Palio and Barubaru

A story from Choiseul.

Palio the sprat* and Barubaru the mudskipper were sharing a pool. They were cut off from the lagoon after the tide had fallen.  Barubaru began to skip and play around the pool, rolling over, splashing and making waves.  This annoyed Palio, who wanted to rest.

As Barubaru played, Palio became more and more cross, and finally ordered Barubaru to settle down and stay quiet, because Palio just wanted some peace and quiet and a rest until the tide came back.

But Barubaru would not stop playing.

Palio became angrier and angrier, working himself up into a frenzy until he broke into a tirade of very unkind abuse, shouting hurtful things louder and louder at Barubaru, and rudely ordering him again to be still.

This is why he has such a big mouth for such a small fish.

Barubaru, who is really a very happy and cheerful, friendly little fish, was greatly upset by the angry shouting from Palio, becoming more and more upset as the abuse continued, until finally he burst into tears.  He cried so hard that his eyes stuck out on the top of his head.

And there they remain until today.


* kotukotu in Roviana

This tale was told to me by Jackson Qalo, September 1985.

About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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