied. "Do you know how many ships have already fallen prey to their ploy? Anyone to disobey my orders will be the death of us all, but if by some chance we do survive, I would have him thrown into the sea."
The captain's orders were obeyed, and he was bound to the mast pole. As they passed the island, the women came out and began to sing, dance and scream, beckoning to the ship with their arms. The island was beautiful with waterfalls, palm trees, serene pools, and native fruit. Watching the display, the captain began to think. The tales can't be true. A little pleasure after so many months at sea couldn't be any harm.
So enchanting was their dance, and the sight of the women that the captain began to squirm against his bonds. He managed to free himself from the cloth that gagged him and shouted to his men. "Turn in, turn the ship into the harbor!"
He screamed till his voice went hoarse, but the sailors paid no heed, after all, their ears were filled with wax.
When at last they reached the safe distance from the island, they unplugged their ears and untied the captain.With his fit of passion behind him, he was glad he'd had the foresight to instruct his men. It had saved their lives.
When they reached their next port, he was walking down the street when he caught a strain of music unlike any other he'd ever heard. The music drew him into the little church on the corner, and there he heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When it came time for the ship to again sail past the perilous island, his first mate held up the rope he had coiled in his hand. "Shall we tie you to the mast pole again, Captain?"
The captain looked at him steadily. "No, mate. Let me loose. I don't need it this time. I've heard something so much greater, the Natives' ploy can tempt me no longer."
And the captain's word held true. As many trips as they made past island, never again was there a need to bind him to the mast.
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