Yusuf’s father and uncle and cousins heave and pull. A little shark has been caught. It twists and thrashes in the waves. Yusuf’s father untangles the nets, singing to the shark: “Drop and swish. Find a fish. Pull and plop. Don’t you stop.” When the shark at last is free it streaks back into the waves, leaving only one fat yellowtail in the net. Ouma Safiya will be pleased.


The men pull the boat in and coil up the cables. A hard white triangle catches Papa’s finger. “Whaaat? Whaaat? Whaaat?” cry the gulls. “What did you bring back for Yusuf?” As the sun goes down, Papa answers the gulls. “A lucky shark tooth for my boy.” At home Yusuf holds his gift up to the stars.