The Denoons strolled around town on a beautiful, fine morning, the sun brightening up the grey sidewalks and making the sea glitter sapphire-blue.
Suddenly, Pictou picked up the sweet melody of bagpipes in the air. He scanned the surrounding area, trying to pick out where it was coming from. “Hmm,” he pondered, “where could that bagpiper be?” “Follow the sound,” Port Hawkesbury told him. “Alright.” Heeding Port Hawkesbury’s advice, the Denoons ambled towards the source of the music, which increased in volume the closer they got.
Turning a corner, the Denoons caught sight of a young bagpiper, playing his bagpipes sweetly. “There he is,” said Pictou. The Denoons approached the piper, and Pictou stood by his side. The piper caressed Pictou’s hair. “Aw,” Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton both cooed.
The piper finished his song, and he caught sight of the Denoons. “Hello,” he greeted them.
“I’m Port Hawkesbury,” Port Hawkesbury introduced herself. “I’m Stellarton,” Stellarton introduced himself. “And this is our son, Pictou,” Port Hawkesbury added, introducing Pictou. The piper made a kind sound. “Pictou,” he repeated. “What a beautiful little name.” “Yes,” Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton both agreed.
Pictou touched the piper’s kilt. “It’s very soft and thick,” he remarked, feeling its lovely texture. “Yes,” agreed the piper.
Spotting a little fur-lined pouch hanging down the piper’s kilt, Pictou fondled it. “What’s that?” he asked. The piper looked down at himself, then at the pouch. “This?” he repeated, touching it. “Well, it is a sporran.” “Ah.” “You’ve just learnt a new word, Pictou,” Port Hawkesbury told him. Stellarton jotted the new word – along with its definition – down in his notebook.
Pictou looked at the piper. “Play a song for me, please,” he asked him politely. “Alright,” the piper accepted, and he began to play a new song on his bagpipes, making Pictou dance vivaciously, with Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton admiring them both. Stellarton jotted down some notes on today in his notebook. Still playing his bagpipes, the piper ambled over to a nearby hillock, with Pictou and his parents tailing him. He indicated the DeCoste Centre, and Pictou ceased dancing.
Heeding the piper’s direction, the Denoons left him behind to continue playing, and entered the DeCoste Centre, where some young ceilidh dancers were performing little Scottish jigs. Pictou joined in, resuming his dancing, and the crowd, including Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton, clapped in time to the melody.
When the song ended, the ceilidh dancers and Pictou all bowed down to the crowd, who cheered and applauded them. Leaving the DeCoste Centre, the Denoons began to stroll down Caladh Avenue, viewing the boats that were docked in the harbour. Nearby, a Canadian Boy rested on a bench. Seagulls soared and mewed overhead. The roar of the sea’s crashing waves filled the air.
Suddenly, the Denoons caught sight of a man dressed as a lighthouse, singing and dancing. “Let’s go meet him,” Pictou suggested. Port Hawkesbury accepted. “Alright, sweetie.”
The Denoons approached the Lighthouse Man, who immediately ceased his festivities and turned around to face them. “Hello, my lovelies.” “I’m Port Hawkesbury,” Port Hawkesbury introduced herself. “And I’m Stellarton,” Stellarton added.
The Lighthouse Man focused on Pictou. “Hello, little one.” “I’m called Pictou,” Pictou replied. The Lighthouse Man touched and stroked him. “Pictou’s such a lovely name,” he remarked. “Mmm-hmm,” Pictou agreed, nodding.
“You’re some strange lighthouse,” Pictou commented. The Lighthouse Man agreed. “Yes, I am, actually.” “What do you do?” “I look for lost boats and ships at sea,” the Lighthouse Man replied. “I’ve got a little light in my roof.” Pictou looked rather angry. “A little gimmick, I suspect?” he doubted, arms folded. The Lighthouse Man chuckled. “Not really.” “Ah-ha,” said Pictou, eyes closed, arms still folded.
To prove to Pictou that it was real, the Lighthouse Man repeatedly switched his ‘light’ on and off. “It may only be a light, but it saves lives – and brings lost people home.” “Yes,” Pictou agreed.
“You want to dance?” asked the Lighthouse Man. “Alright,” Pictou accepted, and they both began to dance, with the Lighthouse Man touching Pictou. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton watched with admiration.
While they were both dancing, the Lighthouse Man switched his ‘light’ on, creating a little spotlight to focus on Pictou. “Aw,” cooed Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton. The Lighthouse Man and Pictou continued to dance, with Pictou under the Lighthouse Man’s spotlight.
Wrapping up their dance, Pictou and the Lighthouse Man stretched their arms out, and the Lighthouse Man switched his ‘light’ off. Stroking Pictou sweetly, he called him a ‘little sweetie’. “Aw,” Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton both cooed again.
“Lighthouses help and save people,” said Pictou. “That’s right,” the Lighthouse Man replied, “that’s why there’s lighthouses all over Nova Scotia.” He switched his ‘light’ on again.
Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton both laughed pleasantly. “Thanks for today,” they both said to the Lighthouse Man, who gave his thanks back, and switched his ‘light’ off. “Goodbye.” The Denoons bid farewell back, and they set off once again down Caladh Avenue, while the Lighthouse Man resumed his singing and dancing.
