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Yes the Santiago was very proud. Catching the great fish was an honour for him. It made Santiago feel, for some moments, like his younger self. He felt a kinship with the marlin, he wanted somebody worthy, like himself, to catch him.
"There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity. I do not understand these things, he thought. But it is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers."