The Denoons strolled along the stony seashore, the roar of the waves crashing against the coast resonating inside their ears. Nearby, an elderly man wearing thick brown leather gloves was picking up crabs from across the beach. Noticing the crab collector, the Denoons slowly approached him. “Hello. I’m Port Hawkesbury,” she introduced herself. “I’m Stellarton,” he added. “And I’m their son, Pictou,” Pictou presented himself. “Why are you collecting crabs?” The crab collector picked up a crab from beside a small, barnacle-covered rock. “My long-time friend’ll be cooking crab dinner for lunch today,” he replied, cupping the crab in his hands. “Ah-ha,” Pictou nodded as the crab crawled around on top of his palms. “And the gloves? What are you wearing those for?” The crab dangled from the crab collector’s finger. “If a crab pinches me, it won’t hurt as much,” he explained.
As he spoke, the crab pinched his finger, strengthening its grip. “Ooh…” Pictou flinched. “Oh, I feel barely any pain at all!” the crab collector chuckled pleasantly. “Alright, come off it now.” The crab dropped off back onto the rocky sand. Picking it back up, the crab collector stored his catch in a lobster trap. He strolled seaward down the shore, where he picked up another crab wallowing in a shallow puddle, the Denoons following him.
Suddenly, a wave washed upon the shore, jangling the rocks on the ground. Pictou gasped, and he quickly and cautiously stepped backwards up the beach. “Good timing, Pictou,” Port Hawkesbury giggled, and Stellarton nodded. The crab collector turned to the Denoons, and he smiled cheerfully.
With the Denoons tailing him around, the crab collector continued on his crab hunt around the beach. A crab beside a barnacle-plastered wooden post, a crab underneath a jelly-like pile of seaweed, a crab hidden beneath a capsized old boat… Wherever they were hidden, they would be safely stored in the trap.
“Alright, come follow me over to the lighthouse,” the crab collector called the Denoons on, indicating the lighthouse up on the cliff. “Alright,” the Denoons replied in unison, and they all set off towards the lighthouse, the crab collector hauling his trap full of crabs all the way up.
The Denoons and the crab collector climbed all the way up the lighthouse until they reached the very top, where a middle-aged man was boiling a saucepan of rice in fish stock. The crab collector set his trap down and handed him his entire catch of the day.
Just then, Pictou relieved himself, and Port Hawkesbury caught the unmistakable aroma of ammonia in the air. She picked Pictou up and began to change his wet diaper in a secluded area of the room. Stellarton watched the cook extract the meat from the crabs, jotting some more notes down in his notebook.
“Stellarton?” Port Hawkesbury called. Stellarton heard his wife’s sweet voice. “Yes?” he called back. “Come fetch Pictou’s panties for me, will you?” “Alright, dear.” Stellarton went off and fetched Pictou’s panties up from beneath the crab collector’s coat. “Here, sweetheart,” he said, approaching Port Hawkesbury and handing her the pair. “Thanks, dear.” “Alright.” Stellarton made himself comfortable at the table, jotting down more notes in his notebook. Port Hawkesbury joined him soon after, placing Pictou down on a chair of his own.
While the Denoons were seated, the cook got on with preparing the Denoons’ lunch. He added the crab meat to the rice and boiled them together until the rice was soft and the meat white, flaky and tender. As the rice and meat cooked, he shredded some salad leaves, dressed them with creamy mayonnaise, grated some carrot over and tossed in a handful of prawns, making some coleslaw to accompany the crab dinner. The cook divided a mound of crab dinner between three plates – one for each Denoon, spooning on a little coleslaw. His assistant carried the plates over to the table and handed the Denoons their lunch. “Thanks.” And with that, the Denoons tucked in.
Pictou ground some pepper over his crab dinner. “I love spice.” Stellarton nodded. “Well, you’re Acadian, and spice makes up a tidbit of the Acadian cuisine.” “Yeah,” Pictou agreed.
