To fish or not to fish

Realization came in the form of a cool morning that fall was indeed upon us. I also realized that the one thing I had promised myself to do this summer had been left undone. I vowed I was going fishing picfishing.

As a kid and young adult, I was fishing every time the opportunity prevailed. Being from flatland country, fishing was mainly confined to ponds, lakes or slow-moving bayous. I don’t fly fish or use a casting rod. Give me a cane pole, a can of worms and I’m all set.

Last Saturday morning was designated as the fishing day. I purchased a county of residence fishing license for $9.00 a couple of days earlier. I had hooks, line, corks and sinkers in my tackle box, but I needed a fishing pole. Finding a cane pole was another story, and I ended up with a retractable pole which would serve the purpose. Pole and a carton of worms cost $35.00.

I have a friend who lives out in the middle of nowhere. He’s a farmer plus he raises cattle and has a large pond on the property to water his livestock. The pond is also stocked with fish. He said I was welcome to fish anytime, and the cows would not be a problem, but watch out for his bull.

I put gasoline in my car ($25.00) and drove to his farm. It’s going to be a great day to frolic with Mother Nature and enjoy fishing again. Fresh fish and fried potatoes for supper would top off the day.

I arrived at the farm and parked my car by the side of the gravel road. I ripped a $40.00 pair of jeans trying to go across a barbed wire fence. With a pole, tackle box and worms in hand, I headed toward the pond.

I walked about thirty feet when I felt the ground shaking. I turned to see a rather large bull; I swear he was about the size of a buffalo, heading straight for me with no love in his eyes. I escaped by running through a group of trees and a briar patch, finishing off the jeans, a $30.00 shirt and good portion of my skin. The bull seemed satisfied with his work and left to return to the cows.

I am now at the pond. I bait my hook, throw out my line and caught a stump in the water. I pulled on the line; it came loose and flew behind me. I cast it forward and hooked the back of my neck.

I feel blood and holding the pole is only pulling the hook deeper. I break the line which causes the pole to drop in the water and float out of reach. At that point, I don’t care. It’s time to leave.

I circled back deeper through the woods to bypass the briar patch and into the open field only to find the bull waiting for me. I cleared the barbed wire fence in one leap, leaving the seat of my jeans on the barbed wire.

The State Trooper that stopped me for speeding wasn’t too happy that I didn’t have my driver’s license. I wasn’t too happy that I didn’t have my wallet. It must be back with the bull. He saw the blood, believed my story and still gave me a ticket with a $130.00 fine.

It’s Saturday; my doctor’s office is closed. I made it to the hospital emergency room, remembering my insurance card was back with my wallet and the bull. Cash was in the same place. Credit cards too.

The physician on duty removed the hook, took care of all my other bloody parts, gave me a shot, a couple of pills, a cup of coffee and the bill. The bill was for $2,147.37, without the cup of coffee.

I arrived home to discover my house keys were back with the wallet and bull. Locksmith cost $100.00. He agreed to bill me.

This frolic with Mother Nature cost me $2,516.37. I’ve never spent that much on a date with a real woman. A week in Las Vegas was less than that.

If I ever live long enough to have the urge to go fishing again, I will get in my car and drive to the catfish joint and satisfy the urge for about $15.00. Fishing now will remain a youthful memory. And that’s no bull.

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