"But the kids are great."
So was a blog entry I wrote about on September 11, 2007. You can even check it out for yourself. That was only 5 days ago. And as the saying goes, "Time has a way of changing things..."
"LET'S GET HIIIIIIIIIIIM!!!!"
Such is the translation that I concluded as I saw four sets of young eyes running towards me! The war cry came out in a barbarious German tongue, but there was little question in my mind as to what the words meant. I prepared myself as best as I could for pure, unadulterated mutiny.
And I had nowhere to run. Within seconds, I was being battered with little hands. "Tickle tickle tickle" mockery. You see, in an effort to obtain peace only hours earlier, I had tried to establish common ground with these barbarish savages. I introduced them to the English "tickle," taking my hands and going for any open feet, open ribcages, or open necks. Laughter ensued, and I had thought that these people would be open to civil living conditions. But what was once "tickle" now came out as "teeko teeko teeko!!!" with their accents, and my assumption was that this was the German word for "slaughter." I was about to die...
But for some reason these savages did not want my life...at least not for now. I think they only sought to make it clear that I was in their country, on their territory, going to their beaches, riding their boats, eating their food. Frankly, the following events are a bit hazy to me, but I do remember being led out of the house from where I was attacked by one certain Reuben. He stood a good 2 1/2 feet tall, had anti-Portuguese blond hair, stared at me with the bluest eyes I've seen this side of the Big Pond, and he carried himself with authority. He was obviously the leader of the clan, and looking back, I should have seen it all coming.
After we left the beach earlier in the day, this Reuben would point to land from our boat. And when we returned to the house, he wore a black and white bandana littered with skulls and crossbones. And perhaps the most now-obvious clue was his dog...he had named him "Piraten," German for I now saw that he was.
A Pirate. And a true one at that. Within minutes, I expected to walk the plank into the wild blue ocean. The very ocean that I had come to love was now going to be my permanent residence.
"Teeko teeko teeko!" The chants continued.
I would have wished to fight back, but I couldn't. My hands had been hog-tied in two different forms of rope. I should have ran away, but I was unable. My feet had been wrapped with the same rope, and then the collar which only tried to limit Piraten.
I should scream for help! But, alas, I couldn't even ask for mercy, either. I found myself only able to breathe through my nostrils, as my mouth had been taped up be these obviously-experienced savages. They had undoubtedly performed this task on many travelers countless times before. This war party did not act out of rebellion or savagery. Rather the opposite, actually. This "teeko" had become a luxury...even an art for them. They smiled throughout the entire ordeal, the same smiles that I had seen earlier in my peace-making attempts. If only I had known the deception behind those soft lips, those white teeth! What a fool I was!
And then just like that, it was over. Pirate looked at me with those piercing blue eyes, and he seemed to have found his own peace. I looked back, only being able to wonder if these were cannibals or kinder pirates allowing me to walk the plank to my death. I should much rather have been eaten by sharks than by children. That would have simply given them too much fulfillment, something I was not about to give any more of.
And then they left. The ropes were checked for tightness, the tape was inspected for air gaps, and then they were done. Pirate led Piraten and his motley crew away. But not before reveling in another passerby's fate. They took a quick picture to add to their collection and then left me in my shame and immobility.
I know not what triggered this barbaric form of mutiny. I have often wondered if it was the very "tickle" that I had introduced them to, perhaps viewed as some form of foreign abuse. Or perhaps this was their way of initiating me into their country. But why wait an entire five days? And if this is so, is it a one-time initiation, or will there be more later? Perhaps they must simply carry on the traditions of their fathers. Maybe Pirate is only acting out what he witnessed his Cap'n do so many times before. The sea is within spitting distance, and there is an indescribable bond between a Pirate and his sea. Maybe this mutiny was only out of obligation.
I simply do not know.
What I do know is that even though I feared for my life last night, I still desire to seek peace with these savages. They have let me know that this is their country. But I sure do want a piece of it.
2007-09-16 15:56:55 GMT