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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

TITLE: And Then It All Went Wrong
By Bella Louise


“Sit here, you kinders,” my dad told my younger brother and I. “Hold the rod. If something bites,” (you could see the proof in his face that there was no chance of that, and anyway, we had never caught anything here apart from the occasional weed) “call me. I’m just going over the other side of the lake to find some more worms.” For the benefit of those of you who live elsewhere, I will briefly explain what the term “lake” means in context of Southern England. It refers to about half a mile square of water. We could actually see my father at the opposite end of the lake. I do not refer to large, threatening things that could easily be mistaken for small seas, as I would were I to dwell elsewhere.

Jon (all those years ago still “Jonny”) and I were perched on the edge of an antiquated wooden jetty. I was six, and he was four, out with our Daddy for evening fishing. The lake stretched out in front of us, looking like liquid light as it shone the sunset into our faces. In the far corner, I could see the bubbles which denoted a carp feeding. A kingfisher-the first and only time in my short life that I have yet seen one-flitted across the roseate sky, blue and golden. He was calling out to his mate, I believe, though I cannot remember the sound of the call. There were beech trees gathered all around us, with the curious exception of the sturdy old oak that our rods, bait and net leant against. Wood pigeons were calling out to each other from the trees, the throaty “coo-coo” recognisable and relaxing. I was gazing up at the clouds, dyed a multitude of colours by the setting sun, and trying to work out what the next instalment of Daddy’s story would be, whilst Jonny was holding the rod. I expect that I was humming or singing softly; I normally am.

And then the float went.

Normally it is advisable to wait until the float has gone under twice before striking on the third time, and, having been brought up anglers since a very young age, Jonny and I were perfectly away of this. However, this time there was no need to do so. It was perfectly clear that it was a fish and not a clump of riverweed that had bitten, due to the excessive rate at which Daddy’s very precious Italian rod was disappearing into the water. My brother, somehow, managed to catch it just before it sunk altogether and with all the strength contained in his four-year-old arms, dragged enough of the rod back above the surface for me to grab it too. I stood up to get a better grip, and leaning back, with Jonny adding his weight, we almost landed the fish. Almost. At one point, we could see it, half out of the water, straining against us and vividly angry. We were gaining… we were gaining…

That was the point at which the line snapped. You see, my brother and I had made one crucial error. We had forgotten to call for Daddy. There was no way a six-year-old lass and a four-year-old lad could have landed such a tremendous fish as I now understand that carp to have been. We simply didn’t have the brute force required. My dad would have landed it without any trouble at all. Nowadays, my brother could do so with equal ease. Probably, even I could do so without too much difficulty. We had the knowledge-we had watched Dad land fish before, and I think my brother had once helped him to land a pike. But we didn’t have the strength.

My question to you is-how often do you try to do stuff without calling for your Daddy?

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This article has been read 579 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne02/08/07
Good point. Interesting story. Some things need a little more explanation however - like the fact that daddy had apparently been telling a story before he went looking for more worms. Keep up the good work.
miles jr modine02/09/07
i liked it keep writing
Mo 02/09/07
I like the last line.
Sheri Gordon02/11/07
The last paragraph is interesting. You're right ... we think we can do something by ourselves, and get so caught up in the moment, that we forget to call for help from Dad. Nice analogy.
Jon F02/12/07
Too Cute! I liked it a lot