A Natural Storyteller

Last post, I started to talk about Simon. Our stingray boat had a guy who drove it and then made sure we all got to hold a stingray. It also had Simon.

Simon attached an anchor to the seabed. He also helped the other guy hand out flippers. That was the extent of Simon’s official duties.

I believe Simon’s main job on the boat … well, I don’t know what his official role was. Like I said before, Simon seemed to have this job so he could play with the stingrays. And so he could tell me stories.


If you were near him in the water, he’d catch a ray and murmur sweet nothings to it. He had names for some of them. He loved telling what can only be described as tall tales about the stingrays. He also ranted about Steve Irwin and his irresponsible interactions with stingrays and other marine life.

On the ride back to the pier, Simon decided we were the people he wanted to talk with. He told us story after story about his life on the island. My favorite was about the time Dexter called Simon to the boat for a private trip. The family on the trip was scattering a man’s ashes. I’ll try to tell this as Simon did. Please imagine an island accent.

“Well, sure enough, as soon as those ashes hit the water at sunset, just off a point the man loved, a swordfish appeared. It wasn’t there before. The ashes became the fish. That fish, he started to swim around the boat. I called Dexter over to see it. ‘That fish wasn’t there before,’ I said. Dexter didn’t believe me. ‘The fish only showed up when the ashes went in, Dexter,’ I said. We watched the fish swim all the way around his boat complete his circle and then, would you believe it, the fish disappeared.

“Dexter thought the fish had just swum under the boat, but I knew better. That fish was the man’s spirit, saying goodbye to his family.It wasn’t hiding under no boat. It was his spirit. His spirit!”

Simon had seen many things like the spirit-fish. He told us a few more stories of ghosts showing up in pictures and strange things on the water. But I’ll save those for a book or something later on. Thank you, Simon.


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