I often cycled past the prawn farms with a friend on the way to school in the village where I was teaching. There were great ponds on acres and acres of land in the coastal village in this Eastern part of the island. On these lonely roads in their deep silence my awareness grew of the life that was evolving in these ponds as the crustacea emerged from the spawn, creating concentric ripples as they swam beneath the water's surface. A subtle movement seemed to stir the expanse of water, breaking fragmented slivers of light, scattering them on the ponds. I was not able to observe these forms of life minutely but there was this feeling that the ponds were seething, alive, and that the prawns were trapped in their aquatic prisons from which they could not escape until they grew large enough to be caught, netted, packed and sent away to titillate the appetites of the wealthy gourmets who could afford them.



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