In part of Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl", these pieces of advice appear:

this is how to catch a fish; this is how to throw back a fish you don’t like, and that way something bad won’t fall on you; this is how to bully a man;

What's the "something bad" that might fall on you if you don't throw back the fish, or don't throw it back properly? I don't think it's the fish itself, because a little later on we have this line:

this is how to spit up in the air if you feel like it, and this is how to move quick so that it doesn’t fall on you;

In the case of the spit, the work clearly states "it", referencing back to the spit that has been projected into the air. However, with the fish, the term "something bad" is used.

What does "something bad" refer to, and why would it fall on you for not throwing back a fish you don't like?


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