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I Keep Fishing

Story ID:8264
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell ID USA
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It was a beautiful morning; the summer heat was hours in the future; the sky was a
canopy of blue satin stretched over our heads in all directions. It was chilly, considering the one
hundred degree heat we ‘d suffered through for weeks.

Small birds chirped in the trees. Various species of ducks floated on the water, some
with their backsides pointed to the sky, as they ate the vegetation that rose from the bottom
of the pond.

My oldest grandson, Seth, now twelve, stood on the small dock and waited for me to bait
his hook with a lively worm. It wriggled in my fingers and smeared me with moist black soil
from the container that held eleven of its brothers.

I fastened the worm securely to the hook. “Here you go, Sethman.” as Ginny and I both
call him. “You’re all set.”

He cast his line into the water. His bobber bounced on the tiny waves created by the small
breeze that breached the blockage of trees at the edge of the pond. The waves that sparkled with
the reflected sun.

I baited my own hook and cast my line into the water.

We sat on the dock, enjoyed the brief reprieve from the heat and watched our bobbers
for signs of a bite.

Seth reeled his line in. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“There’s no fish there.”

“Sure there are!” I said. “They aren’t hungry right now, but they’re there.”

He ignored me, pulled his bobber and bait in and cast his line in another direction.

The ponds are stocked by a hatchery across the street. It appeared as if they hadn’t
stocked them in a long time.

I sat and watched Seth cast. He’d wait a few minutes, reel it in and cast again.. “Seth!”
He looked at me. “Seth! Patience! Fishing is a game of patience: You cast your bait into the
water and wait.”

“Poppa, there are no fish here.”

“Are too! Seth, fishing is a game, a very
slow one. Sometimes you win, but mostly you
lose. The fish are clever. It’s a waiting game.

‘Toss your bait to the water and wait.
The fish usually win. They’re smart. You need
to be smarter.”

We went home that day empty handed, but I hoped he learned a lesson.

Nothing is easy in life. We go through pains, struggles and dreams, but if we
are patient, our goals will bite the hook and we can reel them in.

I’m still waiting for mine. I know it’s out there, under the waters, searching for the
hook baited with my written words, I know there is a publisher who will bite. One day it will

In the meantime, I keep fishing.

Michael T. Smith