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The Flying Dutchman

Sir Dig-a-lot | 7-14 yrs | Interactive, Reading Pod

The Legend of the Flying Dutchman

“I want to listen to a ghost story tonight!” demanded Rohan from Sir Dig-A-Lot. “I don’t know any ghost stories Rohan. I am a man of the past” replied Sir Dig-A-Lot. “Well then tell me a ghost story from the past” reasoned Rohan. Sir Dig-A-Lot thought for a while and said “Very well!”. He adjusted his glasses and continued “I will tell you the story of a ghost ship that sails the seas till date, the flying Dutchman.”

“The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that can never make port, doomed to sail the oceans forever. The myth is likely to have originated from 17th-century nautical folklore. The oldest versions of the sightings date to the late 18th century. Sightings in the 19th and 20th centuries reported the ship to be glowing with ghostly light. If hailed by another ship, the crew of the Flying Dutchman will try to send messages to land, or to people long dead. In ocean lore, the sight of this phantom ship is considered very unlucky”

Rohan asked “How did it come into origin?”

Sir Dig-A-Lot said “The reference of the ship was mostly in literature. The first reference in print to the ship appears in chapter VI of ‘A Voyage to Botany Bay’,  attributed to George Barrington. Writers like Thomas Moore, John Leyden, Sir Walter Scott also wrote about the ship in their poems. It gradually became a famous story when people kept sharing it and re-telling it. Now it has been adapted in even cartoons and a movie. Do you know there is an episode of Spiderman with the Flying Dutchman? Ask your dad he will show it you”

“Really?! I will” Rohan said excitedly “So this ship can be in all the seas across the world?”

Sir Dig-A-Lot replied “No Rohan. One can see this ship can be seen somewhere close to Cape of Good Hope, Atlantic Coast. Originally, the Dutchman held the sacred task of collecting all the souls who died at sea and ferrying them to the afterlife. “

Rohan asked “Do you believe this story?”

Sir Dig-A-Lot “It all comes down to believing doesn’t it? If you believe it’s true otherwise there are scientific explanations for this as well. While folk stories would tell you the Flying Dutchman was given to Davy Jones by his love, the sea goddess Calypso, who gave Jones the duty of ferrying the souls who died at sea in the next world. The scientists would tell you it’s nothing but an optical illusion. It is really up to you”

Rohan said immediately “I think I believe!”

Sir Dig-A-Lot tucked Rohan in bed and laughed “Do that! But don’t let it scare you or stop you. Now sleep tight!”

For more such interesting history articles and videos, go to this page.

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