Sometimes there’s a scarcity of fish in the market, especially when there is a full moon. This causes even people living near the sea to search for something without tails and gills. 🙂

However, that was not my reason for deciding to trek to the coast. I needed the exercise. It’s that eating pure rice is not fun without the other ingredients besides fruits and vegetables to complete a meal.

The early morning walk was good. Invigorating. The air was cool and pure. The static life in the rural areas could be slow yet refreshing.

Four kilometers later, I already sensed the salty taste of air. The sound of waves reached my ears like echoes from playful waters caressing the sandy shore.

Swarms of people populated the beach like they were crabs looking for food. Crawling on their knees and scratching the sand with a stick or with bare hands, the object of their desires were the small shellfish that were washed ashore the night before.

While I stood in awe of the magnificent view, a neighbor called out to me and waved me to join him and his son. When I reached their spot, their small buckets were already half-filled with assorted shellfish.

Eager to go home with something to show for my effort, I began my own search. It looked so easy but as minutes passed without luck, I wished someone would offer me a hand.

To make it looked worse, the boy next to me was more fortunate. I had three wee shellfish to show while he had dug up bigger ones with apparent ease.

“Like to have a contest?” the kid asked me. He poured what was on his bucket to his father’s We had to start from scratch.

“Okay,” I accepted without blinking an eye.

Boy or not, I did not want to lose face. I had to outwit him and showed him how adults win always in the end.

The sun’s heat at mid-morning prevented us to stay for long. We had to move along.

So, to cut the story short, I lost to the boy. His father did not let the incident pass and ribbed me no end on the way home.

As consolation, the boy handed me his haul accompanied with a grin. Winning the battle made his day. He was magnanimous in victory.


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