Ezra's Monster Fish (at Maiona)

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.

Emerald Isle - Maiona cothold

Pristine sugar white sands are lapped by turquoise waters in the quiet cove that forms the lower end of this hold. The ruins of what was once a dock, lies bleaching in the sun. Lush tropical growth shades the beach, while the waters, clear-shot with sunbeams, shimmers beyond with an array of rainbow-hued fish. Just at the center of the curve of the cove a stone wall made with blocks of grey lavastone opens in an arched gateway to a crushed coral path that winds through yellowfruit and palm until it tops a windswept, lonely hill, thigh-high grasses rippling in the tradewinds. There is nothing there to show people once lived in this spot save a foundation in blocks cut from the same lavastone.


Predawn pales the sky, chasing the fading stars to bed when Edani stirs the coals of that driftwood fire and heats the water for klah, allowing Ezra and Inyri to remain in their lean-to hammocks if they're still asleep. Breakfast is cold meat rolls with egg and cheese bits brought from the Weyr and he's returning from taking some with a cracked mug of that klah to that bluerider who probably really needs it after he's had the lion's share of whatever concoction that Inyri mixed last night. Bobbing beside that ruined dock is a boat that looks like a narrow canoe with an outrigger. It's beat up and battered and appears to have been dragged from the underbrush, but serviceable. Someone's been up early!

Sleeping is not really Inyri's specialty; if anyone else is awake around her, she's up. Or else, she's /awake/ — accomplishing properly up takes a bit longer. She doesn't lag more than a half hour behind Edani, though, and likely fifteen of those minutes were taken up by finding clothes. Her hair she hasn't bothered with, so it's falling down at awkward angles, mussed up from sleeping. "Mm," she intones, offering up sound more than words at first, "Smells good. Also like fire."

Ezra is awake as soon as the sun begins to lighten, the boy so used to sleeping in caves very sensitive to the changes of light around him. So it seems that no one has slept in, though Ezra has stayed near the fire, poking the coals and sipping his klah while the others do whatever it is they do.

So hopefully Edani didn't cause Inyri to break a fingernail or chip her manicure helping him drag that canoe out, not that it was terribly heavy. He's buoyant while pouring first her, then himself a mug of klah, pushing that bag with the breakfast rolls in it towards them and plopping unceremoniously down beside Ezra. "Eat up! The fish start biting at sunrise. And we still have to catch the bait," he tells them. He might admire the mussed hair a look - and the both of them probably match it, but the wind will create even more havoc.

Inyri's fingernails were pretty much already wrecked by spiderclaw, so she showed no sign of concern with moving the boat — she can fix her hands up when they get back. "What is the bait, exactly? I hope it's not fish — you don't catch fish with fish here?" She's heard of that practice, but has never been a big fan of it; it makes little sense and is kind of disturbing. Wrapping cold fingers around her klah mug — because regardless of weather, Inyri's often got cold hands early in the day — she takes a slow breath of the smell, not yet bothering to sip.

Ezra glances over at Edani, giving him a little grin. Is he nervous? No, surely not! He is fearless, remember? Sipping his klah, he grimaces and then eats a meatroll, slipping another into the pocket of his jacket. Glancing up, he looks at Inyri for a moment, no doubt noticing her hair, but his eyes are taken by the boat again. "Yeah," he murmurs, "or do we use…worms or whatever?"

Edani shakes his head no but his mouth is full so he chews, then swallows hard, wincing because he was in too much of a hurry to answer them to chew properly, "Not… exactly. Though we do sometimes use baitfish here. Today we're going after the yellowfin. For that we'll need squid." They're not fish but they are a sea creature. Inyri probably won't like that either, so he doesn't mention just HOW they'll be used when they do catch them. His klah is drained in a few gulps, the mug left in the sand beside the coals when he stands. That bag of meatrolls is lifted - with a grin bitten back for Ezra's habit of filling his pocket - it'll be their lunch too, along with something else he might try introducing them to. "You want to bring your klah, Inyri? Ezra and I can paddle while you finish it. "Not that he's trying to rush them, but… well, yes he is.

