Zffffffzzzffffzzzz! The line sang as the lure whizzed
over the water. Plop. It floated with the slow, brown current of the bayou,
looking like an edible insect of gold and gray. Past the dead sycamores hanging
into the water. Past the dizzying eddies near the bank, indicating something
trapped beneath and waiting. A dead log. A dead boat that had once held laughter
and adventure which now sat motionless by time and current. A bloated yellow-red
pomegranate chugged by, rotted by the liquid, pecked at by fish and birds.
Zzfff...the line whispered. Some perch or bass was nuzzling the bait. Something
unseen beneath the lifeless water. Leaves came by, then a branch or two.
waterlogged and waiting to be stopped by anything that would. Anything that
could. Above the orange green tops the sun shone brightly. A sky full of life,
of whispey rounded white things that looked like anything one wished.
Zzzffff . . .
The bail set with a "click." The rod tip danced, then went from linear
into bow as the rod arced. The fisherman became as one with the sky, bayou,
trees and whatever beneath the water had decided the floating lure was lunch.
The endless struggle as old as life had begun.
Beneath the water the fish knew it was in trouble and fought with everything it
had. Above the water only joy as the angler maneuvered and used his skill to
keep the prey hooked. He didn't think about the fish's pain or how it wanted to
live. He didn't think about the sky or trees or brown, muddy current.
did the fish, now trapped on the end of invisible line and sharp, digging hook.
Both thought only about the outcome where there would be one winner and one
Afterward the sky had changed but not much. A thunderhead was building to the
east, over the town miles away where the people went about, unknowing of this
event. The water slowly wandered by with another dead branch or two, it too
unchanged, it also unknowing. Only the fisherman and fish knew what had occurred
for both. Something life altering. For its part the fish would have a sore mouth
and dangling line for its effort, its urge, its need. It will hinder the fish
for days to come in its desire to live, if it does. For his part the fisherman
would feel disappointment but not loss. He knew, someday, the fish would return.
So perhaps that it is in fishing or just facing life, it all depends on where one
is, either above or below the surface. Perhaps as well if
one is attracted to, or repelled by, the singing, tantalizing and oh so come-
hither "zzzfffzzzfff" of the lure. All that seems to matter is whether
we are fish, fisherman, or a bloated pomegranate just passing by and begs the
question...which are we?