Strolling along a rocky beach, the roar of the sea’s waves crashing against the small pebbles filled the Denoons’ ears. Nearby, an elderly man rooted around for oysters, popping them into a little pouch hanging down his front. He heard the Denoons approaching, so he turned to face them. “Hello.” “I’m Port Hawkesbury,” she introduced herself. “I’m Stellarton,” he added. “And I’m Pictou,” concluded Pictou. “Why are you collecting oysters?” “A good friend of mine is making oyster chowder,” the oyster collector replied. “Oh.” He picked up another oyster from the ground and stored it in his pouch.
With the Denoons tailing after him, the oyster collector picked up more oysters from around the beach, storing them in his pouch. “I think I’ve got enough now,” the oyster collector declared as he picked up an oyster submerged in a little rockpool, then he suddenly, he noticed another oyster balancing on top of a rock. “Oh! Another one!” he exclaimed, picking it up and popping it into his pouch, chuckling. The Denoons smiled with him. With the family on his trail, the oyster collector ambled over to a petite cottage beside the beach.
The Denoons and the oyster collector entered the back garden, where a young man was preparing some fish stock in a saucepan. The oyster collector dug into his pouch and handed his oyster hoard over to the cook.
Suddenly, Pictou relieved himself, and Port Hawkesbury smelled ammonia in the air. Picking him up, she lay him down behind a trash can to change him. Stellarton took a seat at the table and jotted down some notes in his notebook. Port Hawkesbury, coming back from changing Pictou, took another seat and carefully slid Pictou into a highchair. The chef boiled the oysters with a cupful of white rice, covering the saucepan and letting the Denoons’ lunch simmer.
Once it had finished cooking, the chef’s assistant ladled a spoonful of chowder into three bowls, one for each Denoon. He placed them on a tray, carried them over to the table and gave a bowl of chowder to each Denoon family member. “Thanks,” they replied, and they all began to tuck in to their lunch, chatting about the day’s happenings. Pictou picked up a pepper mill and ground some pepper over his chowder. “Needs a little more kick,” he commented. “Alright,” Stellarton replied, and the Denoons continued eating.
“Thanks for the food,” the Denoons said to the oyster collector and his cooks when they’d finished their lunch. “And thanks for visiting me today,” the oyster collected replied. They all bid goodbye to each other, and the Denoons resumed their stroll around town.
Later on, the Denoons met an old man caring for one of the residents of the Pictou Lobster Hatchery. His hands were buried under a thick layer of brown leather gloves, cuddling his bare skin underneath. “Hello. I’m Port Hawkesbury,” she introduced herself. “I’m Stellarton,” he added. The lobster carer turned to Pictou. “Who may you be, little dear?” he asked him. “Pictou Denoon.”
Pictou touched the lobster’s tail. “It’s a real lobster,” he remarked. “Yes,” the lobster carer agreed. The lobster put its pincers out to him. He carried it in his hands, and it twitched its antennae.
“Why are you wearing gloves?” Pictou asked the lobster carer, whose lobster dangled from his finger. “So my fingers don’t get pinched,” the lobster carer explained. As he spoke, the lobster pinched his finger, its grip hardening. “Ooh…” Pictou winced. “See? That’s why. Least it doesn’t hurt as much,” the lobster carer chuckled. “Down, boy.” The lobster released its grip and crawled about.
The lobster carer picked the lobster back up, cupping it in his hands, and led the Denoons over to a small pool. “Here’s where our lobsters get fed, have a drink, relax, lay their eggs and have baby lobsters,” he explained. “Aw,” cooed Port Hawkesbury. “That’s so sweet,” said Pictou. Stellarton jotted down some notes in his notebook. The lobster minder caressed his lobster, showing it great affection. “Here’s all your little friends and family,” he told it, showing it all the other lobsters in the pool. The Denoons watched him, smiling sweetly.
Pictou caught sight of a blue lobster climbing some underwater rocks. “A blue lobster?” he commented in disbelief. The lobster carer turned to him. “Yes,” he replied, fondling his lobster. “Blue lobsters do exist, but they’re very rare.” “Maybe he’s a special lobster.” “Yes, maybe he is,” replied the lobster carer. “Your lobster’s red,” Pictou remarked, looking at the carer’s lobster. “Yes,” he replied. “Well, most lobsters are red. But there are many different types of lobster.”
The carer picked up another lobster from the pool and turned it upside down, revealing mounds of small, black, pearly lobster’s eggs. “Here, look,” the carer told Pictou, and he listened. “Oh,” he said. The lobster jiggled her legs and twitched her antennae as Pictou and the lobster carer examined her. The lobster carer smiled sweetly. “She’s gonna have little lobsters soon.” Pictou smiled too. The carer turned the lobster back onto her eggy stomach and placed her, with great care, back down into the pool. She crawled around underwater.
Stroking his lobster, the carer smiled kindly. “I’ve love to have a pet lobster,” Pictou remarked. “Oh, really?” the carer replied in surprise. “Yes, really,” Pictou reiterated, and they both laughed out loud. Pictou calmed down, and he sighed seriously.