Many myths have been conceived from a fisher’s experience. For instance, if you are a skipper, you should never go to sea on a Friday or you put both yourself, and your crew, in grave danger. And, you should never shake your fists at God when the fish are quiet. History declares that vessels are apt to sink from such foolish errors of judgement.
It’s also common knowledge amongst fishers that taking bananas to sea brings bad luck. It is this same outlandish myth which this story explores where it is proven false by the innocent action of a new recruit.
In all his years at sea, Takai had never seen anyone foolish enough to take the yellow-skinned fruit out on a fishing trip, let alone to imbibe in eating it on such an important expedition.
Now, right in front of him, a wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn breaks with tradition before his wrinkled own eyes, in the bow of the kanu. Contrasting the soft expression on his innocent face, the greenhorn’s lips slowly part into the shape of a letter ‘o’ before swallowing the evil yellow fruit.
Takai’s eyes widen. He is about to throttle the smiling greenhorn for this arrogant act. He had warned him about taking bananas to sea, along with other myths like holding your tongue the wrong way, which is also known to bring ill-fortune.
“What are you doing?” Takai spits. “Throw it overboard or you’ll have us killed.”
The new recruit scratches his cheek then rubs his chin in confusion.
“The banana, you idiot. Chuck it overboard.” Takai commands.
The newcomer, frightened by Takai’s tone, gulps down one last bite.
“NOW.” Takai’s face reddens.
The wannabe fisher throws the slippery skin. It slips through his fingers before sliding under Takai’s foot at the stern. Takai steps on the deadly aberration. His eyes gleam with murderous rage and his hands flail as he lands backwards into the ocean with a scream. He treads water for a moment, before swimming back towards the canoe, and the frightened recruit.
Once back onboard, Takai blasts the careless greenie with a deathly spray.
The greenhorn seafarer does something most unusual. He looks straight past the advancing old sea dog. Takai turns and his jaws drop. A wave as large as Mt Fuji looms in the distance. He mouths a potent word with dread.
The two are doomed with the rest of the fleet as the massive, banana-shaped wave rises above them, and swallows them up.
The greenhorn is the only survivor. He dispels the myth swearing he was given the energy to hold fast to the kanu by eating that forbidden, potassium-rich banana.