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The Fisherman's Son
Jonathan, Age 13, Urbandale, IA

The orange sun slowly rose above the horizon. The earth began to wake as morning dawns upon the creek.

“Are we there yet?” asked the impatient eager eyed boy sitting in the back seat of the van.

The boy, Jonathan, didn’t need an answer because at that moment they pulled into the gravel parking lot of their destination. Son and father began to unpack the hundreds of pieces of fishing gear, like explorers preparing to climb a mountain.

“This is the best time of day to fish. Before the fish start to hide from the sun,” said Jonathan’s dad. “Plus the owner of the creek just restocked it with trout.”

Jonathan and his dad climbed over the fence surrounding the creek and a day of fishing began.

Jonathan now held a wiggly worm in his hand. The worm felt dirty and moist against his skin like the inside of a cave and struggled to get off the hook. In the end though it gave in.

A trout came up to Jonathan’s worm as if to tease him and then darted away like lightning.

“Come on! Let me show you my secret hot spot. I used to fish there when I was in college,” called Jonathan’s dad.

“OK.”

So Jonathan reeled in his line and followed his dad further upstream. He was led to a clear deep pool with a log running from either side of the bank. Large masses of green algae spread out form the log. It was fish heaven. Unfortunately a fence cut across the water blocking the normal sized fisherman from going there.

“Look at all the fish!” Jonathan exclaimed.

Jonathan fixed up his rod and cast into the pool. Instantly, a fish got hooked.

“I caught one! I caught one!” screamed Jonathan.

He reeled in the still struggling fish up to the shore. With the help of his dad he put the fish on a stringer and let it swim out a little in the water.

“I could help you through the fence so you could stand on that log. There’s plenty of fish out there,” said Jonathan’s dad.

Jonathan squeezed through the narrow opening in the fence. A thorn like a piece of metal hooked on to him and tore part of his shirt. He couldn’t worry about this because now he was a fisherman. He cautiously climbed out on the slippery log the cast into the algae. Instantly he hooked a fish.

“I caught another one!” cried Jonathan with glee. He smelt the stink of the fish in his hand, and it made him feel like a pro. The fishing trip was just starting to get fun.

Two fish later Jonathan became hungry. He set his pole down and unzipped the fanny pack clipped to his waste. He took out a small bag of trail mix. The food tasted dull to his tongue, but it was food and that was all that mattered.

“Cast out under that brush,” said Jonathan’s dad. “ I can see a fish hiding underneath it.”

“OK.”

Jonathan skillfully cast in the direction of the brush.

“Uh oh.” Jonathan muttered.

“What?” came the horrifying question.

“My hook caught on the brush,” Jonathan said, “but I think I can just give a quick jerk-”

Splash! Jonathan lost his footing and fell feet first in the cold creek.

“Oh shoot,” muttered Jonathan. Not only was he wet from his knees down, but also he scared every single fish out of the “hot spot."

“Oh well,” said Jonathan’s dad as they moved downstream, “ I was about ready to leave anyway, and we caught our limit.”

He took out his pocketknife and began to gut the fish in the shallow water. When he finished he washed the blood off the knife and returned it to his pocket. They continued to head towards the van in silence except for the moo of a cow. They packed the fish in the freezer and got in the car. The blue van traveled down the gravel road moving away from the quiet creek as the sun began to set.

The fishing trip is now nothing more than a happy memory to Jonathan. Not because he caught his limit or because he fell in the stream, but because he did it with his father, the fisherman.

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