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At first, Timothy did all of the fishing, spearing the langosta (lobster) with a sharp stick. But Phillip's blindness prevented him from doing this, so Timothy crafted fish hooks from nails so Phillip could fish with a pole. The reef was dangerous enough for Timothy, with "the jagged edges of the coral" and "the treacherous sea urchins," but Phillip thought it was useless for him to try and fish. But Timothy came up with a way in which he could still show the boy
"... an outrageous good 'ole on d'reef in a safe place." (Chapter 13)
Timothy had constructed a wooden walkway from the hut to "about fifty feet along the reef" on which Phillip could walk.
Every two feet, Timothy had driven a piece of driftwood deep into the coral crevices so I could feel them as I went along. (Chapter 13)
The sea urchins were still a problem--Timothy had "smashed" all of them before leading Phillip out for the first time--but Timothy "said he'd think mightily about them." The fishing hole Timothy had found was perfect for Phillip: It had a sandy bottom so Phillip's "hooks would not snag." Mussels clung to the side and were easy to pull apart. Plus, there was a "natural opening to the sea" that would allow fish to come and go from the pool. Phillip caught a fish on his first cast, and from that day on, Phillip "did all the fishing."
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