Q. Hello. I hope I’m not disturbing –
A. Watch out! I’m using seawater here.
Q. It’s splashing all over you. Isn’t that a problem?
A. Not with this suit on. [He gestures along his body.] It’ll keep the water out for years and years yet.
Q. Do you have such suits for visitors? For rent, perhaps?
A. Sorry, no. They take a long time to make. We only get them when we’re done growing, and then we keep them for a long time. Let me just finish up here, and we can talk.
[a few minutes later]
All done! I have a few minutes before I go do chores.
Q. I gather you fish for a living.
A. That’s right.
Q. Do you like it?
A. [a slight pause] Pretty well. I like working with other people. More when they appreciate my help, which they mostly do. Of course, I like it better some days than others. In hot season, it’s cooler out on the water than on land – though the suit does make me warmer than I’d be otherwise. Cold season, that can get, well, cold, suit or no suit. And I get pretty tired by the end of the day. But it’s better than being bored. [another pause] Not that I’m never bored.
Q. Do you picture yourself doing anything different, later in your life?
A. [scuffs a hind foot in the sand] I’d like to see more of the world, someday, somehow. I hear stories – mainly from the Weesah peddler who comes here – and I want to see for myself whether they’re true, and what other stories might be out there waiting to be found.
[someone calls Honnu’s name from a nearby dwelling]
I’d better go. Chores, like I said. It was nice talking to you. If you want to come with me, you could maybe stay for dinner. The peddler brought sausages, and we’ll be having a campfire.
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