THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
By Ernest Hemingway
He was an old man who dished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had goneeighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him.But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was nowdefinitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at theirorders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to seethe old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help himcarry wither the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around themast. The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanentdefeat .
The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brownblotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea wereon his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had thedeep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh.They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert.
Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea andwere cheerful and undefeated.
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