You get to steer the ship because you can handle multiple tasks at once. Here, John demonstrates his leadership skills: tiller in one hand, pork pie in the other, and lemonade secure between his knees. A CEO in the making, or at least an Admiral.
The Arthur Ransome books are a delight among children’s classics, full of wry humour; enjoy our three-in-one review here to give you a taster. Or just enjoy a beautiful deck of cover illustrations for the series; it’s beyond me why these haven’t been made into postcards (people still send postcards, surely?)
‘He was steering because, alone of his crew, he could manage the tiller with one hand and a pork pie in the other without danger of running the Teasel into the reeds. Sitting on the coaming that ran around the well, he could even manage to hold a bottle of lemonade between his knees.’
Source: Arthur Ransome, Coot Club (London: Jonathan Cape, 2009 (1934)), p. 215
Photo credit: skitterphoto at pixabay