There is a legend in a small town that sits on an island out in the ocean. Most of the people of that island have heard it but the people who live in Holgate take it as absolute truth.
A very long time ago only a few Indians knew about this island and they would use it as a fishing ground. They pulled many a creature from the sea and there was enough to feed the entire tribe. They had learned how to dry it and using the sea salt to preserve it, there was always enough to last through the hard times. After many generations, there were some who stayed on the island and fished throughout the winters.
Then came the year of storms.
The wind blew and the rains scoured the sand. The waves went higher and higher and the tides swept in and created new channels linking the quieter waters of the bay with the rampant ocean. The elders of the tribe were talking about it being time to think about rowing the boats back to the mainland and only coming to the island in the spring and summer when the storms were easier and didn't break pieces off the shoreline. Almost all agreed with this idea. ALMOST all...except for the brave Blue Fish Stalker and his wife, Striper Seeker.
They loved this life and the waters that surrounded them and gave back to them had become part of the breath and spirit that gave them life. The rest of the tribe headed across the bay to try getting through the rest of the storm season. Blue Fish and Seeker watched the boats head away. As they watched, they could see the clouds swirling overhead and knew that another storm would be there by morning.
The next three days they saw nothing but pounding waves and rain that fell hard enough to sting. Blue Fish worried that he had doomed them and spoke to his wife; "Seeker? Do you want to go back to the mainland when the storm passes? That is if we are still able to go."
Seeker looked at him with surprise. "Blue Fish! This is what we want. Living here and watching the sky and the sea. The storms will pass and our life will be full and peaceful. If we go back to the mainland will we ever have the life we want? There is always some disagreement among the tribe when they are on the mainland and fights break out for silly reasons. My mother told me of what life was like there as she had heard it from her elders and they before them. The storms are the price we pay to be here." Blue Fish believed her.
The next day the sun rose and showed them what the storms had left of the beach. The dune grass and beach plums were battered and in some places, gone. They set about gathering the driftwood and repairing the small shelter they lived in.
That night the full moon rose and shined itself on the sea. They walked to the edge of the tideline just to greet it and to welcome it's return. It was as bright as the day there.
Seeker suddenly stopped, "Blue Fish! There is something laying in the water that I have never seen before. What is it?" He walked into the foam and saw the strangest looking fish he had ever seen. It was about as long as his leg and it's scales shone red and gold. It's eyes watched him approach. Seeker walked up next to him and stared at the fish. The fish turned it's greenish gold eyes to her. It opened its mouth and spoke....." I have been waiting to get to the beach but the storms have been moving it around and I couldn't find the place I lived. If you would help me get to my home I will give you something that will keep you happy and protected. Will you help me?" Seeker and Blue Fish were amazed! This fish was speaking to them and seemed to be as human as they were. Blue Fish turned to Seeker and asked her; " Do you think this is real? Are we talking to a big red fish or have we fallen asleep and dreamed it?" They were both thinking that the size of this fish would feed them very well for a long time. The fish seemed to know their thoughts. "If you eat me you would go hungry for a long time and the storms would probably keep you from catching anything. Your little home could be blown away and then you might be blown with it. I can give you a way to keep food and shelter for as long as you need it and you can pass this on to any you choose. Again,,,,, Will you help me?" Blue Fish and Seeker both spoke, "We will help you. Tell us what to do."
That was the first time anyone had ever seen the October Moon Fish. He still lives in his own castle under the salt water. Blue Fish and Seeker spent long lives on the island and never went without the food or the driftwood they needed. In time, others joined them and as time went on, villages were established and bigger boats were built. For those who stay, there is never a storm too big or a tide too high. And the October Moon Fish still sends them what they need. Some people have seen him under the full moon and they all swear that he speaks to them. And the fish just seem to know whose line to bite or whose net to jump into.
© By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)
© Painting by Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)