I remember the day we pretended to be sailors, we had just gotten the pool from Walmart and spent all day putting it together. We bought floaties shaped like ships and water guns to shoot the pirates from stealing our booty. We spent all day in the water, swimming and laughing on the hottest day of summer. Everyone in the neighborhood would come to our house since we were the only one who had a pool. It was cool to have so many friends until the bird decided to come and play. She would never leave us alone, always squawking at us, mocking me anytime I tried to shoo her away. Everyone else thought she was neat but all she did was distract everyone from playing with me. The day she made me fall chasing her was the day I knew I had enough. I knew the water guns were not enough, but Daddy left his toy in the garage. He promised that he would teach me. But I thought maybe, if I could shoot the bird, he would be impressed and so would all my friends. I ran into the house and into the garage, Mommy was just sitting on the couch like she always does with her colorful drinks that she never lets me try. I have seen Daddy put the numbers in many times that I made a little rhyme:

“One plus two plus one is 4 but one plus two is not”

It sat there shining against the spooky white light, asking me to pick it up with my warm hands because it was cold. I went back outside and showed it off, but all my friends were not impressed. They rolled their eyes and said I was dumb, that I didn’t know how to use it, the I was just a little boy. I got mad, I had to prove them wrong, show them that I am a man, like Daddy. I did everything Daddy showed me and then I saw her, sitting by the side of the pool. Everyone was laughing at me, but she was taunting me, mocking me for not knowing what I was doing. I yelled and pointed it right at her telling her to stop, but she would not listen.


I opened my eyes and saw two black dots around her. Everyone else was running away but she sat so still, so calm. Mommy came outside and yelled

“What have you done?”

She started to cry as she held you close. But we were just pretending to be sailors. You wanted to be the annoying parrot. I told you to stop, that a parrot couldn’t stop the pirates. But you didn’t listen.

Red and blue lights flashed everywhere, and Daddy was there but he was not impressed. He was very sad like Mommy. I didn’t understand. I thought you would be okay. But Daddy’s toy was not a toy. I’m sorry that I didn’t know Sissy, I didn’t know.


For this parody, I choose to do a modern adaptation of Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by focusing on some of the themes it presents. To begin, I decided to take on the speaker of a little boy who is jealous that his sister has more of the attention than he does. This speaks to both his and the Mariner’s cardinal sin of greed which causes them to seek out personal agendas. I choose to represent the sister as the bird/ Albatross where the brother’s greed for attention get the better of him. In doing so, it creates a shock factor when revealed. In addition to this, the two black dots are meant to be representative of Death and Life-in-Death deciding the fate of the little boy.

What perhaps is the big takeaway is the combo for the lock storing the gun. Usually when setting locks, we relate it to a date. The date chosen was 12/14/12 which is the day that the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting took place. Why this matter is where the modern adaptation comes in. Currently, our society is in a divide on regulations relating to possession of fire arms and the Second Amendment. This is one view of why there needs to be better regulation in the selling and storage of guns. We find cases of children getting ahold of these weapons more and more common which I felt attributed to the themes present in the poem. In addition, I wanted to stress that negligent parents play a role in what led to the conclusion by painting the mother as an alcoholic. This helped to create an element of realism as well as offer a glance at issues plaguing our society though these universal themes and the perspective of a child.


-Xotchitl Garibay

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