Monday, November 19, 2012


The Guam stonefish (nufo' in Chamorro) is very dangerous.  It looks like part of the rocks and stones you see in the water, but it's a living, venomous fish.  If you step on one, you may get pierced by one of its long needles, sharp enough to penetrate your sneakers.  The pain is instant and excruciating.  People who are unfortunate enough to get stung will definitely need medical attention.  While waiting for the meds to kick in, their foot and leg will swell, turn color, throb in indescribable pain and the patient will often suffer from nausea.  It takes a week or more to get over, after getting medication.

Frank Lizama composed this little poem about it :


Ti bunitu yo' na guihan
yan ti gof dångkolo yo' lokkue'.
I kulot-hu chukulåti
ya i tataotao-hu tituka'.

(I am not a pretty fish
and neither am I very big.
Brown is my color
and thorns are my body.)

Kalan despåsio yo' kumalamten
ayu na chaddek yo' makonne'.
Sumåsåga yo' gi acho'
ya nufo' i na'ån-hu.

(I move about slowly
which is why I am quickly caught.
I live among the rocks
and nufo' is my name.)

~~~Frank Lizama, 1975, DOE Chamorro Studies
(English version mine)

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