Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
- TITLE: To Be or Not To Be a Fish?
By Michelle Burkhardt
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The question, “To Be or Not to Be a Fish?” rolled around in the head of Henry Limpet, the character portrayed by Don Knotts in the fantastic, hilarious, movie "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" (1964). Don Knotts portrayed the life of a man who dreamed of being a fish. Through a series of events, his character, Henry, got his wish and became a handsome, large fish that helped the US Navy in World War II against the Nazis. Henry was a goof as a human with an overbearing wife but as a fish he was a hero. I believe this movie was a favorite of mine because of two reasons. One, Don Knotts is one of my favorite all-time comedian actors and second, I love fishing. I have even fantasized myself of living in the deep blue; of course, I pretend to be “Ladyfish” Henry’s female fish that he falls in love with.
My first experience with fishing was in high school when a special teacher, Mr. Barry, would pick me up at home, drive to Beaver Lake, get out his old blue and tan canoe, and row us out to the middle to find that perfect spot. He took me fishing just like a dad would do with his son; yet the only difference was that I was a teenage girl. I liked fishing and would sit quietly for hours in his boat just watching the ripples in the water slightly move, in hopes of catching that gilled, scaled, beauty on my hook. I did catch many fish and I remember letting every single one loose to return to the murky water. As the finned tail would disappear, I would wonder what it would be like to be one of these water creatures.
Another favorite of mine is the storyline in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid II,” where Ariel’s daughter, Melody, dreams of living in the sea and secretly, reveals to her crab friend, Sabastian, that she dreams of having fins. Meanwhile, Melody has no idea that her mother was once a mermaid who gave up her life at Atlantis to live as a human with Melody’s father, Eric. My mom does not like the ocean and I always thought it was because of her weak ears. But what if she is a mermaid too? In the movie “Splash,” Daryl Hannah’s legs would turn back into a tail when she was exposed to salt water. Maybe, I should add salt beads to my mom’s bath water and see what happens?
I’m not one to believe in Zodiac signs and even though I was born in the month of May under Taurus the bull, I would prefer to be a Pisces, symbolized by two cute fish. A Taurus is considered to be stubborn, resentful, and self-indulgent; while a Pisces is described as sensitive, compassionate, and imaginative. Being imaginative is definitely a quality I could use if I want to break out as a creative writer. Then, I could win the hearts of all my readers, “Hook, line, and sinker!”
Now that I am married with 4 sons, I have seen my husband bait a worm, cast a line, and patiently teach our boys how to fish. I smile as the memories of those quiet afternoons with Mr. Barry come flooding back. When I sit with my children to watch Disney’s animated pictures or curl up with a bowl of popcorn to view old movies starring Don Knotts and Tom Hanks, I can imagine a life in the sea as one those beautiful creatures that God created on Day 5. Do you know why God created the birds of the air and the fish of the sea before He created man? I think it’s because He went fishing with Adam on Day 7.
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