Note: I read all comments and respond to most. --- New posts every 10 to 15 days...except when life decides to get in my way by dropping a log into my pond.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"E" is for EARTHWORM

At the end of the month I would turn 8, making this the first Fourth of July I was allowed to have my own firecrackers, which I had tucked nicely away into my back pocket.  My dad had rented our normal little cottage for the long holiday weekend, that was somehow big enough for all 4 of us kids. My grandpa and grandma would be there for the day to fish, visit, and watch Dad set off all the fireworks from the dock that night.

Patty Calfy/Shutterstock
The morning was overcast, but I had a hankering to go fishing. Getting up early, I spent a good amount of time in the wooded area behind the cottage, digging for night crawlers -- those nice big over-sized earthworms that come up to the surface at night. I figured about a half dozen in a paper cup would do it, and grabbed my pole as I headed down to the dock. Dad had concluded it was too much of a bother to take the boat out in the misty drizzle.

I was pretty good with a rod and reel in my hand, casting out a good distance, and liked using a little red and white plastic bobber to watch in the water. The first worm sat tight on the hook, but was still lost to young perch -- just nibblers. My next one gave it up when the hook momentarily caught on some underwater debris. By now I was even more determined to catch something worth showing off.

My next cast landed at the edge of the lily pads, and down the bobber went -- a good hard hit. I didn't even have to set the hook! As I began to reel it in, I realized there wasn't the normal fight of a fish at the end of my line. Closer...closer...almost up to the dock...and I finally could see it in the dark water. A turtle!
Lifting it out of the water with my pole, I swung it over to the grassy bank. Running down the dock, I called out to my two teen-aged brothers, "Come and see! Come and see!!" By the time I got to the crawling turtle, both of them were already there investigating. Yep. The worst thing had happened. It was a snapper!

Placing a stick the size of my finger into its mouth, they showed me how the little green guy would just snap it in two. I faced a dilemma: how to get my line out with the hook intact. The boys walked away, saying I was on my own. Great. I knew I would have to get Dad to cut the line and attach a new sinker-weight and hook, but I also knew Dad wouldn't want to mess with it right then.

I moved the turtle and pole a good ways inland, then headed up the embankment to the cottage. Dad seemed rather busy entertaining everyone there when I spoke up, but leaning down he told me I would need to find something else to do. As far as I was concerned, that was simply not an acceptable solution.

With renewed determination, I patted my back pocket, grabbed my pole, reeled the line in till the turtle was right up to the end of my rod, and marched out to the end of that dock. Then...carefully...I took not one, but two firecrackers, out of my pocket and carefully twisted their fuses into one. Lighting the mini explosives, I held them up to the snapper's mouth. As he chomped down hard, they held together, and I quickly lifted my rod and cast the turtle out high over the water -- as if it was going to be bait for a bigger catch.

Kapow!! Blam!! Pieces flew everywhere! My eyes scanned the shore to see if anyone had noticed. Not a soul. My moment of glory, and no one saw it! Not that I enjoyed the fact that I had just blown up a turtle, but I reveled in the realization that I had just solved my impossible dilemma! 

Slowly, I reeled in my line, relieved that the sinker and hook were still in place. But, then I looked again. I could hardly believe my eyes! There -- sitting on the hook completely intact and almost like new -- was my nice big over-sized EARTHWORM!


Monica Devine said...

Reminiscent of my midwest childhood; now I fish the lazy-woman's way from a fishwheel on the Copper River. Delightful post.

M Kathy Brown said...

Monica ~
Thank you so much for commenting...led me to your site and facebook and...friendship :~) How cool is that!