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The Andalusian Fisherman and the American Tourist

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

Here is a story my mother used to tell: An Andalusian fisherman was lying on the warm sand next to his boat. Earlier, he had brought in a load of sardines, and now he was resting from his work. (The stereotype in Spain is that Andalusians, being southerners, are more easygoing than the rest of the population.)

An American tourist, his face red from too many hours on the beach, stopped in front of him. \”Hey, what are you doing there, fella?\” the tourist asked.

\”I am resting in the sun. Is nice…\” the fisherman said, yawning. He had picked up a little English from the tourists who descended on his village every summer.

\”Resting!\” the American exclaimed. \”But it\’s still morning! Why don\’t you take your boat out again and fish some more?\”

\”Why?\”

\”Well, obviously, to catch more fish, and make more money. You know, moolah, euros.\”

\”Why?\”

\”So you can buy a bigger boat!\”

\”A bigger boat?\”

The American tourist sighed, and squatted down next to the fisherman. \”Bigger boat, more fish, more fish, more money, comprende?\”

\”Yes. And then?\”

\”Then you buy another boat, and another, and…\”

\”But I can\’t fish in all those boats by myself.\”

\”No, of course not,\” the American said, speaking slowly and distinctly. \”You hire some men to help you fish.\”

\”But then I have to pay these men!\”

\”Well, yes, a little. But you keep most of the profits for yourself, and then…\”

\”Then what?\”

\”Then you\’re rich!\”

\”And then?\”

\”Well…then you can lie on the beach, and rest.\”

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