The dangers of pearl fishing

κινδυνεύουσι δ᾽ οἱ θηρῶντες τοὺς μαργαρίτας, ὅταν εἰς κεχηνότα κόγχον κατ᾽ εὐθὺ ἐκτείνωσι τὴν χεῖρα: μύει γὰρ τότε, καὶ πολλάκις οἱ δάκτυλοι αὐτῶν ἀποπρίονται: ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀποθνῄσκουσιν. ὅσοι δ᾽ ἂν ἐκ πλαγίου ὑποθέντες τὴν χεῖρα τύχωσι, ῥᾳδίως τοὺς κόγχους ἀπὸ τοῦ λίθου ἀποσπῶσιν.

Pearl hunters take a risk when they stretch their hands straight into the gaping shell because it shuts and often their fingers are sawn off and some of them actually die immediately, but those who successfully insert their hand from the side easily draw the shells away from the rock.

Athenaeus 3.46

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