“Pisafua” and the challenges of today

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Talofa folks. A few years back, this column brought you the story of “Pisafua” the fish who lived in the “Kingdom of Neverfindland.” 

In light of the multitude of social challenges, political developments and all the church meetings that have been taking place throughout the country, we believe the story of Pisafua* is worth retelling. 

So here it is: Once upon a time, there was a small fish named Pisafua. He lived in a kingdom called Neverfindland. In the eyes of the fish world, Kingdom Neverfindland was paradise. The economy appeared sound and its rulers were extremely popular.

As stories of small fishes go, Pisafua’s lot was tough. 

Extremely tough. Paid the minimum wage, fishes like him were obligated to do all the dirty work. Which meant he had to brave the conditions from dawn to dusk and often risked his life among sharks to run errands for the big fishes.

He wondered why life was such a difficult slog. 

He glanced across at the luxurious lives of the big fishes and often asked why his was so different.  Why don’t I have it easy like them, he asked himself. 

Maybe life is meant to be like this, he thought.

So Pisafua continued to labour. Day after day, he would rise early; toil hard throughout in the boilling heat and when nightfall came, Pisafua would sneak under his coral. He would cry and cry, yearning for redemption. 

He wasn’t the only one though. 

In Neverfindland, other small fishes like Pisafua were increasingly struggling to keep up. Climate change meant the undercurrents were getting stronger. The water was getting warmer and the few corals Pisafua and his mates used as shelter have either been swept away by the currents or taken by the big fishes who would bully their way through.

But unlike Pisafua who had the endurance of a champion marathon runner, his friends were impatient. They thought the quickest way to an easier life was to take things for themselves without asking for permission from their bosses.

What they took wasn’t much by the way, but Kingdom Neverfindland’s judiciary was merciless. The water police would gather these small fishes before the merciless judge who would tell them off for stealing, convicting and sending them to a place called Wrongheaven. 

Wrongheaven was dreadful. Full of small fish convicts, life was terrible.

But for Pisafua, he continued to fight on. But there was one thing he couldn’t understand. Why the sea cops never got the big fish, whose offending was far worse. 

You see, these big fishes stole from the Kingdom in large amounts. The sea cops seemed content only to nail the smaller ones because they were vulnerable and couldn’t afford sharks to defend them before the merciless court.

What’s more, the big fishes hands always looked clean. There is never enough evidence to put them away. And even when there was, they always had friends in the right places so that they are quickly forgiven but not forgotten.

As the story goes, abuse of public property was rampant in Neverfindland.

And Pisafua would witness the wrath of the Kingdom’s authority borne by the small fishes. They were often offered as sacrificial lambs at the whim of the big fishes who would get their friends in high places to come up with mouth-watering excuses when they are caught red handed.

The big fish would treat the Kingdom’s properties like it’s theirs. They would abuse them blatantly and when questioned, the authorities would ignore it and hope it blows over somehow. 

Life for the big fishes was wonderful. Everything was theirs for the taking. There was a pretty tea party just about every other day where they would congregate, look happy and continue their pretentious talk. 

When it comes to corals by the way, the big fishes had occupied just about all the liveable corals available. Big fishes were also boastful. In Kingdom Neverfindland, big fish’s pride and joy came from outsiders who wanted to invest money in some of those golden corals.

Pisafua wasn’t fooled though. He knew the truth. These foreign fishes would enter as millionaires with all their smooth talk. But they would quietly seek investments from the Kingdom’s coffers and debt financing from money institutions already within. 

The history of Neverfindland is full of such people. There is one other thing about Neverfindland you must know. The fishes there were deeply religious. They prayed everyday to a rock named Iseewhatyouaredoing, shortened to Iseeu. Pisafua and his peers believed that in the afterlife, they would meet Iseeu. 

One day, after swimming a very far distance during the high tide, Pisafua became sleepy. It was a big mistake. Half awake, he swam directly into a fishing net cast by those terrible humans.  Pisafua’s end was nasty. He was sashimied and savagely consumed by a drunk man at a bar on a nearby island.

But that’s not the end of the story. 

You see, Pisafua’s spirit lived and eventually entered Iseeu’s rock called the Rightheaven. Because he was hardworking and honest, his spirit was given a royal welcome. He was invited to dine with Iseeu Almighty right away.

It was quite a moment and Pisafua was so keen as it was his opportunity to tell Iseeu about all the corruption he’d seen in Neverfindland.

At the dining table that night, Pisafua was just about to open his mouth when Iseeu Almighty said; “Don’t speak my fish, I know your work. My name in short is Iseeu. I am what my name says I am. I see everything that’s happening in Neverfindland and one day, each and everyone of those fishes will have to account for their actions.

“As for you my faithful fish, welcome to Rightheaven.”

And that ladies and gentlemen is the story of Pisafua. 

In the end, his hard work and honesty was rewarded. Can’t say the same about the other fishes who abused their time in the Kingdom. 

But then you know, to each their own. What one sows is what you will reap. And in the Kingdom of Neverfindland where Iseeu Almighty rules, nothing is hidden. Everything will be exposed and everyone is held to account, one way or another. The end.

*The editorial titled “Pisafua and the Kingdom of Neverfindland” was initially published on 13 September 2011.

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