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Pirate School Turns Larchmont Kids Into Buccaneers

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Carter Sneyd wore his pirate hat to school Thursday, ready to learn everything there is to know about being a pirate from "Billy Bones" and The Pirate School with David Engel.

The first bell for The Pirate School rang at 11 a.m. in the Larchmont Library's Village Center. Engel, better known to kids across the tri-state area as "Billy Bones," taught the audience of bandana-wearing ragamuffins how to walk, talk and act like a pirate.

Sneyd, 4, stood amazed at many of Engel's antics, including the talking skull, which came to life to jostle with "Billy Bones" in a battle of wits. Intrigued by the prospect of an audience to test its comedic chops on, the talking skull quipped: "What's a pirates favorite vegetable? ARR-tichoke."

Sneyd came with his brother Gavin, 6, and mother Kerry, who agreed the talking skull was the highlight of Thursday's show.

Lucia Patrignani's two 3-year-old daughters most enjoyed the spider hand puppet that creepily crawled out of Engel's treasure chest and onto his hand, unbeknownst to the pirate prankster. The Larchmont mother liked that the show wasn't just geared toward boys and made an effort to involve the girls in the audience.

Engel also taught his students that, to be a good pirate, they can't just rely on a sword. He said they need to be able to use their eyes, ears and "noodle," and often tested those faculties during the show. At the end of the show, Engel decided his buccaneers had proven their worth and held an impromptu graduation ceremony.

"Billy Bones" snapped an imaginary group picture of his graduating class to remember them by. Afterwards, several families took pictures with the pirate teacher.

Engel, of Hastings-On-Hudson, will perform a full-length version of his performance at the Emelin Theatre June 2. For more information on Engel's act, visit his website .

For more information on programs at the Larchmont Library, visit their website .

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