A CAN OF WORMS

 

When I was about nine years old, Dad asked if I wanted to go fishing.  Of course, I said, “Yes!”  I had been to the river, but I had never gone fishing. Dad got an empty can and off we went to dig up icky, really disgusting looking worms.  I watched as Dad dug and filled the can. All I could say was, “Yuk.”

Mom packed a few snacks and off we went on an adventure that I would never forget. I must tell you as a child, I loved to talk and sing, and ask questions; lots of questions.  Poor Dad did not know what he was getting himself into.

We arrived at the river and got out our little canvas seats, our fishing poles, our snacks, a lantern, and the icky can of worms.  Dad put a worm on his hook, as I held my hands over my eyes and prayed he would not ask me to pick up one of those slithering little things.  I had just started my silent prayer, when Dad said, “Put your worm on your hook.”   

I looked at Dad and begged him to put the worm on the hook for me. I remember coming up with all kind of excuses, ” I can’t touch it, it’s icky.  Dad, my fingers will get slimy.  Dad, what if he bites me?” I could tell that Dad was losing his patience, so I held the worm by my fingertips and closed my eyes. Dad said, ” Just give me the worm!”  

After the worm incident, Dad taught me the step by step of how to cast. It wasn’t too difficult. I only got the hook caught in a little bush, around a rock, on a branch, and on the canvas seat. Not too bad for a beginner.

Finally, both poles were in the water. I was quiet for a while until…… ” Dad, what’s that sound?”  Dad replied,  “You know the sound of crickets.” “It’s sounds like a million of them! Where are they hiding?”  Dad just looked at me and said, “Everywhere.” ” Dad, did you hear that?  What is that?”  Dad once again looked at me and said, ” It’s  probably a little animal running through the bushes.”   I replied, ” What kind of animal do you think it is?  It doesn’t sound little to me!”  Dad looked at me and said in a firm but hushed voice, “Be quiet, you’ll scare the fish away.”

 I looked at Dad, ready to ask another question when suddenly my pole started bobbing. He told me to reel it in and I tried, I really tried. My feet kept moving from right to left then left to right. In my excitement, I accidentally knocked over the can of icky worms!  My line was coming closer and closer. I pulled the line up a little bit more and screamed, ” It’s a snake!”

At that moment, I let go of the pole and backed up closer to Dad. I looked up and wondered what he was thinking. I looked out over the river and wondered how the snake, which turned out to be an eel could possibly swim and pull the rod behind him.

As we packed up Dad didn’t say much,  but I could tell what he was thinking.  On the way home, Dad said, ” Cindy, I don’t think fishing is the right thing for you.”  I looked at Dad and said, ” I think you’re right.”  I told him I was sorry, then Dad smiled, and I knew this was one story that would be told over, and over again.

 

 

 

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