The beautiful spring light was bathing the pavement among a cluster of prosaic blue slate and grey stone houses of differing heights, with scraps of garden coming in between, boxes with flowers of many colors hanging off the windows and hedgerows with clothes laid out to dry. The opening of the only paved street harbored the village shops, only selling -as all stores in fishing villages- rigs and nets and barrels of pitch. On that lane, with its rural sociability, you could see and hear the slow waggon lumbering along, the women at their doors, the barefoot fishermen, and the strong words, wrapped, like brandy chocolates in silver paper. That small fishing village was a real fishing village. In it only dwelt, with their wives, tough beard and hookah fishermen; hundreds of men that only that craft knew: sailor, seafarer. And in the distance, down the street, after an old-fashioned pewed and galleried church, there was also a beautiful beach full of breeze and bathing huts prepared for the joyous vacationers. There were also crab and roe, and cured tuna and cod, but the cod was already expensive. There was, in short, everything you would expect in those picturesque fishing villages. The only thing there wasn’t was sea. They had forgotten to put it.
When fishermen of that village became aware of this omission, they wept as dead dogs. That was the ruin, the hunger, the mausoleum. Fishermen, that knew only fishing and could not fish because they had no sea and had never even seen it, spent all day at the crumbling doors of tavern, not knowing what to do, starving and incensed. Every afternoon going to the beach to see if by chance they had already put the sea, with the same excitement and fear of children going to the chicken coop to see if the hens have laid an egg. But they had not put it. Didn’t ever put it… Yuck! Yuck! Hunger increased. Thousands of infants were dying of starvation. Women were howling of horror. Somehow it was hilarious. But, as always happens with these things, misfortunes began to happen … He chose the tune carefully. It should be sufficiently catchy and unusual. The next day, at the tavern, he spent all morning whistling it in the ear of his colleague. At night, when his wife came home humming it, his suspicions were confirmed. At the foot of the open Bible -where it was the verse marked in red that would explain everything- he lined the letters: to his wife, the judge, and the friends. After, he drank the poison and lay down on the bed. The supreme horror finally came… And so, the owner of the tavern invented one thing to avoid all that nonsense … With his invention lunacy would end. His invention was to pave the whole place where the sea should be. And they asphalted it. It was a nasty sea. But it was a pleasure to walk around in a car.
. A fishing village – Dugutigui on some work by Miguel Mihura
In the “Diula” language in Mali, the term « dugutigui » (chief of the village), literally translated, means: «owner of the village»; «dugu» means village and «tigui», owner. Probably the term is the result of the contraction of «dugu kuntigui» (literally: chief of the village).