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Adventures of Ron Huckleberry...#10 Catching little fish
Grandmother’s house and she too was up early. As usual they ate an early breakfast and then Ron was allowed to go out side and play.
He easily stayed busy for a couple of hours. He had chores that he was expected to accomplish for Grandmother and Granddaddy; like empting the two bed-pots that they had used the night before. He would then feed the chickens and collect the eggs.
Grandmother and Aunt Jane kind of worked together to insure that they had a list of ideas to occupy Ron when he seemed bored. Aunt Jane had suggested that Ron collect different butterflies and prepare a ‘butterfly-poster-project’ for school. Ron had caught about fifteen different butterflies and he spent about an hour pinning them to poster paper, which he would protect until needed in school.
It was about 11 a.m. and Ron getting bored. He went into the house and sat on the chair in the kitchen, where Grandmother was working. “OK, Ron, what’s on your mind?” Grandmother asks.
Grandmother, may I go up Mr. Allen’s pond and do some fishing”? Ron asked.
“Has Mr. Allen given you permission to use his pond”? Grandmother asked.
“Not exactly, but he did say one time that I could come over and fish sometime.” Ron replied.
“Well, you call Aunt Jane and ask her to call Mr. Allen and see if it’s OK with him”. Grandmother replied.
With a little moaning Ron phoned Auntie and explained. She said she would call him and then call Ron back in a few minutes. Auntie did check and did call back. “Ron, Mr. Allen said you can come over now, but come to his house, because he has some advice to give you before you go to the pond.”
Ron was excited as he told Grandmother the good news. Grandmother asked him if has his pole and bait ready. “I have a little box with line and hooks and the pole is with the box. I do need to dig some worms”. Ron replied.
“While you’re getting some worms I’ll fix you a lunch bag with two cokes”. Grandmother says with a big smile as she gives Ron a big kiss.
Ron quickly goes to the tool shed and gets a shovel and heads for the far end of Granddaddy’s garden. Granddaddy had told Ron that the ground is moister in that area; the worms would not be too deep in the ground and would be easier to dig out. It must be an extra dry day, because Ron has difficulty finding enough worms. He finally has a small can half full of worms and heads back to Grandmother.
“Well, that took a long time”. Grandmother remarked, as she gave Ron a cloth bag with his lunch.
Ron gave Grandmother a big hug and said thanks several times before he finally had all of his supplies together. He headed for the front gate and ran back to Grandmother another kiss.
As he shut the gate Grandmother yelled from the porch, “Remember to be very careful, because we love you dearly”.
Ron smiled, waved and walked quickly towards Mr. Allen’s. Mr. Allen’s property was the huge property between Grandmother’s house and Aunt Jane’s house. Yes, the old sunken tree with the dead grape vine is on Mr. Allen’s property, but nearer the highway. It’s about a mile between Grandmother’s house and Aunt Jane’s house.
The pond is about one half mile from the highway and the Allen’s house is about another 2000 yards from the pond. Ron was wishing he did not have to walk that extra 2000 yards just to talk with him.
Anyway, Ron walked quickly and finally arrived at Mr. Allen’s front yard. He was in the yard and yelled for Ron to come up to the porch. Mr. Allen has always liked Ron and when he was working near Grandmother’s yard he often came over to chat for awhile.
“Ron, I knew you would be hot, so we’ll have a glass of iced tea while I chat briefly with you. You are welcome to fish in the pond, but you must promise not to swim or even wade in the pond. There are no sea lions to harm you, but the pond is extremely deep in parts. The pond is partly from nature and partly man made. I have not stocked the pond in three years, but my nephew says there are sill lots of fish in the pond. As soon as you get home please phone me so I will know you got home safely. Is that a deal”? He asked as he gave Ron a small sack with some hooks and floats and two wire coat hangers that were cut to offer a handle at one end and a V-bend hook on the other end.
“That’s a deal and a promise, but what are the clothes hangers for, Mr. Allen”. Ron asked as he took the sack.
“Just in case you are extra lucky you’ll need something to hang the fish on”. He stated with a big smile.
There were trees around the pond, so Ron had no shade tree to sit under as he fished. He laid his supplies out on the ground and fixed the pole, line, hook and bait just as his dad had taught him.
Ron soon had the pole ready with a big juicy worm on the hook. He threw the pole somewhat over his head, as Dad had taught him. The first throw was good and the worm landed well out in the pond. He had allowed about three feet of string below the float.
