I promise I’m not actually trying to kill my girlfriend.

To Whom It May Concern;

With this letter I hereby acknowledge the debt I owe to one K.F. incurred on July 4 in Cuyabena National Park in Ecuador. Aforementioned debt being of sufficient magnitude to qualify for significant reparations.

The incident in question occurred at approximately 10:00 AM in a small lagoon of flooded rainforest, wherein the water is the perfect depth for such fauna as anacondas, caimans, and piranha, the lattermost of which being crucial to the debt owed.

The relevant parties, being myself, K, a family of four from Oregon, and a guide in the employ of Samona Lodge did engage in a leisure activity consisting of placing raw cow flesh on small fishhooks attached to sticks, which were then placed in the water after splashing the surface of the water with the stick to simulate the arrival of some unfortunate creature in that liquid death zone.

Upon completion of this process, the holder of the stick would wait for a tug on the line, which customarily occurred with astonishing rapidity. This activity resulted most commonly in a simple feeding of the bovine flesh to the piranhas, who demonstrated astonishing ability to quickly eat flesh without endangering themselves on the hook. Precise savagery.

However, the human in question, if lucky and attentive enough, could opt to yank on the stick, potentially setting the hook in the piranha’s voracious little jaw.

This eventuality occurred a number of times for each human, excepting naturally the pacifist vegetarian K, who, being of angelic disposition, forewent the pleasure of seeking to capture the demonic fish, instead serving as documentarian via her digital camera.

Upon capture of one particularly large specimen, the Ecuadorian guide demonstrated their predatory capacity by inducing the fish to bite a stick of substantial size, which was accomplished with a sharply snapping jaw that made your garden shears look like butter knives.

This demonstration was followed by the relating of a recent anecdote regarding a Dutchman who, while attempting to release a piranha from his hook, donated a substantial portion of his finger flesh to one of the creatures, resulting in a clean scoop of missing flesh which bled freely for an extended period of time, resulting in a loss of consciousness for the Dutchman in question.

Shortly following this bedtime story occurred the incident whereby the debt was incurred.

Myself, upon feeling a tug on the cow flesh, did strongly pull the line out of the water. The piranha in question, being a ferocious monster, was pulled with the bait. However, its jaws were locked only onto the meat, not the hook, which detail resulted in the fish being catapulted straight out of the water, through the air, and into K’s lap. Upon arrival it began to thrash like, well, a fish out of water. Only with flesh-rending teeth and burning eyes of hatred for all living things.

The setting for this incident was a thin river boat, and given that jumping out would be a severe error of judgment, the debt owner K was obliged to basically sit still, hoping the flailing beast would not happen to flail in a manner resulting in the loss of her corporeal wellbeing.

Luckily, this eventuality (loss of material flesh) did not occur, yet the cerebral chemical rush resulting from having a carnivorous fish flung in one’s lap constitutes the bulk of the debt owed.

Mitigating the extent of the debt owned is the novelty of being able to say, in a future argument “well at least I never threw a piranha at you!”

And now I ask the jury, what measures are appropriate recompense for this offense? Candle-lit dinner for two? Or should we invite the piranha and make it three?

(Pictures by K)

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