The Denoons lunched on their crab dinner, one spoonful at a time. Port Hawkesbury swallowed down a mouthful, and her spoon clattered back down onto the table as her face twisted in pain. Her eyes suddenly began to pour out tears, and harsh sobs tore from her heart. Some of her tears dripped down onto her crab dinner. Port Hawkesbury buried her face in her hands. “Whatever’s troubling you, my sweet?” Stellarton asked her in French. Port Hawkesbury sobbed. “Pictou,” she called through her tears. Pictou perked up on hearing his name, and he watched as Stellarton stroked her affectionately, showing his care for her. Pictou reached out to Port Hawkesbury. “I know you care so much for me,” he reminded her, also stroking her tenderly. Port Hawkesbury cried as she tried to eat more of her crab dinner, as did Pictou and Stellarton. Pictou sniffed the briny, sweet scent of crab meat in the air.
Port Hawkesbury suddenly began to cry even louder. “Oh, Port Hawkesbury, please,” Stellarton pleaded her, continuing to stroke her. Pictou felt pitiful as he ate his crab dinner, gazing at both Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton.
“Thanks for the food,” Pictou and Stellarton thanked the crab collector and his cooks once they’d finished eating their lunch. “T-thank y-you,” Port Hawkesbury sobbed. “Goodbye,” the Denoons bid farewell, and they all descended the stairs down the lighthouse to continue their journey around town.
Stellarton held his Nova Scotia Museums Pass up to the receptionist at the McCulloch House Museum. “Alright, you can enter.” Port Hawkesbury carried Pictou down the corridor, where they came across a painting of some Scottish immigrants. Pictou sniffed the air, and Port Hawkesbury directed him to the painting. “These were the first people to come to Nova Scotia. That’s why they call this town the ‘birthplace of Nova Scotia’.” “Mmm-hmm,” Pictou nodded. “Hence the name. It’s Latin. It means ‘New Scotland’.” Port Hawkesbury stroked his hair sweetly. “I’m so proud of you, Pictou.” “Mmm-hmm,” Pictou nodded again. “I learnt that in History at school.” “Oh.” Port Hawkesbury smiled joyfully, despite the tear tracks on her face, and she stroked his hair again.
Port Hawkesbury carried Pictou over to a mannequin donning a collared shirt and a kilt with a belt and sporran. Pictou sniffed the air again. “This is a traditional Scottish costume,” Port Hawkesbury explained. “That’s the tartan of the Pictou Highlanders on that kilt right there.” “Oh.” Pictou reached out for the mannequin’s kilt to touch it for its softness and thickness, but Port Hawkesbury also reached out and quickly but gently put his hand back down. “Don’t touch, Pictou,” she ordered him softly. “Obey by the rules, little Picky-tou. It’s the law.” Pictou nodded seriously. “Sorry,” he apologized, and Port Hawkesbury accepted his apology, stroking his hair again. “Good little Pictou.” Port Hawkesbury placed Pictou down on the floor. “Abide by the law, my dear little one.” “Alright,” Pictou accepted in French, and he sprinted off, leaving Port Hawkesbury behind to look at more exhibits on her own.
With Port Hawkesbury’s advice resonating in his mind, Pictou toured the museum, gazing at all the exhibits, sniffing the air. Along the way, he came across a large painting of some Scottish immigrants arriving on the seashore of Nova Scotia. “That must’ve taken a long time to paint,” he thought as he thoroughly examined the painting, sniffing it. Pictou turned around and strolled a few inches away from the painting, a blank look on his face as he took another good sniff of the air.
Suddenly, Pictou relieved himself, causing his trousers to darken around the crotch with wetness. Some of it trickled down to the floor, collecting into a puddle. He emitted a strong ammonia odour, making him gasp in shock. Everybody in the museum stared at Pictou, and they gasped in shock, too. Some laughed nastily at him, while others disapproved or glared at him.