He stood for a long time waiting for the first fist to grab the worm and pull the float under the water. Patience is not one of Ron’s strong points. He scouts around the area and finds a few rocks. He makes a pile and secures the fishing pole among the rocks.
Now he can walk around looking for turtles, worms, snakes and anything else to occupy his busy mind. Naturally he will frequently check the float.
The pond is really large and much like a lake. There is a wooded area near Mr. Allen’s house, near Aunt Jane’s house and near Grandmother’s house. Ron can not see any houses.
Ron is strolling a few feet from the pole when he looks out and sees the float bobbing. He rushes to the pole and follows Dad’s advice… “Jerk the pole swiftly in hopes of getting the hook secured in the fish’s mouth. Wait a moment and repeat the action. Try to feel if the fish is pulling the line. Then try to maintain pressure on the line as you draw it in towards you. Keep the line tight so the fish can’t wiggle off of the hook”.
Ron did this. He had plenty of room to walk away from the pond as he pulled on the line. He was so excited when he saw that he actually had a tiny fish hooked on the line. He laid the pole on the ground and quickly pulled the line in by hand.
The tiny fish was very active. Ron had watched Dad remove the hook from fish before and tried his luck now. “This isn’t as easy as I though”. He said to himself as the slippery little fish jumped all around. Finally Ron had a finger grip on the hook and turned, pulled and pushed until he freed the hook.
He has no fish bucket, so he takes one of the coat hangers and runs the V-hook through the gill and mouth and places the little fish off to the side. He then puts another worm onto the hook and swings the line back into the water.
It is very warm and Ron removes his shirt. He looks towards the float and it’s already bobbing again. His heart is pounding as he excitingly brings the line in again with a tiny fish attached.
In a matter of just a few minutes Ron has caught five little fish. He quickly has another worm attached to the hook and is swinging it into the water. He stands there for a long time and no fish are taking notice of the worm.
After what seemed like a very long time he tires of standing and holding the pole, so he again secures the pole among the pile of rocks and wanders off to explore a little.
He glances towards the pond and suddenly realizes that the fishing pole is being pulled towards the water. He rushes towards the pole just as it is in the water and too far for him to reach with out getting his shoes wet. “Man, I can’t just stand here and loose my pole”. He says to himself.
Ron pulls his shoes off and rushes into the water. The pole is now several feet into the pond. Ron runs faster in the shallow water and finally dives and grabs the pole. He is quickly on his feet and running back to dry ground before Mr. Allen or someone sees that he went near the water.
He suddenly realizes that something is really pulling on the line. It certainly isn’t another tiny fish and he is thinking maybe he has snagged a turtle or snake or perhaps an old boot.
To avoid of breaking the line he steadily and slowly pulls the pole and line away from the pond. Suddenly he sees that this time he had caught a huge fish. This guy is as big as the family cat.
Now he is really careful not to snag and break the line. He wraps some of the line around the rocks and the pulls the fish onto the dry ground. The fish is a fighter and is flipping and flopping all over the place.
Ron is thinking real quickly. He gets the cloths hanger that has the fewer tiny fish attached and quickly slips the tiny fish off. It’s much more important to keep the large fish. The problem now is to get the hook our of this big fish’s mouth.
Each time he tries to get the hook out the fish jumps. Ron also has no knife, so he get two rocks and cuts the line off near the fish’s mouth; leaving the hook inside the mouth. He gets the clothes hanger pushed through the gill and mouth and then reattaches the tine fish on the hanger.
Ron does not have a watch, but he feels it time he gets back home. The amazing thing is that Ron has 45 tiny and the one huge fish.
The trip back to Grandmother’s house is slow and tiring. Carrying or pulling two heavy cloths hangers loaded with 46 fish is a big job for a little man.
When he arrives he puts the fish near the back door and goes inside to get Grandmother.
Poor Grandmother never expected to see any fish much the less so many. She tells Ron she is so proud of him, but also tells him that it’s his job to clean any fish that are kept.
She then phones Aunt Jane and whispers her displeasure of Ron’s treasure. Auntie is soon there to inspect the catch. She and Uncle Hardie love fish, as does Ron. She agrees to come tomorrow and help Ron clean and prepare the fish. She will also keep the fish in her freezer.
© GENE HUDGENS
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