Mad Mud Man

I hid inside the house the rest of the day.

With a power outage, I felt like I was in the oven: the temperature was five degrees above outside. I was nearly half done.

Fortunately, the hours passed without incident. It seemed the morning headline was topped by other meaty and juicer tales involving other people. That was what I hoped for.

Sunset had arrived, the inching darkness almost blanketing the surrounding.

Standing by the wall near the fence, I could feel the southwest breeze dampened the heat of the night. I could sit in front of the computer once power was restored: a cooler room temperature would be conducive to blogging.

I saw his silhouette from the hilly top of the path. He looked like Neptune with a replica of a trident in its smallest version. He showed it to me once which he identified as a homemade spear unlike what professional divers used.

“Where have you been?” I asked, staring at his muddied figure.

“Here,” he offered me a live mud fish, still squirming violently inside a small net enclosure.

I was not very fond of the fresh water varieties but since it was for free, I did not decline.

“What happened to you?”

“It’s a long story so don’t ask.”

He adjusted his pants that kept on sagging due to wetness. He was in such a mess that a long shower should be concluded with a long immersion in a large pool of clean water.

I could have let the matter rest but my curiosity got the better of me.

“Don’t tell me you swam in the rice field just to catch fish.”

“That damn frog started it all.”

“Did you try to catch it, too?” I asked, amused as to my strange line of questioning.

“When it hopped the first time, a cat tried to go after it. The dog saw the commotion and joined the run. Unfortunately, I was in the area when the carabao that was in the nearby mud hole was startled by the noise, that it hastily stood up and ran in circles. Luckily, no one got hurt.”

“What’s that got to do with you?”

“I lost my balance watching the spectacle from a distance. It was dark so I did not realize I was near the mud hole when I moved away from the carabao’s frenzy.”

I could see he was mad but I could not imagine him getting comfort when he reached home. His wife would suspect something fishy.

“You’re lucky if she does not send you to sleep outside the house.”



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