Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

25 September 2006

Chapter Two: Lobsters and Octopus

Just then Pãe and the boys came back. They had caught 3 ling cod and had scraped a large pile of lapis (limpets) from the rocks.
“These lapis will make a tasty addition to our lunch!” father said. The fish were stored in wet sacks, set in a separate hamper and put in the shade.
“We’re going back in one more time: The natives showed us a perfect place to dive for lobsters. Get the sacks ready!” Pãe said.
Past the first wave in a shallow lagoon, they began their dives. The spectators on the shore held their breaths as the divers held theirs. Soon Pãe surfaced, hands held very high, clutching a wriggling, snapping, angry lobster in each hand. He waded into shore, as the boys surfaced with similar treasures.
The girls held the wet sacks and the lobsters were lowered carefully inside of them. Then the lobsters were submerged in buckets of salt water to keep them alive and fresh for supper.
“Now we can sit and relax a while before lunch.” Said Pãe. But just then Tony and João came running along the shore towards the family. They were very excited.
“There’s an octopus over by the rocks hiding. We’re afraid to get it by ourselves because it is too big. Will you help us?”
Manuel jumped up and said, “Come on Joe, the four of us can catch him.”
Grabbing their spears, they followed Tony and João excitedly. Octopus was a rare delicacy and great sport to catch.
A half an hour later, the four boys returned triumphantly with not one octopus, but two! One octopus had been hiding behind the other making it look huge. In those 30 minutes, Manuel and Joe had not only caught their meal, but made two new friends.
Turning to his father, Joe said, “This is Antone Sousa and João Silva. Then turning to the boys he said, “I’d like you to meet my father and mother, Mr. & Mrs. Gomes, my sisters, Flora, Mary, Lydia, Rose and Virginia.
“How do you do?” the boys said smilingly. Tony and João both stared hopefully at Rose who looked back at them coolly.
João said to Manuel, “We’ve met your beautiful sister Rose but we didn’t know her name because she doesn’t talk to strangers.”
“Well, I think she is just pouting because we splashed her to get her attention,” added Tony.

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