The day Toa meet another person, The Octopus almost died.
She was swimming in a river, not her river, and the boy was sat, fishing, and his hook almost caught her eyelid, but
(The Octopus was blinded in one eye, its left eye poked nearly through by a broom handle wielded by an ancient Chinese woman with thick eyebrows and the remnants of bound feet.)
instead a fish took his bait, eating a cockroach who had been holding its breath for half an hour while patiently ignoring the hook through its abdomen.
Toa cried out and the boy startled too, as she surfaced. They eyed each other, cautiously.
"Hello?" The boy said.
Toa frowned. She asked him why he spoke her language and they fell immediately into conversation about their village.
He had been sent out three years ago, but had failed to catch the fish that had eaten his father's legs from the knees down. Instead he had met a turtle, who taught him to catch cockroaches, and also how to fish.
But that doesn't make any sense: Turtles don't use cockroaches to fish.
(Toa and the man wake from the same dream simultaneously.)