|The shock of first bringing the fish out of the water.|
Michael and I are in a routine now. Down to the water, get the worm on the line, hook the fishing line to the chair I am sitting in, rather than leaving the pole on my lap, and then the charm of waiting for a fish. Getting the worm on the hook wasn’t much more pleasant today, although now I know I can do it. I have done worse jobs, so I think of those and just get the bait on the line and give it to him to throw in. He bobs it in and out of the water a number of times, checking to see if his lure is still working. It is. Now the dirt has been washed off of the fish and for some reason I think I should apologize to it. As I was sitting there I am also remembering the pleasant fishing trips I have taken in the past: my dad, Steve Carter, and Art Treleaven. The point for me is never to catch a fish, though the person who has a boat and a licence may feel differently.
|"I can tell if he is dead yet."|
I enjoyed watching Michael walk all the way around the dock’s edge, one foot over the other, teetering at some points, then regaining his balance and one foot over the other again.
For a while he sang Christmas carols. I listened to a rendition of Deck the Halls. When he was through he asked if I knew any other songs. I began to think of campfire songs that I could teach him while we were sitting there. A rendition of 99 Bottles of Beer on the wall would take him a long time to sing, but why not wait for a real campfire to learn that song. Better to do that song when a teen-ager.
|"Now, what do we do?"|
Suddenly I feel that pull of the line across my lap again.
I call out his name.
“Michael. Fish. Michael, I am sure there is a fish on the line.”
He has been hanging onto to the ladder on the dock. He leaps around me and grabs the line pulling it hand over hand until we both see a fish swinging on the end of the line. He turns and grins at me.
I grab my camera and begin shooting pictures. I have been wanting to take lessons with my new camera, but never had the time. Each time I press a button nothing seems to happen. In the meantime he and I are exchanging information.
“What do we do next?”
“How, grandmother? You do it.”
“Not me, it is your fish. With a stick or a rock?”
He picks up a rock on the dock which is only half the size of his tiny fist.
|The fish jumped and scared|
Michael back one foot.
He decided to put it back in the water so it can have a little “air”.
I tell him not to put it back in the water, but before I can finish my sentence it is already in the water.
Then he brings it back out. I am amazed for it is still on the hook.
I can see that what we have caught is a Northern Pike Minow, not to be confused with a Northern Pike which is quite a nice fish. This one is a bottom feeder – not a good one for the frying pan.
He lays the fish on the dock. It flips over at irregular intervals. Michael jumps back each time. He can’t seem to finish it off with his rod. We decide to do catch and release, but neither of us can figure out how to do that, either. I tell him this is a job for me. I pick the fish up and yank out the hook. I am not going to loose that hook that as so hard to bait. Behind me I can hear him saying, “Don’t get hurt, grandmother. Don’t get hurt.”
We walk back up to the house so we can tell others about our adventure. As we cross the tracks, one of the railroad workers calls out to us, I think, but I cannot be sure anymore when someone calls out, to whom they are calling.
But it is the truck driver from yesterday. I can tell from his Scottish brogue. He runs after us and catches up to us on the other side of the tracks.
“I saw you caught a fish. What kind of fish did you catch? A trout?”
I cannot remember the politically correct name for that fish at that moment, so I just tell him I don’t know the name of the fish.
I asked him how he knew we caught a fish.
“Well, I could hear you yelling,” he said.
|Not every fisherman can hold|
his fishing rod in one hand
and his fish in the other.
What I do not know is that I have hit the record button when I tried to take that first picture, so our adventure on the dock is both visual and aural.
Bonnie Wyora and I listened to it and watched it last night.
Bonnie is good at picking up on the sounds of Michael's little voice, and she knows exactly what Michael was saying and what I was saying.
I have sanitized the events as I heard them on the tape, for the purposes of blogging it.
As we went to sleep, Bonnie said, I haven’t laughed that hard in 2018.
A little boy from Alberta can’t fish unless he is with an adult who has a licence.
Further to that, she read the fine print of the licence.
Apparently there is to be no live bait.
They went fishing this morning with a licence and the correct lure.