Angel' nine tailed fish tattoo

October 20, 2022

Angel had done a stylised pen and ink drawing of a fish, but her fish looked somehow wrong. I stared at its downturned mouth, exaggerated spiky fins, and curved form for a moment before realising it had multiple tails, which when I counted them up (three times as they were tangled together and hard to tally), totalled nine.

The old Cornish riddle that Angel cracks so effortlessly...

Me a moaz, a me a moaz, a me a moaz in goonglaze,
Me a clouaz, a clouaz, a clouaz, a troz, an pysgaz miniz.
Bez mi a trouviaz un pysg brawze naw losia,
Olla boble en Porthia ne mi nôr dho gan zingy.


... which translates into English thus...

As I was going out on the green downs,
I heard the sound of little fishes.
But I found one big fish with nine tails,
And all the people of St Ives couldn’t catch it.


This is a detail from the Fal Chart in the 'Angel's Blade Locations (real and imaginary') post in this section, that served as the inspiration for Angel's nine tailed fish tattoo motif, the image of which can be found at th back of the book. In this detail the fish is accompanied by the Cornish language 'riddle' she cracks so effortlessly, as well as a styalised Standard of Cornwall (the white cross of Saint Piran is traditionally centralised).



Note: All images shown here property of Lewis Hinton.