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Preparing for this moment for the last two years

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

I was about 6 years old when my father first took me on his fishing trips. I would watch in awe as he cast the fishing line so far away from us. That first time was kind of boring, we just sat there in silence waiting for something to happen, but the only thing that did happen was that it started to rain.

After that first time he started taking me fishing every weekend, but I could never try to catch anything because he said I was too small, and I might fall into the lake. We would always go in a little wooden boat, just him and I. While he waited for something to take the bait, I would draw circles in the water because I liked watching the ripples. My dad got mad about that quite a few times, and whenever we went home without any fish, he would make me watch a fishing tutorial, over and over again.

When I turned 8, my dad gave me a little fishing pole. He told me I had 30 minutes to catch a fish, or he would throw me into the lake. I’d been preparing for this moment for the last two years. I went inside, put on my fishing coat and boots, and got into the boat. My dad pushed it into the lake and went back into the house.

It was me against the fish. I pictured my dad’s technique, pulled the pole back and threw it into the air. I heard a faint “plop” as the bait hit the water. I had accidentally touched the worm my dad hooked onto the fishing pole, and when I went to wash my fingers out in the water, a small little fish sucked my fingertip and held on. I started screaming and waving my hands around to get the little fish off.

Then I realized, this was my opportunity. I grabbed the fishy with my other hand and pulled him away from my finger. My dad would be so proud! What I didn’t count on, and what I never knew from watching my dad fish, was that these little animals were slimy. I dropped him on the boat, and he started squirming everywhere. I was afraid I would step on him, so I quickly grabbed it and threw it off the boat.

Damn it, I had lost my only chance. One last thing came to mind. I pulled back the fishing pole, no fish to be seen. I looked at my wet little shoes, looked back at the hook, and looked back at my shoes. I slimly grinned.

“Hi dad! I’m back”, I said to him once I rowed back to the house.

“Did you catch anything?”, he asked.

“Yep. But I need to dump him quickly into a bowl of water, or he’ll die”.

“Let me see first! I want to take a picture. I’m proud son”, my dad answered.

I slowly turned around and innocently smiled, as I saw the look on my dad’s eyes once he saw my little brown shoe hooked to the fishing pole.

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