Monday, February 25, 2008

Fish stories

I spent today with my brother and his family. My two nephews weren't quite sure who I was at first, but by the end of the day had decided that if they had to have another aunt they supposed I would do. One nephew is eight and the other is starting-to-be-six (according to himself) and I spent a lot of time today playing full-contact Snap and listening to fish stories.

"Daddy once caught a really big shark," the eight-year-old informed me during a walk (sans parents) down to the little beach. "And when he cut the shark open with his big knife, in its stomach there was a a Pepsi bottle, a wire spring, a tree THAT BIG, and, and . . . " he frowned in throught, "A man's body!"

I asked him if they'd taken a picture.

"No," he said. "It was just too disgusting."


"Are you sure there isn't a little fib in there somewhere?" I asked. A wire spring and a Pepsi bottle had been lying under the little wooden bench halfway down the hill, and I suspected could have provided some creative inspiration.

"NO THERE ISN'T," both boys chorused so indignantly I was quite taken aback.

"Your dad is pretty clever," I said, meekly, and they nodded seriously.

"Yes, he is."

The five-year-old added, "He is REALLY clever."

They showed me the boat ramp down on the little beach. "He made that, too!"

That part of the story was, I knew, not a fib, so later I asked my brother about the shark story. He called over to the kids.

"I hear you've been telling auntie about a shark," he said. "I don't remember the bit about the body. Or the tree."

"No, Dad, you were looking the other way," said the eight-year-old, giving me an aggrieved look. Apparently it's against the rules to call someone on their fish stories.

I also learned that recently the grandmother of one of his friends at school died because a sea horse stabbed her in the leg with its nose. Pulling it out killed her, apparently.

"Don't know where that one came from," said his mother. "Funny how their minds work, eh?"

Funny indeed, but just in case I mentally filed sea horse noses away under 'things to avoid.'

In the evening I went out into my brother's back yard and lay on the grass and gazed at the stars. What a sky!

In Japan I never see that many stars unless I stand up too quickly.


Anonymous said...

Aye the stars down here, even if they are the wrong way up. Dante speaks of the 'blessed region of the South' cause we can see the Southern Cross; and just at the moment Mars is the crown of Orion, even if Orion is upside down. (Last month seeing Orion from Rome & Florence he was never so bright...)

Keera Ann Fox said...

Why do you not see stars so clearly in Japan? Too much light pollution?

kenju said...

Love the fish stories and would have loved to see photos of the children.

Anonymous said...

You don't see the stars in Japan because of... humidity! It's just so muggy...