Eyeing the mug, then Edani, then the mug, then the boat, then back to the mug, Inyri shrugs lightly and eventually concludes, "If you don't think it'll break. What catches a squid anyway, a net? If you're using squid as bait for fish, what baits the squid?" She makes it sound very existential, though she doesn't seem to dwell even for a second on the concept; instead, she's setting her klah down a moment to whip her hair into a braid. Sleeping with it down is one thing, breakfast another, but going out in a boat really isn't one she finds doable.

Ezra should really learn to braid his hair. Or at least tie it back. It's getting stupid-long. But he doesn't seem to give it any care or notice at all, beyond running his fingers through it once, wincing when they catch a snag, and then giving up. Pushing to his feet, he glances at Edani with a little frown. "What's a squid? And yeah," he adds, nodding to Inyri, "how do we catch /that/?" Seems kind of silly to fish for fish to catch fish.

"Eh, if it breaks, it breaks." Edani isn't very worried about the mug. Like everything else around here, it came through the flood, so it's chipped and cracked, might even be missing the handle. Thankfully he keeps his hair short, so he doesn't need to braid his. He headtilts to prompt them to head over to that canoe, explaining, "What baits squid? Well, they're not picky. They'll eat anything smaller than they are. But we're not baiting them. We're jigging them." Oh so much fishing things to learn about! Ezra's question draws a slow grin to his mouth, "It's a soft-bodied sea creature with a bunch of squirmy worm-like legs with- well, I'll show you one, how's that?"

If it were missing the handle it wouldn't have been noticed; Inyri's the sort who always holds a mug in two hands and sips slowly no matter what's in it. "Well, if you're sure," she says, and stands up and walks to the canoe still carrying the klah mug in both hands. (And, of course, slowly sipping from it periodically as they settle in.) "And — right, I was raised by fishermen? But I don't actually know what that word means or how you do it. Lesson time! Oh, and Ezra, squid actually taste really good if you fry them, I can make us some if we get extras. If they're safe, Edani?"

Ezra's nose wrinkles and he looks a bit horrified. "It's got…worms for legs…?" And he eyes the ocean with /suspicion/. Nose wrinkles at Inyri's suggestion, and his head shake is firm. "I don't like squid." But how can he know without trying it? Well, he knows apparently.

"Careful," that's Edani's warning as they walk out on the skeleton of that rickety, ruined dock to board their trustworthy canoe. He steadies it as Inyri gets in, directing Ezra to take the middle and then he eases into the very back, careful not to rock it too much doing so. He has to chuckle at the both of them: first for Inyri's 'if they're safe', which gets a grin and nod of assurance that indeed, squid make very good eating then for Ezra's horror, "Not really worms, but close. And you don't have to eat the legs the main body is quite tender." As for jigging, he will have to show them. He passes Ezra a paddle while he unties their craft and pushes off from the dock, then takes his own paddle and uses strong strokes on the side opposite to which Ezra paddles on. Out of the cove, riding the waves that ebb and hiss over the reef to where the water drops off sharply and the depths are shadowed in mystery. The sun, meanwhile is still below the horizon but the sky is paling to milky-gold in the east. When they're at a spot he deems suitable, he allows the canoe to float with the current, takes a light pole from the inside of the bulwark, casts it with just a bare hook into a dark… patch and reels it in quickly. What he gets is a small tube-shaped translucent creature whitish in color with… wormlike legs. Yeaaaah. It will be miracle if they can get Ezra to eat that!

At least Inyri seems to be following now; the concept, anyway. She's not jumping up to actually try it, but she appears to grasp what's being done fairly exactly, nodding slowly and chewing with slight hesitation at the corner of her lip, eyes narrowed ever-so-slightly. "So I can cook one for us that doesn't get used as bait all right, if these are good to eat — I know sometimes they're not, though I don't know who makes /that/ ruling." Some seacrafter or something, most likely. Not her. "Do you have three of those poles, then?"

Ezra paddles? The poor land-bound boy stares at the thing in his hands like it /were/ a squid, and he doesn't know what to do with it. But he's intelligent enough to watch Edani, and slowly begins to mimic his movements. "This is hard," the boy mutters, trying to time it right and almost dropping the paddle. He catches it in time though, and blushes. When Edani throws down the pole, Ezra leans over far enough to tilt the canoe briefly, before he realizes what he's doing and corrects it. And he just might yell when the squid comes up. "EWWWWW! WHAT IS THAT THING?! GET IT AWAY!" He's so manly.

