A long time ago there was a fishing village…In this fishing village, they worshipped the sea. They did everything on the ocean–they lived in huts on the beach or over the
water, they were always fishing, cultivating, and harvesting from the ocean. They also had this custom where they would name their kids based off of how they interacted
with the ocean, and how they lived their lives, on their fifth birthday.
The Chief of the village, Wave Runner, had a son. Now this son was always very shy toward the ocean, and he would actually always turn his back away from the ocean
when they went back to the beach. A bit ominous for the tribe who devoted their entire lives to the sea, but on his fifth birthday he still had the habit of looking away
from the ocean. Naturally, they named him “Away” after this tendency.
As Away grew up, he was never very fond of the more masculine activities of fishing and exploring the ocean islands, and he would always prefer to stay home, with his
mother, tending the agriculture. This worked just fine, and they prospered just fine, even if Wave Runner was a bit disappointed that his son didn’t want to fish, as that
was their main source of food and prosperity.
Every year, all of the men aged 12 and above when on a long fishing expedition, where they would catch the bulk of their fish for the following year. Away didn’t want
to go as he wasn’t the best fisherman, but as soon as he turned 12, Wave Runner insisted that he join, to cement his place in the tribe. Away acquiesced finally, and one
fall day the three largest fishing boats left with all of the men on it. All of the women and children went out to the pier to wave goodbye, Away’s mother crying loudest of
all, as she was scared for her boy. Wave Runner and Away were on the largest of the three ships, and Wave Runner assured her that they would be safe, and return shortly.
Well, it was slated to be a two week trip, and two weeks came and went. Every night, the women and children would go out to the pier to look out to see if they could spot
any ship on the horizon, and each night they went home disappointed. Night after night they did this, until four weeks had passed. Finally, one morning, Away’s mothe
r spots a small ship limping into harbor. It is the largest of the three vessels, but it is listing badly, and the mast is broken in two. They are using a small sheet to slowly come into harbor.
When it finally made it to port, Away’s mother searched frantically among the men to find her husband and child. Finally, she found Wave Runner, and asked him what happened.
“Well, the fish were not at their normal spot, so we had to go much further than usual,” he began. “Next, a large gale hit, sank one ship, and the other one we lost. We
were about to turn back empty handed, but then we started hitting the fish. We were catching so many, and then finally I got the biggest fish of my life! It was so incredibly massive–it will feed our family for a week! It fought back and forth for three days,
dragged our boat around in circles, bashed us into rocks, and tore down our mast! But never fear, finally I was able to land the beast and it is in our hold right now!”
“That’s great!” the mother said. “But what about my son? Where is he??”
“Oh,” Wave Runner replied gravely. “You should’ve seen the one that got Away.”