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lundi, 29 mai 2023

29052023 : the bone people, 2

the bone people.JPG


He shrugs again, looking at her with the bland say-nothing expression. "Beach and pipis then." "Here," she says, standing right on the edge of the low tide mark. She spades out sand with the butt of the harpoon stick, but water rises in the hole faster than she can throw it out. She resorts to shovelling with her hands. She jars her finger and whoops with delight, A small triangular shell, like a chip of dirty china. She scooped it out and dug her knife into the back of it, severing the connector muscles. The shellfish went limp and oozed water. She tore off the top shell and cut the fish from the bottom one, and ate it. He watches, his mouth agape in horror. She digs again, this time in the middle of a group of siphon holes, and uncovers a colony. "Want one?" He closes his mouth with a snap, and shakes his head vehemently. She chuckles, and prises another shrinking pipi from its shell. He flutters his hand with distress. "It moves, it's alive? Yeah, I know. So is an oyster when you eat it. And that was what you were enjoying a couple of weeks ago. Very nice, weren't they?" His mouth draws down. "I can assure you," speaking thickly, her mouth full of soft sweet and salt flesh, "that an organism like this doesn't feel pain as we do. It doesn't realise its impending death. It's just cut and gulp, and that's it for the pipi." I bloody hope so, anyway. "You understand Sim?" Schloop, carve, swallow, as she downs another pipi. The little boy quivers. "Look, it would be wrong, very wrong, to eat a fowl or a frog alive supposing we had the stomach to do it. But not these." She hopes he won't ask why, because she isn't sure herself. She suspects it's because even a lowly frog, not to mention a fowl, could make one hell of a racket as you gnawed 'em. All the helpless pipi could do, was spurt a feeble squirt of water and die between your teeth. Dammit kid, you've started to make me feel guilty. The boy sighs. He goes away by himself, and stands on all the tell-tale siphon holes. She follows, and wherever his footprints become many, digs down, and brings up another horde of pipis, thanking the child in a loud voice as she does so, until Simon P is stamping any old where in despair. 

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