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Topic: Fishing (06/07/04)
TITLE: Hook 'em, then set 'em free!
By Lynda Lee Schab
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"No way! Look up at the light. See that shiny silver thing up there? That's a boat. That aint some ordinary worm dangling there. If you look real close, it's attached to a hook thingy. The second you bite down…YOW! Besides, us Rock Bass prefer night crawlers. Lots more meat, ya know what I mean?"
"Hmm. So why are you just floating here staring at it?"
"I'm not staring at it, I'm guarding it. Make sure no one falls for the worm-on-the-hook trick. I haven't been travelin' in a school for nothin'. Gotta do somethin' with what I've learned."
"Looks tasty," said Gil.
"Maybe if you're lucky, the worm will wiggle enough on that hook that a piece will break off. That happens, I'll give you the honors."
"Thanks," Gil smiled.
"Oh -oh. Here comes BM. He's a pretty mean large-mouth. He likes crawlers too but if he feels like a snack…you might not get your worm after all. BM knows how to get em off the poker without getting' caught. 'Course he won't let anyone in on the secret of how he does it. It's an art, he says. Hmph. He'll find out what art is real soon when he's hung on the wall somewhere, stuffing popping out of his eyes."
"I don't want to be around when BM goes after that worm," said Gil.
"Stick around, Gil. Watch and learn."
"What will happen to BM if he gets caught on that hook? Will he die and go to heaven?"
Rocky chuckled. "Fish heaven would be anywhere BM aint."
"What's going on?" BM bellowed.
"N-nothing," Gil said, gliding back a bit.
"Just hangin' out, BM!" said Rocky.
BM slid his face into Rocky's. "How many times have I told you NOT to call me BM? It's insulting!"
Rocky didn't back down. "It suits you though, don't ya think? BM could stand for lots of things: 'Bald Man', 'Bass Man', 'Big Mouth'...." He shot a sideways grin at Gil, who floated motionless a couple feet away.
BM narrowed his eyes and turned toward Gil. "What are YOU looking at?" he demanded.
Gil retreated behind a hunk of seaweed.
BM turned and noticed the worm. He swam around and circled it a couple of times. "Watch this," he said, obviously showing off.
BM took a nibble at the bottom of the worm and a little chunk broke off. BM swallowed it and Gil, peeking through the weed, frowned, waving goodbye inside to his supper. BM burped loudly, then went back for more.
"Uh - BM, be careful," Rocky warned. "That hook is pretty sharp. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy - and that means you."
Something went wrong and the hook suddenly jerked upwards, catching BM in the side of the head. He was snagged! BM flailed his body around, trying to get loose. But it was no use. He was caught! Rocky and Gil watched as BM got dragged further and further toward the light and the shiny silver boat on top of the water. "Help! Help! Please!" BM called.
Just when BM was almost to the bottom of the boat, Rocky swam up and pulled the fishing line around the anchor rope. The line snapped and BM was set free, although the hook still stuck in the side of his head.
The moment BM realized he was free, he turned and lit into Rocky. "I could've saved myself! I didn't need your help!"
"You're welcome," said Rocky, a little stung. After all, he had just saved his life!
BM swam away, swearing under his breath.
"Wow. He sure didn't appreciate what you did," stated Gil, swimming to Rocky's side.
"Unfortunately, my friend, BM's pride overruled common sense. But with that hook stuck in him, at least he'll always be reminded of the fact that I helped him out when he was in trouble. And one day when he really wants to be saved, it's my name he'll be callin'."
"And I will make you fishers of men…" Matthew 4:19