Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: And Then It All Went Wrong
By Bella Louise
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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 <i>almost</i> 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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