A civilized fable which snipes at respectability born of opportunism is evolved from a story of rascality, laid in the French West Indies in the early 20th century. For Ti-Coyo was born of a hunchbacked, vituperative father and an ugly mother, and determined to corner the coin-diving market which tourists to St. Pierre made so profitable. He adopted a baby shark, reared and trained it and with its help, brought wealth to the family. For Manidou, not without some scandal as diving boy after diving boy went down into its maw and only Ti-Coyo was unharmed, aided and abetted T1-Coyo's dreams and in turn Ti-Coyo saved him when the envious would have trapped and killed him. T1-Coyo found a planter's daughter to love and it was Manidou who helped them all escape when Mont Pelee erupted and wiped out St. Pierre, took them through the tidal wave that followed to a neighboring island, and it was Manidou who brought T1-Coyo home again in a cyclone. The fairy tale quality here does not smother the acerb commentary.