Port Hawkesbury came over, and she caught the ammonia odour. She spotted the moist patch around Pictou’s crotch and the puddle beneath his feet, causing her to gasp. Soon enough, she began to cry again, her throat and heart stiffening. She rushed over to Pictou to pick him up in lukewarm tears. Stellarton also came over and gasped, jotting down some notes in his notebook.
A couple of museum staff members stomped in and angrily indicated the exit, telling the Denoons silently to get out. Port Hawkesbury gagged, then she screamed as the Denoons hurriedly rushed out of the museum. Port Hawkesbury breathed rapidly, sobbing. Stellarton, touching her, looked up at the sky, noticing the red tinges and the sun setting. “We need to get home quickly,” he suggested urgently. Port Hawkesbury sobbed. “Alright, dear.” Pictou agreed too, and they all began to stroll back home, Port Hawkesbury sobbing, and Pictou stinking of ammonia.
Shedding tears and breathing rapidly, Port Hawkesbury slammed the door shut. She tossed the duvet off the bed, hastily lay stomach-down on the bed and hauled the duvet back over herself. She buried her face in the pillow and began to cry noisily, her heart tearing and her throat stiffening. Port Hawkesbury propped herself up. “They broke my heart…” she sobbed, grabbing her tight throat. “Why’d they do this to me…” She buried her face back in her pillow, continuing to sob.
Stellarton clambered into bed on the side next to Port Hawkesbury, where he always slept. “Aw.” He jotted some more notes down in his notebook, but his stroking and comforting only agonized Port Hawkesbury. Pictou joined in too, clambering into bed on the side opposite Stellarton. He was wearing only a diaper, as his panties were still wet from when he relieved himself in them. Pictou sniffed Port Hawkesbury. “Aw.” “Yes,” Stellarton replied in French, nodding seriously. Port Hawkesbury poured more tears on hearing her son’s voice. “Pictou.” Stellarton’s consoling only aggravated her crying. “Why’d they do this to us?” she asked, sobbing. Pictou felt pitiful as he watched. “Poor Port Hawkesbury,” Stellarton called her, and Pictou sadly agreed. He came up closer and touched his mother, sniffing her again. Port Hawkesbury could only cry, even as Stellarton comforted her.
A beautiful, clear morning brightened up Caladh Avenue as the Denoons strolled along, looking at all the boats docked in the harbour, including the replica of the Hector. Seagulls soared and mewed in the blue skies above.
Suddenly, bagpipes could be faintly heard in the distance. “I can hear bagpipes,” Pictou remarked, picking up the sound. “Yes,” agreed Port Hawkesbury. The Denoons scanned about themselves, and they caught sight of a small rowboat upon the water, carrying a horde of people wearing traditional Scottish costumes, with a piper in the lead. The skirl of the bagpipes increased in volume as the boat approached the shore.
Eventually, the boat arrived in the harbour, where the Harbourmaster docked it as the crew stepped off onto the pier and headed towards the Hector. Stellarton jotted down some notes in his notebook as they passed by. The Highlanders boarded the Hector, where they all turned northward to face the town.
By then, a crowd had begun to gather around on the street. The Denoons watched on with affection. As the music continued, the crowd and the Denoons cheered loudly and they began to clap along to the song. Pictou started to kick his legs up in the air in a lively manner, like a little Scottish jig. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton admired his technique, making sweet sounds as he tapped and clicked his feet together.
Eventually Pictou ceased dancing, and he bowed down to Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton. “Oh, good boy, Pictou!” “I never knew you could dance so well like that!” Port Hawkesbury picked Pictou up. “Loving this music, little Picky-tou?” she asked him sweetly, shaking and flapping his hand. “Yes.” “Oh, yes you are,” Port Hawkesbury giggled, tickling him all over. Pictou giggled too, and he smiled joyfully. The Denoons set back off on their journey, leaving the Highlanders and cheering crowd behind.
The Denoons arrived at a tea party being hosted in the grand gardens of a huge mansion, with a band of pipers vigorously playing their bagpipes. “Pictou,” Port Hawkesbury called softly. “There’s more bagpipers.” “Oh,” said Pictou. Stellarton jotted down more notes in his notebook, and Port Hawkesbury carefully placed Pictou down on the ground.
