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THE MONKEY, FISHERMAN AND FISH. (Caribbean salty sketches)

Do you know how to catch the monkey? In their habitat, a heavy box with drilled holes is placed on the ground. Into the box, the hunters pour fried nuts, as bait. The monkey hides in the foliage and watches the fuss of people, the aroma of fried nuts teases her. When people leave, she jumps off the tree and runs to the box, curiosity overcomes her.

She sticks her paw into the hole and grabs a handful of nuts, but can not pull out her fist. The monkey sticks her second paw into another hole… and everything is repeated the same.
The monkey cannot understand a simple thing: just open your fist, leave those nuts and you are free! Greed overshadowed her consciousness! This is how the stupid creature gets caught, being the victim of her greed.

In our village, fishing from the shore you can catch crucial snapper, barracuda, and even a hefty grouper. But this fish feeds on garbage from the seabed. And the most delicious fish lives away from the coast, at the coral reef. This is where our fishermen go on their fishing boats. Returning in the late afternoon, they are selling their catch to locals. They cut off the fillet and throw the remains, including the head, into the water. Huge sea birds frigates and pelicans circle over the place and at that moment they immediately dive for prey. The spectacle show collects a crowd of locals and tourists.

So, the locals are buying from fishermen a fillet of tuna, mackerel, snapper, dorado, and whatever else was caught. But why throw away the fish head? It is good to make excellent soup with. Maybe they throw away fish heads because there are plenty of fish here.
Once the fisherman was cutting the fillet of a huge yellow-fin snapper and I asked him for a fish head, which he was about to throw into the water, as usual, they do.
‘You can have it’, he nodded to me.

A few days later, I turned to him again with the same request. This time for a fish head he asked for 5 local dollars. It was OK for me, it’s two and a half US dollars. I gave him five dollars and brought him a bottle of beer, plus one of my cigars as a courtesy from me. I was a fisherman myself in the past and wanted to thank the man for his hard work. As it turned out later, I made a rash mistake and fell into the trap of the local mentality, again.

The third time, I asked him to sell me a fish head and asked the price.
‘Well… I do not know..’, he continued to hack the fish with a knife.
I was confused by his answer. He seemed to be waiting for more money.

So, after I decided to buy fish from other fishermen, not so greedy ones, that man stopped saying hello to me.
‘Fu&&..in stranger!’, I heard it once behind my back. He was evil, by losing me as a buyer.
But he did not realize that he fooled himself, by turning me away with his greed.

These days not one fisherman throws away fish heads, there is a demand for it now. And for frigates and pelicans now only guts and tails left.
With our generosity, we allow others to catch us in trifles. And how do we differ from that monkey, after all?

*****

THREE PIGLETS
(salty sketches)

My friend Joe is from Texas. One day he moved further south to enjoy his life on the sunny Caribbean coast. So, it was Belize. Once Joe decided to fatten a pig for a Christmas party. He was renting an apartment and therefore got no chance to realize his idea. So, he made a deal with a local peasant giving him three piglets. Joe gave to peasant two piglets for free if he would feed out the third one for Joe.

So, the deal was done and the peasant took those 3 piglets.
But after a few days, he asked Joe for money.
Reluctantly, Joe gave him some money, explaining once again the terms of their deal. The peasant obediently nodded his head, but after a few days, everything repeated.

This story lasted for a couple of months until completely desperate Joe offered the extortionist to take all three piglets and leave him alone.

The peasant scratched the back of his head and summed up the business, saying, ‘I prefer if you pay me the money for your piglet…’.
Hearing such impudence, Joe was speechless.

And peasant continued, ‘Well, if you don’t want to buy your piglet back, then buy my kid!’.

‘What the heck is the kid?’, Joe giggled.

‘My daughter’s child’, the peasant was yelling and waving his hands, “She is seventeen years old and you can marry her, but I want to get the money for her child!

Joe jumped into his car and disappeared into the clouds of road dust. I think after that ‘piggy story’, he turned himself into a vegetarian.

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