The Fisherman and the eagle

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The fisherman and the eagle

“There was once a whaler named Yutu, he had a wife Kirmia and owned a small whaling vessel on which he worked every day. They had two small boys named Yoskolo and Yotimo who used to play games, pretending to work on the ship with their father and looked up to him as a hero.
“Every morning Yutu would get up extremely early, dress, go downstairs, pick up his slab of whale blubber or slice of fish, warm his boots and leave for work. Walking a mile in the icy weather, Yutu would go out on his boat and face the freezing temperatures from dawn ‘til dusk.
“After the day was over, he would go home, often empty handed and more often than not, he and Kirmia would have to explain to the boys, why they wouldn’t be eating that night.
“Although Yutu loved his family, he also loved to gamble and so occasionally, he would simply “misplace” his day’s earnings to pay back his debt to the hungry loan sharks. However he could never burden the family with his troubles.
“One day, Yutu heard from a business associate from another town, of a huge pod of whales heading their way. Buzzing with excitement, Yutu went to bed but could not sleep, and so went into his workshop and got ready for the next morning. After spending half of the night toiling outside, he went back upstairs and slept for a couple of hours. He hadn’t told Kirmia of the rumours though, as he didn’t want to raise her hopes only to disappoint her afterwards as had happened so many times before.
“It was early when Yutu woke up. He jogged downstairs and swiped his leftover sardine from the counter. Nodding at Kirmia, he left without saying a word. The journey to the harbour lasted less time than usual as Yutu had a spring in his step, imagining the wealth which lay beyond him.
“Boarding his ship, Yutu set up all of the nets; brought the engine to life and was off into the roaring ocean.
“Crying in happiness, he watched a huge pod of whales swimming past his ship majestically, and yelled in triumph as almost immediately the biggest whale in sight swam straight past him.
“Seizing his chance, he swung round his long and fatal harpoon cannon, shot the whale and hauled it up alongside the vessel. Smiling in delight, Yutu sat down.
“This whale, he thought, was big enough to feed the entire family and all of their friends for at least a year and with what was left over, he could pay back his debts and buy Kirmia the gold necklace she had seen in town.
“Standing up, a beam draped across his face, Yutu turned the boat around and heade back home. Just as he entered the harbour, Yutu noticed a smaller Whale slumped on a neighbouring vessel. On its back was a huge chest overflowing with beautiful gold jewellery. Yutu smiled in wonder, immediately forgetting the first whale. He was about to aim his harpoon cannon when an eagle swooped down onto the ship.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Yutu demanded angrily.
“The eagle replied
“Do not take that, it is not yours,
You have no right or justly cause,
If you do, you’ll have to pay
And that undoubtedly will ruin your day,
Leave it there and go on back,
Or face the consequence and risk attack.
Heed my warning and don’t forget,
I’ll be watching, consider my threat.”
“ Yutu took no notice of the eagle’s warning and shot the Whale; he then stole the chest and went home happily.
“Kirmia was so shocked when she saw the treasure that she almost fell over, whilst the two boys giggled childishly and rolled around in delight. They all thanked Yutu and went upstairs to their bedrooms.
“In bed that night, Kirmia smiled at Yutu. “We’re the richest family in the village, Yutu! You’ll never have to work again!”
“No,” Yutu replied solidly, “I will not stop until we are the richest family in Europe!”
“The next day, Yutu went back out on the ship and once again, the sea was teeming with life. After throwing in his first net he glimpsed an elk hiding on an ice sheet in the distance. It was guarding a huge, shining pearl which shone brighter than the shiniest of stars. His face lighting up like a lamp, Yutu imagined what he could buy with what he earned from the pearl. He was just about to shoot the elk when once again the eagle swooped down and screeched as before,
“Do not take that, it is not yours,
You have no right or justly cause,
If you do, you’ll have to pay
And that will surely ruin your day,
Leave it there and go on back,
Or face the consequences and risk attack.
Heed my warning and don’t forget,
I’ll be watching, consider my threat.”
“Yutu took no notice, killed the elk and pocketed the pearl.
“Yutu then went home, even more joyous than yesterday as now he could buy anything he wanted, but it still wasn’t enough for him.
“Kirmia hugged him passionately and the two boys stared in awe at the pearl, their eyes gleaming almost as brightly as it was.
“Once more in bed Kirmia smiled proudly at Yutu, “Yutu! Now we’re the richest family in Europe, you’ll never have to work again!”
“No,” Yutu whispered, the hunger for power coursing through his veins. “I will not stop until I am the richest man in the world.”
“Kirmia rolled over and went to sleep, but Yutu stayed awake, greed engulfing his body like an ugly infection.
“The third day that Yutu went out on his ship was the same, and just like before, the ocean was alive. He threw in his first net when out of the corner of his eye he noticed a huge cave on the ice. In the cave mouth stood a treasure chest filled tight with diamonds. Yutu looked at it greedily, and was just wondering what the best way would be to get the chest, when the eagle swooped down once again. It screeched, just like before:
“Do not take that, it is not yours,
You have no right or justly cause,
If you do, you’ll have to pay
And that will surely ruin your day,
Leave it there and go on back,
Or face the consequences and risk attack.
Heed my warning and don’t forget,
I’ll be watching... Consider my threat.”
“ Yutu swatted the eagle away and climbed out onto the ice. He walked slowly towards the chest, licking his lips with temptation. He tried to pick it up but it was too heavy and so instead he started to pull it away. Before he had even taken two steps, there was a terrible roar from inside the cave. Panic started to rise in the pit of Yutu’s stomach as he tried to pull the chest faster but it was impossible. He could now hear something sprinting towards him, and so looked at the chest and then back at the cave and started trying to push the heavy chest away frantically. Suddenly there was an even louder roar which shook the ice like a piece of cloth and a huge polar bear leapt into sight. Terrified, Yutu sprinted away from the bear, but his large elk skin shoes slipped on the ice. The bear growled and launched itself forwards like a white cannonball and took hold of Yutu’s ankle. It dragged him back into the dark cave, never to be seen again.
“The bear then padded back over to the ship, pounding the ice beneath it in rage. The ship slowly tipped off the ice and sank into the crashing waves, leaving the treasure behind in the snow.
“Starting to crawl back along the ice, the bear smiled as the eagle swooped down, perching on its back carefully. Together they re-entered the cave happily, ready to live out the rest of their lives in peace.
“There was uproar in the town when they found out about the bear and only days after the incident, the town police had sought out and slaughtered it, blaming it for Yutu’s death. Nobody even cared what Yutu might have done to deserve his grisly demise, but instead the humans did what they do best and killed what they didn’t understand.After grieving their loss, Kirmia, Yoskolo and Yotimo lived happily together, sharing their new riches among the whole town. They never found out about Yutu’s gambling and even in death the two boys thought of him as a hero.”
Stumbling back down the branch having told its story, the old, lonely eagle, screeched once into the howling wind. It flew off sadly into the cold, dark night, alone once more.





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