In addition to pulling a large net, the work at sea also involves driving a boat to the deep sea to pick snails.
The people who pick the snails are three people in a small boat. Some people are not willing to give up their strength, and as punishment, they are sent by the sea boss to pick snails.
The days of those snail pickers are sometimes quite comfortable. From time to time I saw some small boats roll up from the sea, and when they came to shore, they brought out a basket of conch shells from the hold.
Conch is not as valuable as fish. The snail-pickers did nothing for nothing, but they didn’t suffer much more than the net-pullers. Because sometimes night nets have to be pulled, those who pull the nets have to spend the night at sea.
For some unknown reason, the boss of the sea said to his father one day, “Go pick snails.”
My father arrived on the boat where the snails were picked.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my father getting into the depths of the ocean in a free boat. However, the net is only on the shore, and the snails have to go to the deep sea, so I am still somewhat afraid for my father.
Every time the snail-picking boat left, I would sit on the shore and wait for them to return.
Sometimes the boat takes more than half a day to come back, sometimes it takes only a few hours – it depends on the harvest at sea, as well as wind and current, high and low tide, etc. I don’t understand this. At night I often stayed ashore because I had to wait for my father to come back.
It was late at night, and it was not until the boat that picked snails came back and I saw my father that I felt relieved.
I used to stay on those nights, sleeping in the corner of the fish shop. The stench all over the fisherman’s body was exuding, and I was almost squeezed out among these naked bodies, and I couldn’t sleep. If you are really sleepy, you can sleep for a while, and as soon as you close your eyes, you will have some colorful dreams. Sometimes I dream of some strange black fish, swirling in the sea, attacking the fishermen in groups, tearing the nets to pieces, overturning the boat, and biting the drowning people, and the red blood spurting out. I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep anymore.
Father was very sleepy when he got back to shore, he slept too deeply. Still, I wanted to tell him about the dream I had just had.
One day I saw my father clearly in a dream – saw their snail picker. There were three people on the boat, one was thin and one was fat, and the remaining one was his father. Their little boat sailed on the calm sea, all the way into the depths of the sea. Then came dusk. They picked a lot of snails, the cabin was full, and the boat was going back and forth—just after turning around, a grinning white-haired old man came walking on the waves. The father pointed at the old man and said, “You, how can you walk on the water waves? Are you human?” The other two turned pale when they saw the white-haired old man. The old man didn’t speak, went to the boat, patted the three people on the shoulders, and then took out a bunch of red cords from his pocket – I thought it was like a red head cord; Tie well. After tying up, he waved to them and walked away on the waves again. The three were stunned, all looking down at the red rope on their arms, no one dared to untie it…
At dawn, I rubbed my eyes and walked out of the fish shop with my father. The snail-picking boat is on the waves. Father walked over, and the two were already waiting for him. Suddenly I grabbed my father’s collar and said, “Dad, I’m afraid…”
He turned his face and said “um”, not wanting to delay. I stubbornly grabbed his collar. This time he stopped for the first time and looked at me seriously. I said that I had a dream, you must listen to it, there is you in this dream! He took out the cigarette pot, glanced at the two people waiting for him, smoking a cigarette and waiting for me to talk.
“Dad, I dreamed that the three of you were tied with a red head rope by an old man in the depths of the sea!” He frowned.
“Every one of you is tied up, one skinny, one fat, and finally you.” Father pointed at the two people standing under the pillar and said, “Is it them?” I looked up: how strange Ah, that’s true, they were exactly like the image in the dream, I remember it clearly!
I almost shouted, “Yeah, that’s them…”
Father’s face turned ashen, he knocked on the cigarette pot and put it into his trousers pocket. Then he squatted down. The two snail pickers came over. Father’s face turned sallow again. He said to the two men, “Go on, I can’t go to sea anymore, my stomach hurts.” The two men clapped their hands, found another helper, and were about to sail away. At this time, the father suddenly faced their backs and shouted: “You don’t go either…” The three looked at their father with strange eyes, then turned and left.
When they were gone, my father went to the fish shop and lay down. He smoked puff after puff and didn’t want to talk to me for a day. It was getting dark, and the snail-picking boat did not return. It was almost midnight when there was a shrill sound from outside. Someone ran past the fish shop and shouted something.
Dad said, “Well, there it is.” We all went out. It turned out that a big whirlwind was blowing, and the sand was lifted into the air. The man pulling the net stood on the shore and called.
The boss of the sea said: “Fortunately the big net is not in the sea, this gust of wind is fierce!”
He suddenly remembered the snail-picking boat and shouted, “Have you all come up?”
“Tianli, ghost fierce…”
Redbeard muttered, his face full of unease. Red Beard didn’t sleep all night, and neither did my dad. The snail-picking boat still did not come ashore. The wind didn’t stop until the next morning. There were several broken wooden boards on the shore, then three bodies were found…
All were silent. Redbeard sucked in the cool air and looked at his father, someone was crying. But my father didn’t, he just pulled me aside and sat down. Leaning on a willow tree, my father took out the pot and put it in his mouth – he struck the match, but the pipe was empty…
Father threw the match away again. He reached out and stroked my forehead lightly. This hand is so warm