A Rare Celebration~ In Which I Give You An Excuse To Eat Cake

Good day, my bloggerly companions!

This blog post is going to be slightly irregular, but I thought it would be only fitting, seeing as it’s Leap Year and tomorrow is a day that only comes once every four years. It is a very special day, and as such I wanted to do something a little different.

Hence, today I am going to tell you a story. It is a story that may or may not be familiar to you. Regardless, it is a tale that I always think of when it comes to that extra day of February.

So, without further ado…

The Tale

Once upon a time, there was a young man. A little lad. A baby, in fact. This baby was born on the rarest day of the year.

This day is so rare, that it doesn’t even appear in most years at all. Most years just skip right by it and never notice that it isn’t there. But every so often (every fourth year, to be exact) this standoffish day peeps its head out, right around the end of February.

This day has a name. It’s name is Twenty-Ninth. Twenty-Ninth of February.

The baby has a name as well. His name is Frederic.

Now, it came about that when Frederic was a little lad, his nurse made a grave error. She was told by her master to take young Frederic and apprentice him to a pilot. Alas, the nurse, being hard of hearing, misheard and instead took and indentured Frederic to a pirate.

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This is where things begin to get tricky.

Frederic was an upstanding lad, and abhorred the nature of piracy, but, as an apprentice in their band, he deemed it his duty to pursue piracy with great vigor. So he did.

(Frederic, above all else, was a slave of duty.)

He was apprenticed until his twenty-first birthday, however, and upon the day he turned twenty-one, he left their pirate band, telling them how fond he was of them all individually… despite the fact that collectively he looked upon them with an disgust that amounted to absolute detestation. They understood, of course.

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This is where things begin to get trickier.

After several more things happened, such as deceptions revealed and romances blossomed and opportunities seized and more deceptions fabricated and opportunities forgone, Frederic was confronted by his late commander, the Pirate King (and Ruth, his old nurse, who had joined the pirate band herself).

They revealed to Frederic that he was born in Leap Year on the Twenty-Ninth of February, and explained this paradox- that though Frederic was twenty-one years of age, according to birthdays he was only five (and a little bit over).

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You can probably see where this is going.

After laughing (very musically) at this preposterous notion, Frederic found to his horror that, according to his indentures, he was still apprenticed to the pirate band. And he would be bound to them for quite some time. His twenty-first birthday was not to come for another sixty-four years.

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As Frederic’s true love, Mabel put it:

“Oh horrible! Catastrophe! Appalling!”

Don’t worry too much about him though, because after a stealthy ambush and a short battle and a timely appearance by Queen Victoria’s portrait, everything came to a happy end.

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Much time has passed since then. If Frederic were alive, tomorrow would be his forty-first birthday.


As many of you have probably gathered, Frederic is a character from the comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance. It is a hilarious show full of witty dialogue and ridiculous situations, and if you aren’t familiar with it, I implore you to watch it or read it or something because it is so much fun. Also now is a fitting time to do so, seeing as it’s Leap Year and all.

Honestly, if nothing else, Frederic’s birthday is a wonderful excuse to eat cake.

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Have you heard the story of Frederic? What things do you associate with Leap Year? Do you know anyone in real life who was born on the twenty-ninth of February? Do you look for excuses to eat cake on a regular basis?

23 thoughts on “A Rare Celebration~ In Which I Give You An Excuse To Eat Cake

  1. Oh, I love this story! But I’ll admit I miss the music.

    “For some ridiculous reason, to which, however, I’ve no desire to be disloyal,
    Some person in authority, I don’t know who, very likely the Astronomer Royal,
    Has decided that, although for such a beastly month as February,
    twenty-eight days as a rule are plenty,
    One year in every four his days shall be reckoned as nine and twenty.
    Through some singular coincidence – I shouldn’t be surprised if it were owing to the
    agency of an ill-natured fairy –
    You are the victim of this clumsy arrangement, having been born in leap-year,
    on the twenty-ninth of February;
    And so, by a simple arithmetical process, you’ll easily discover,
    That though you’ve lived twenty-one years, yet, if we go by birthdays,
    you’re only five and a little bit over!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Ha ha ha ha! Ho ho ho ho!) Dear me, let’s see! Yes, yes- with yours my figures do agree!
      The combination of Sullivan’s splendid score and Gilbert’s witty libretto make for a delightful experience. They compliment each other so well. I am so happy to find that you are as familiar with it as I am!


  2. Happy Leap Day!!! πŸ˜€
    OOH I’m always up for a chance to eat cake! X’D I have heard of Pirates of Penzance but I haven’t read or watched it. I definitely want to though! I don’t know anybody irl who was born on Leap Day, but I am always hoping to find somebody who is. X’D

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE PIRATES OF PENZANCE SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! It’s been my fav for quite some time!! Have you ever watched the Australian cast version on Youtube? It’s almost better than the original! Happy Leap Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I didn’t realize where this was going at first, but of course! The Pirates of Penzance. I have never actually seen it myself, but I had a friend who watched the play and told me all about it. Happy February 29th! (though I am one day late).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leap Day is such a funny thing, it is only fitting to have a funny story to go with it. Gilbert and Sullivan pulled this off brilliantly. I hope that someday you watch the show yourself. I am glad that you have heard of it though!
      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aahhh I had never known what the Pirates of Penzance was really about. Now I do.
    I actually have a friend whose birthday is on February 29th, so I’ll have to inform her of my new found knowledge haha.
    (And now I want cake….)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aha, well, I am glad to have enlightened you on the matter. πŸ˜‰ There is more to the story of course, than what I related here. I focused mainly on the parts that have to do with leap year- there are so many other hilarious things about the show!
      Really? So do they usually celebrate their birthday on February 28 or March 1? Or literally only four years? I’ve always wondered how people deal with that.


  6. I’ve never seen the Pirates of Penzance but it sounds absolutely fabulous! πŸ˜‚ And I say the more cake the merrier!

    (Also, random side note, I tagged you for the Mystery Blogger Award!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a beautiful story.
    And I actually did have cake on Leap Day, isn’t that a coincidence? Thank heaven you’ve given me this excuse, though, in case I am one day called to account for the consumption of that cake.

    You know, I had the opportunity to see Pirates of Penzance last year for super cheap? (Student discount.) But then I got sick and COULDN’T GO. And I’m still sad about that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahhh, I love that you celebrated Leap Day with a blog post. Okay, I only found out about the The Pirates of Penzance play because I read a post about people born on Leap Day. Haha, I think the story is brilliant.
    No, I don’t know anybody actually born on Leap Day, but my family friend’s baby was actually due on Leap Day but was born a day early!! I’m curious when she grows up whether she will be beyond relieved or slightly disappointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a depressingly lovely story! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will go read the rest as soon as I can.

    I actually do know someone born on Leap Day! Two people, in fact, both of whom only celebrate their birthdays once every four years, interestingly enough. One of them is my mother’s friend, who also got married on that day. Why anyone would ever voluntarily choose to have their wedding anniversary be every four years is beyond me, because I certainly wouldn’t. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are most welcome! Introducing people to Gilbert and Sullivan is always a pleasure.
      Wow, that is really interesting! I don’t think I could only celebrate my birthday every four years. I don’t have that kind of patience. Also when you can choose something like a wedding anniversary I know I wouldn’t decide to have it every four years- though since Leap Day is special, I can kind of see why people decide to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

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