"You're doing great," Edani assures Ezra as they boy catches on to the paddling technique. "We've always just… eaten them all," he says to Inyri with an uncertain note to his tone. There are inedible ones? Who knew! "These will be good," he assures Inyri, passing her another pole and offering Ezra one if he wants to try. He, meanwhile, chuckles at the reaction from the younger boy. "It is weird-looking, huh?" The six inch squid gets dropped into a pail filled with seawater and the jigging continues until they have a few dozen.

"I guess if they have bad ink or something — I don't know the rules," Inyri explains with a shrug, taking the pole and easily mimicking what Edani was doing. Which doesn't mean that she does a great job at first, since it's not the kind of fishing she's used to at all — in Breakwater, they use /ships/, and /nets/ — but she gets it, and has definitely made a contribution to the bait-collecting by the time they're done.

Ezra eyes the bucket of wiggling, squirmy, slimy things with obvious distaste. "Ugh…" he shudders, shaking his head and looking a little green. "They've got ink? Like…is that where ink comes from?" He's never writing AGAIN. He does not contribute anything to the jigging except to watch and to not throw up.

Edani casts and reels, casts and reels, each time he snags something he tosses it in the bucket, which has enough seawater in it to keep those hapless squid alive. "Yep, they do squirt ink," he says brightly to Ezra as though he finds it fascinating. It's pretty obvious that the boy is fairly repulsed by the creatures, but he is casual about it as he continues, "It's an alarm mechanism they use to confuse predators. These have probably secreted their ink while they were being reeled in." Poor things! He does add, "You'd have to check with the harper craft though, on what they're using for ink. It might be a vegetable dye." There's always hope? When he deems they've got enough bait, he stows his jig pole and resumes paddling, taking them further out to where the water turns deep azure, the depths unfathomable. "Now we'll bait the handlines," he tells them. So no poles. Instead it's a nasty-looking tri-hook and coil of stout cord that he passes to Ezra with a motion to that bucket. Time to fish! Dun-dun-dun!

No poles? That's almost as bad as no nets. Inyri considers the fishing apparatus with her head tilted slightly to the side, just a little squinty. "I'm not entirely sure I even know how that works and I've been around fishing boats my entire life," she observes. "I also kind of doubt that it's the same ink used for writing, just because it's hard to produce? I mean, obviously it's not that hard, but — vegetables are a lot easier to harvest."

Ezra winces when he's passed the hook, but it does spark /some/ interest in him as he turns the metal to watch it gleam in the light. Sharp objects, whee! Pale eyes flick to the bucket and he bites his lower lip before he…hesitates. No, this isn't something he can just jump right into, as he eyes the bucket and his hook. "I gotta touch it?" At Inyri's reassurance that this ink isn't the same as /that/ ink, he looks utterly relieved.

"Exactly," Edani agrees with Inyri, nodding a little about having to catch the squid and then make them secrete the ink. Though he does say, "If you catch them with nets, you… um take your finger and poke them-" with a quick, surreptitious glance at Ezra he hastily changes it to, "-nevermind it's probably best I don't go there. But my sisters and I used to have squid ink wars while waiting for the yellowtail to bite." There's a smirky-grin at the remembered antics, foolish and reckless though it was. He answers both of them easily, "Not if you don't want to, Ezra. And I should probably demonstrate." Sharp things indeed! The hooks look downright wicked, and that fascination Ezra's got for them does not go unnoticed. "There are actually weapons made sort of like these, but larger. They're called caltrops." While he's giving that mini history lesson, he deftly inserts the hook through the squid's tail, then plays out a couple of feet of the weighted line, swings it around several times and lets it fly. The line sings out, playing through his other hand until it drops with a soft PLUNK about twenty feet away. It sinks and he continues to feed more line through his fingers until an orange knot is fed into his hand from the coil. "Okay that's eighty feet down. Now we wait for one to bite." He loops the cord around a hook in the prow then offers the line to Ezra.

"Impressive measuring," Inyri offers up softly, but other than that, has no contribution other than to watch — impressed — and then redirect the watching onto Ezra. She's obviously curious about how he'll handle it; not that it takes too much, at least, not during the waiting part.

