Tuesday, 24 January 2012
By Don (Greywolf) Ford
(For my sweet daughter and fishing buddy)
"Dad, are we going fishing today?" My daughter had been anticipating this for some time. She began by relating to me that she could not sleep the night before. She woke up at 5AM, 6AM, 6:30AM, and here we were talking at 7AM.
"Yes, honey. I promised you if it weren't raining that we would hit the water."
"Do you want me to get dressed right now?" She was more than excited.
"Sure babe, go ahead. Don't wear your good shoes." For the last three years, I had taken my girl fishing. Now at 11, she still wants to go, but will still not chance putting the worm on the hook.
When we arrived at Green Lakes State Park, the questions began. "Are we too early for the fish? This question followed on the heels of, "Why do they take so long to bite?"
"We are here to learn first how to fish and to also learn to be patient. So start with talking to me in a whisper, since they can hear us. Unless they are starving, they will eat when they feel like it."
"Dad, does the worm feel it when it goes on the hook? Does it hurt them?"
"You notice how careful I am, and I don't do it too fast. Maybe if I were too quick and rough it might hurt." I was hoping the questions wouldn't get any harder to answer.
"Dad, that butterfly keeps circling you over and over. Do you know what that means?
"No, honey, but I bet you are going to tell me, aren't you?”
"That's right, I am. It means you are a gentle person. That's what my teacher told us in science class."
Later I noticed the butterfly let me pick it up with my fingers. Shortly after this, a dragonfly landed on my shoulder and my daughter said, "Hey, he likes you too, Dad." But she remembers my famous dragonfly story that I sold to a magazine, where a lone dragonfly saved me from hoards of black-flies.
During today's little adventure, we both caught a fish. This year was different; this year my fish and her fish were the same size. Other years she always caught the biggest fish. That of course remains our little secret, now doesn't it.
Today we only fished for a little over an hour and then headed home. By the time we got back, Mom was waiting to hear the tall tales. "Mom, guess what? Dad exaggerated today. He said the fish we saw in the water was as big as a house."
"Show me how big it was." Then my daughter proceeded to stretch her hands as far apart as she could. "Wow, it sounds like your dad wasn't too far off.”
End Note: There are moments in our lives that we hold on to dearly. This will always be one of those times, along with countless others.
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