After hours of pulling and tugging against the waves, the two lines of fishermen came together for the final pull, using their combined strength to pull in the catch. The long net seemed to go on and on and as each buoy made it to the top of the line, one fisherman would leave the back of the line and walk back to the front to help with the pulling again. This process continued until the entire net was out of the water.
On this day the pulling was hard but the men, their smooth skin taut and dark from years of pulling nets in the blazing sun, wore large smiles on their faces, believing that the weight of the drag must mean a huge catch for the day. Their excitement was palpable, and even those of us, mere onlookers on the beach, could feel their excitement and found ourselves waiting with anticipation for the catch to be revealed.
But, when the net was finally brought up, it was filled only with tiny silver fishes-not even one big fish. It turns out the net had been caught on something for much of the pulling which is what was making it difficult to get it out of the water.
The slumped shoulders and lowered heads required no common language to convey the fishermen’s disappointment, or ours.