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.
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.