In a warm lagoon, off the coast of a distant isle, there lived a shark. He was the largest shark the islands may ever see. Certainly he was the only shark the islanders weren't afraid of; though it was a rare thing to catch the islanders swimming there (save a few foolhardy boys at that age still where the distractions of the fairer sex haven't quite outweighed the need for adventure).

The shark, as you might have inferred from the title of this tale or, having perhaps missed the hint, surmised from the fact that the islanders weren't afraid of him, was a vegetarian.

Every new moon, when the tides were at they're lowest ebb and the lagoon was near empty, a good ear could catch the wail of this tormented shark as he nearly drowned in the still waters.

Only the island shaman knew that the shark was not wailing for the death that never came but for a sea bass named Bouilla. He knew only for the whispers he heard when he danced across the sinking sands to the resting pool of the white shark to collect barnacles from the great animals back finely ground, they made a powerful aid to the villagers' virility and burnt would bring a good catch to the fishers' nets).

The shark bore this little man,that pried away with a stone knife, as only a god might. Possibly, he appreciated this lanky janitor that scrubbed him clean and took away the slowly softening teeth that fell from his maw. A maw that had driven so much life into him for so long.

Unknown to the shaman, it was his brother that had brought the shark to beach in the warm lagoon, on a summer's day nigh on a hundred moons before, as he fished the reefs for their supper, toying with his only pearl, tempting fate as only men will.

On the island to be a man was to own a pearl, to be a master was to own many. Though not rare in those parts, the pearl carried the respect that the islanders' descendants would have in some measure for money. This brother's pearl was one so large that he hoped to marry whomever he pleased, the pearl the ring that would seal the circle of ceremony. Nonetheless he always toyed with it seeing the jealousy in his friends, the desire in the dusky eyes of the women and the disdain of the elders at the young and carefree.

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