Pictou approached one of the pipers, who was sweetly piping away. He took a handful of his kilt and fondled it, feeling the soft and thick texture of the fabric. He then picked up a sugary scent in the air, and he began to sniff and stroll about, scanning around himself. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton came over, noticing Pictou’s sniffing. “What you rooting out, pretty Pictou?” Port Hawkesbury asked. “Something sweet, Picky-tou?” Stellarton added, jotting more down notes in his notebook.
Pictou kept on sniffing around, trying to identify the aroma, while Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton tailed him. “There’s lots of sweet things here, isn’t there, my dear little Pictie?” Port Hawkesbury remarked sweetly. “Like you, Picky-tou,” Stellarton replied. Port Hawkesbury giggled. “Yes,” she smiled, nodding.
Pictou continued sniffing, with the aroma strengthening each time, until he eventually found the source – a little plant sprouting up beside a tree, ripe red strawberries hanging off from the stems. Pictou sniffed the plant, its sweet aroma overpowering his senses. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton both watched him sniff the sprout. “Strawberries,” said Port Hawkesbury. Stellarton jotted some more notes down. “With cream,” he added. “Very tasty, my dear,” Port Hawkesbury giggled again, and Stellarton laughed with her. Pictou turned around, and he stared blankly into his parents’ faces.
Suddenly, he relieved himself, replacing the lovely strawberry aroma with the not-so-sweet stench of ammonia. Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton both gasped in shock, but Pictou only continued to stare blankly into their faces. Port Hawkesbury looked skyward, and she began to cry, warm tears streaming down her face. Stellarton jotted down some notes on this as Port Hawkesbury picked Pictou up and took him behind a trash can for privacy. Tears rolling down her face, Port Hawkesbury removed Pictou’s wet diaper and disposed of it in the bin. Stellarton watched, taking down notes. Port Hawkesbury cleaned Pictou’s backside with a baby wipe, then slipped him into a fresh, dry diaper and replaced his trousers. She picked Pictou up, and the Denoons returned to listen to the pipes while everyone else enjoyed the party.
Pictou, Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton sat at their table inside the Carver’s Pub, Coffee House & Carving Studio, pondering over what to have for afternoon tea. Pictou sniffed the air, catching a mixture of food scents. The waiter came over. “Chocolate shortbread and coffee with milk and cream, please,” asked Port Hawkesbury. “A ham and mustard sandwich with coffee. No milk, please,” Stellarton added. “And some vanilla ice cream with custard and a glass of milk, may I, please?” Pictou concluded politely. “Alright,” the waiter replied, and Pictou suddenly wet himself, stinking of ammonia. Port Hawkesbury caught the odour, and she began to cry again. She arose from her chair and took Pictou off to the bathroom to change him.
The Denoons’ afternoon tea arrived. “Thanks,” Stellarton said to the waiter, and he took a bite of his sandwich, sipping his coffee and writing in his notebook. Port Hawkesbury returned, placing Pictou back down on his chair and sitting back down. Her tears dripped down onto her shortbread and into her coffee. Pictou sucked on his ice cream with custard and took little sips of his milk.
The Denoons watched a young weaver threading a rug out of white wool on his loom. “Hello. I’m Port Hawkesbury,” she introduced herself. “And I’m Stellarton,” he added. The weaver turned to gaze at Pictou. “Hello, sweet,” he greeted him. “My name’s Pictou,” Pictou introduced himself. The weaver made sweet sounds to Pictou. “Pictou,” he repeated. “A dear, tender little name.” “Yes, it is, isn’t it?” the Denoons agreed.
The weaver finished threading the row he was working on, and he began to weave another row, threading a little white wool in. The Denoons watched him weave. “Looks very difficult,” Pictou remarked. The weaver nodded. “Yes. But it’s all worth it in the end.” Pictou smiled, and Stellarton jotted down some notes in his notebook.