Ezra listens with rapt fascination, absorbing all of this new information. The mention of the caltrop weapon definitely gets his attention though, and he looks at the hook with renewed interest. "Caltrops," he murmurs to himself. He ducks when the hook is swung, and then takes the line slowly, holding it lightly in his hands. "What if it jerks? It'll burn me…" And he looks trustingly at Edani, because surely he's thought this through.

"Here," Edani says after Ezra takes the line. He hands him a pair of hide gloves, which are probably too large for the boy, then wraps the line once around one of the boy's hands when he's got them on. He also holds the line, but a few feet of line behind where Ezra is. And now the waiting begins. "The fish are big so when they take the bait, it will feel like they're trying to jerk you out of the boat. You'll want to brace your feet on those cleats there," he warns, then adds, "Inyri, we might need to hold onto him if he gets a really big one." His eyes are glittering which could be merriment or excitement. Is he just pulling Ezra's leg? Behind them the sun has risen, turning the sky and the glass-like surface of the sea a shimmering gold. With the glare, it's impossible to see anything below them, but Edani uses a paddle to turn the skiff so that they're facing away from the sun at least.

Probably not — Inyri, at least, seems to be taking Edani seriously. She laughs, but it's not a mocking one so much as it is amusement, and she slides just a little closer, too. "Fish can be super violent," she agrees, as if this is something that happens to her every day. "And even if that kind of hurts," hand wave at the sky, "it's still pretty. I could definitely go for staying forever."

Ezra is tense and serious, gripping the line and bracing his legs, lanky body taut with anticipation. Narrowed eyes, lips pressed tightly together, the boy is /intent/ in this task. Of sitting.

And they may be sitting for awhile. Hence the term 'fishing' for what they're doing instead of 'catching'. So while Edani nods in agreement to Inyri's comment and adds, "We might even have to club it when we get it reeled in. Reel, he says, but there is no reel. While they're sitting and waiting, the peace of the place is profound. Overhead the lonely cries of the occasional seabird, around them open water dotted with lush green islands, the rhythmic sound of the waves slapping the hull of their craft. Gliding overhead in great, lazy loops is that blue dragon and his rider, stretching his wings and keeping an eye on them for Fort Weyr and those eggs. While they wait, Edani adds a few more things about caltrops, telling Ezra, "We use them on wire fences to keep the herdbeast from pushing it over and grappling hooks are like caltrops too. But the best use is to scatter them in the grass where an enemy might step on them while trying to sneak up on you. They'll go right through boot soles."

"For a second I misunderstood and thought you were going to say you used herdbeasts to pull fish out of the water." Inyri, ladies and gentlemen. She's also taken a moment to tear off one of her split nails, but at least she doesn't toss it into the sea. "What a mental image that would be. Herdbeast out on a skiff."

Owie. But Ezra is listening closely, even though his eyes are locked on the line and where it vanishes into the water. "I'll do that for Stonehaven," he murmurs. If Pern had the technology, he'd land-mine the whole place. Glancing at Inyri, he blinks and then giggles. Briefly. "It'd sink."

D'ani blinks and then grins at Inyri. Yes, the mental image is… catastrophic enough to be amusing. Ezra's comment has him chuckling. "To put it mildly, in this boat, we'd all sink." The idea of the boy seeding Stonehaven has him looking thoughtful. Edani's been watching the water right around where the cord enters the water and had noticed a few vibration rings on the surface of the water which might mean he's got a nibble. He's just opening his mouth to say, watch the-" when WHAM! Without warning the line goes taut and the skiff turns towards it as the fish, deep under the water, starts to swim away with what it assumes is an easy meal. The sudden motion has him lunging to hang onto Ezra and crying, "Inyri!" so she can likewise brace the boy. It is a HUGE fish, as evidenced by the way the thing is towing them through the water at an increasing rate, the water gurgling past the bow leaving whitened curls of water in their wake.

"What the —" Inyri squeaks, as she grabs hold of Ezra's other side and trying to help pull — it seems just as much like the fish is pulling them than the other way around. Massive, dangerously wet game of tug-of-war. "This fish is /insane/," she continues, around getting splashed in the face, most likely.

Ezra yells, loud and long when he's suddenly yanked, his hands gripping the line with a death grip. He can't do much except hang on, trusting Inyri and Edani to not let him fly out of the boat.

