Chapter Seventeen

Joma slotted into village life seamlessly.

In the mornings he gathered vegetables and herbs while at dusk he joined the fisherman to scour the seas. He learned about foraging like what was edible and the medicinal qualities of certain plants. Similarly, the fishermen taught him about fishing the region.

He spent his evenings in the kitchen helping as best he could prepare meals, in particular the freshly caught fish. Joma was surprised that some of the poisonous fish could be prepared to allow for safe consumption.

As the days passed, his relationships grew stronger – life was good. It dawned on him, living here was eerily similar to his own village. What allowed him to appreciate this place compared to home?

He had taken his home and everyone he knew, for granted. The old adage was true, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

He was ashamed by his second realisation – the perception that, those around him were restricting him – though no such examples came to mind. Upon reflection, they provided nothing but support, working with him toward a common goal, whether it be Mariusz teaching him the craft of boat building or his mother in the kitchen.

At this point, fatigue consumed the boy and he drifted off into a fitful sleep.


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