The Denoons then met up with a young fabric-dyer, who was dyeing a white shirt dark blue. His apron was splashed with splotches of different colours, and so were his hands and clothes. Steam filled and warmed the room. “Hello. The name’s Port Hawkesbury,” she greeted the fabric-dyer. “The name’s Stellarton,” he added. The fabric-dyer turned to Pictou. “Hello, my dear,” he greeted him sweetly, swirling the pale blue shirt around in the water. “What’s your name, my beauty?” “Pictou.” The fabric-dyer splashed some water onto his hand, staining it blue like the shirt. “Pictou,” he repeated. “The sweetest name I’ve ever heard.” “Yes, indeed,” Pictou agreed, nodding. Stellarton jotted down notes on the fabric-dyer’s job in his notebook.
Pictou watched the fabric-dyer dye the shirt. “Hmm, I wonder,” he pondered, “do you have every single colour as a dye?” The shirt turned bright blue. “Yes,” the fabric-dyer smiled. “Every single colour of the rainbow.” Pictou laughed sweetly. “So you may have this colour?” he asked, taking a handful of his bright turquoise shirt. “Indeed, I do,” the fabric-dyer replied. “Alright,” Pictou smiled, and he laughed again. The fabric-dyer smiled with him.
Eventually, the shirt turned dark blue. The fabric-dyer wrung it out and hung it on the washing line, drying his hands. “I dye all sorts of fabrics,” he told Pictou. “My job is to colour them beautiful and true.” “Oh,” said Pictou, and he smiled, as did the fabric-dyer.
The fabric-dyer fetched a rug which had been dyed orange. “Ready to be sold,” he declared, smiling. “Alright,” Pictou agreed. The Denoons and the fabric-dyer went downstairs to Rags To Rugs, and the fabric-dyer took the rug to the clerk to work out a retail price. The Denoons explored the shop, admiring all the handmade gifts on sale. Pictou sniffed a large brown woollen rug, which smelled of fabric. He then sniffed a blue rug which smelled of paper, and a red rug which smelled of tea.
Pictou approached the fabric-dyer, staring blankly into his beautiful eyes. “Hello, softie,” he greeted him again. “What brings you here, my little candy?” Pictou suddenly relieved himself, releasing ammonia into the air. “Oh my goodness,” exclaimed the fabric-dyer, but then he smiled sweetly. “No worries, my dear. You’ll be dry soon.” The Denoons came over. Port Hawkesbury gasped, and she began to cry. “No need for tears, my lovely,” the fabric-dyer comforted her, but she only cried even more.
The Denoons approached the till. “That rug, please,” Port Hawkesbury sobbed, indicating the orange rug. “That’ll be $130.” Port Hawkesbury gagged at the price, but she retrieved her credit card from her wallet and paid $130, collecting her receipt afterwards. “Thank you,” said the clerk. “Oh, thanks a lot. I need to get home quickly. Look at the situation Pictou’s in.” “Alright.”
Bidding farewell to the shop crew, the Denoons left the store and began to argue about who should carry the rug. “I can’t carry it by myself,” sobbed Port Hawkesbury. “Well, nor can I,” Stellarton countered. The Denoons turned to Pictou, who folded his arms. “I’m young,” he said. “So I can’t carry it on my own, either.” The Denoons stared at him wide-eyed. “So who’s gonna carry it, then?” Stellarton demanded, staring at Pictou.
Pictou thought for a moment… “I’ve got an idea,” he proclaimed in French. “Alright,” Stellarton replied in French. “Here. You both carry the rug horizontally in your arms,” Pictou suggested. “Très bien,” Stellarton accepted in French. “Oh, good Acadian Canadian Boy,” Port Hawkesbury praised Pictou through lukewarm tears, and she and Stellarton did just as Pictou suggested. “How sweet of you, Pictou.” “Oui,” Pictou agreed in French, and the Denoons all strolled back home, with Port Hawkesbury and Stellarton both carrying the rug in their arms, just like Pictou said.