"That's yellowfin for you," shouts the Emerald Islander with a grin of almost glee in response to Inyri. It's a good thing Edani tied the other end of the cord to the hook inside the boat, right? But Ezra might not know his friend has taken this precautionary measure. This time Ezra will have a fish tale to tell and not about the 'one that got away'. "Hang on!" Edani's voice is full of unfeigned excitement as they zip along. He's also keeping an eye on the boy's endurance, ready to lend a hand to grip the cord if needed. They're zipping along like a light wood chip even though the craft is a good fifteen feet long and the fish is headed away from the archipelago of islands that surround them, taking them out into the open seas. Ahead of them the fish… doesn't seem to be slowing down in the least.

No, this is the story about the giant fish amusement park ride, or at least that's what it would look like from the outside. Okay, and the inside: Inyri still doesn't seem to be able to stop giggling, even as any effort she put into having her hair up is getting destroyed. "I really hope we're not about to die," she calls out, but doesn't at any point let go — and still seems to think it's funny.

Ezra's face is set into a grim, determined line as he grips that line. No, he doesn't know there's a backup system. He's putting all of his effort into holding on, and by golly, he's not going to let this fish go. Hang on indeed, and the tween does just that. He might be enjoying himself, but it's hard to tell underneath that mask of stubborn determination.

And a wild ride it is too! As they get out into the unprotected waters beyond the islands where the ocean swells, gentle for this time of day, add a slightly roller-coaster effect even if they are merely three feet in height. Having brought the rider his klah and breakfast, Edani's given the blue's rider a briefing of how yellowfin fishing island-style can go. So above and behind them that blue trails, ever watchful and ready to dive to their aid should Edani signal them to do so. The young man is laughing for the sheer exhilaration as the spray kicked up by the outriggers drenches him. Time… stretches - or does it race? Regardless, the fish is a very large one and by the time it begins to slow it's been nearly two hours and there is no land in sight. Ut-oh? "Pull him in, hand over hand, Ezra," Edani encourages. That is if the boy can move his arms. He's been in this spot many-a-time, so he knows how he's got to be feeling.

At least Inyri's not clinging so tightly Ezra doesn't have room to move, though it seems they do actually have to keep braced against one another to stay on for quite some time. "Do we know how to get back where we came from, at this point?" she prompts, though she's /still/ apparently not bothered by the turn of events at all. Though she has, at least once, turned to wave at the bluerider.

Two…hours? Well shards. Ezra can only cling to that rope for so long before his arms fail him, and that's when - with a frantic yell and scrambling grab - he realizes that it is indeed anchored to the boat. He shoots Edani a look that can only be described as pissed off and petulant, though he resumes his hold soon after. And when the creature starts to slow and Edani gives the order, Ezra musters up his strength and starts to haul him in, one hand at a time. Hand over hand, whispering groans with each pull. This is haaaaard.

"Sure, back that way," Edani answers Inyri, pointing towards the sun, which is still in the eastern sky even if it is higher than it was when they first began. Wait until he tells them both they have to paddle back! But no, he isn't that mean. And when there's the scrambling grab, he's there to help hang onto the line, helping that hauling in, which Inyri is more than welcome to help with also since the line is running past her too. The fish is tired, but still seeking to swim away from whatever's got it, but there's no way it's going to win. At last, eighty feet is shortened to several and that's when the fish surfaces, tail swishing tiredly. Edani whistles long and low. "Ezra! That's got to be a foot longer than I am." He's six feet, so the fish has got to weigh as much as a small herdbeast. It’s a monster. "Wow, Ezra, you can feed the whole Weyr with that." Well, the ones that like fish that is.

Inyri's not a bad hauler, though no doubt she's not as strong — it may take all three, but the job gets done, and once it is done, Inyri's busy staring. "Faranth. He's right; either the entire weyr or a gold dragon, take your pick. Wish I could draw better." Because then she'd definitely be sketching the three of them with the fish. "I will definitely make a commemorative drink. Something that goes good with yellowfin." Beat. Glance at Edani. "Okay, so what goes good with yellowfin, because I don't know."

Ezra stares at the fish with wide eyes, huge in his head and he's hastily pushing back his hair so he can /see/ properly this behemoth that he's caught. Because it was alllll him, right? "Shards," he whispers, awed by the size and the feat they just accomplished. And that's really all he can say as he crouches down to peer at the yellowfin, staring into its eyes and gulping before he looks away and stands. "You gotta kill it, right?"

