A FISH TALE

The house sits only fifty meters from the high tide mark. Occasionally, we’ll hear a loud disturbance out on the water and we’ll see twenty or thirty fish jump out of the water, and jump again, and jump again. They’re jumping for their lives, hoping to escape the jaws of some predator, usually a rooster fish or shark. Sometimes, in their desperation, they’ll jump right up to the edge of the beach.

One day a few years ago, I visited the Boruca Indian cemetery up the mountain behind the house. (The mountain is only 400 meters high, about 1400 feet.) The Borucas lived down by the beach, but buried their dead up the mountain. According to archeologists, this cemetery is over two thousand years old.

The cemetery has been looted over the years. The Borucas buried their dead with their possessions, which included stone artifacts and gold figures. These Indians were master gold artisans.

I sat in the cemetery amidst the ghosts and stone artifacts. I thought about what the world was like so long ago, before Jesus walked the Earth, and wondered about the Indians and what their lives were like.

After a couple hours, I started back down the mountain. It began to rain — a real thunderstorm — and the trail turned to mud. I slipped and slided and soon I was covered in mud. When I reached the house, I walked straight into the water to wash off. I waded into the water up my waist and squatted down, scraping off the mud.

I turned around and looked up the mountain. I tried to imagine the Indians moving around, going about their business. Apparently they lived where our house is built — the contractors found hundreds of pottery pieces when they dug out the foundation.

Suddenly, I heard a great commotion behind me. I turned and saw a school of fish flying straight toward me! I jumped up and several fish banged into my back and bounced into the water. I stood motionless as the fish continued to jump toward the beach. The shark chasing them zoomed past me, continuing the chase!

I was hit by several fish, some of them quite big. They left bruises on my back!

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