Edani is no connoisseur of fine dining. He's stumped by Inyri's question. "Ah, seared and left rare in the center the flesh is mild and silky. Sort of like wherry?" Doesn't everything taste like wherry? "The meat is red," he adds if that helps her any. He's clueless. The fish is still weakly resisting and given the chance to rest, it could possibly capsize the craft - or damage the outriggers on either side. He too stares at the fish. "We never hooked one quite this large," he tells the boy, obviously pleased at the feat. "Yeah, we'll need to kill it. And this is the most merciful way," he adds, lifting the club and offering it to Ezra. "I can haul it closer if you want to smack it between the eyes?" Right of passage and all that.

"No, it's fish, it's not read meat," Inyri corrects. Something has clearly been lost in translation here; actually eating it, she's likely to work out what'll go better with it. As for the killing part: "I'll just be over here not doing that. You men have fun being manly and killing things." Faranth forbid she impresses, really, though at least that meat is already dead.

Ezra shifts a little bit, looking uncomfortable as he reaches out and takes the club. He swallows, the boy eying the fish and then the club, and then he shakes his head a little bit. "Can…can't we let it go?" he asks, his voice a low, weak whisper. Almost ashamed in the asking, afraid they'll think him weak, think less of him. And yet, that living creature…he just can't do it. Just can't take a club and smash the life out of something. Not after what he's seen.

Edani grins at Inyri. "It is fish," he agrees. "But the meat is actually very red when raw. It turns an ugly shade of grey when fully cooked, and the taste is different, but not bad." He is somber when she says 'have fun'. "Killing is never 'fun'. It is sometimes necessary." He begins to haul the line but pauses to give Ezra a thoughtful look at that whisper. He doesn't answer right away, considering. "Are you sure?" he asks quietly. After all, they've fought for two hours to subdue the thing. "I can do it if you'd rather," he offers in a 'no pressure' sort of tone. "But we can release it, sure. Whichever you prefer."

Staying entirely out of the 'kill or not kill' debate, Inyri sticks to the food topic: "So that actually /is/ sort of like red meat. That's weird. You'll definitely have to make sure I get one, even if it isn't this one." Because they can just go pick up a whole one at the fish market, right?

Poor Ezra. His entire life is overshadowed by his past, and he can't just be a normal boy excited to go fishing. No, it has to involve some sort of trauma. He shifts his weight a bit, looking at Edani, and then Inyri, and then back to the fish. Kneeling down, he gently pats the fish's slimy head and then hands the club to Edani, giving him a little nod. You do it. And he turns to stare out across the water, gently rubbing his sore arms.

"Aye, it's sort of like beef," Edani says to Inyri, keeping his gaze upon the boy. He nods absently to assure her he'll get her another fish, "The islanders cots all sell fresh-caught fish," he says generously. It'll be much smaller, but he can get several of them even. "Are you sure?" He asks Ezra once more as he takes the club. Maybe it was that little pat to the fishy head the lad gave the creature, maybe it's the understanding and deep connection he shares with the boy, maybe it is unvoiced memories of his first deep sea fishing expedition with his own father when he was not much younger than Ezra. He's got the club ready, but his knife is in his belt, equally ready. "I can cut the cord, the hook will fall out in time. It won't bother the fish at all."

Meat, fish, that's easier for Inyri to talk about than the death of anything; as it stands, she can't contribute much, but she does watch Ezra, supportive. When there's a brief pause in conversation, she steps up to the boy and gently moves to put her hand on his shoulder, if he'll allow. "Whatever you want," she reiterates, "though don't feel too pressured about having to make a decision." That's obviously sarcasm, but it's affectionate.

Ezra turns to stare at Edani, his pale eyes intense. Then he clears his throat, glancing at Inyri and frowning a little at her sarcasm (though he doesn't protest her hand on his shoulder one bit). Pale eyes return to Edani, and the boy nods. "I'm sure." And he'll even make himself watch, wanting to be strong.

So Edani makes it a swift, sure stroke, deftly dispatching the fish dispassionately after giving the boy another measuring look and nodding silently. It's now meat. He draws the cord through the gills and lashes the fish to the side of their craft, signaling the rider circling lazily above. They're getting a tow back to the island. Yay - no paddling until their arms fall off! And they have all the rest of that delicious squid to look forward to for lunch too.

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