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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Fishing with Father


Kevin loved to go fishing with his father. They would find a place along the banks of the river and sit down. Father always brought a basket of food for them to eat while waiting for the fish to bite.

One morning, Kevinís father woke him up very early in the morning. The sun hadnít even begun to rise yet. "Come, son. It is time to go."

Kevin jumped out of bed, suddenly wide-awake. "Good, Father. I canít wait."

While his father gathered the fishing tackle, Kevin brushed his dark brown hair, put on his clothes and his socks and shoes. He met his father outside. Together they headed for the river, which flowed out in from the sea.

"See those stars up there?" his father asked, pointing to a cluster of bright, twinkling stars. "That is Orion. See his belt and his sword?"

Kevin looked. He thought he saw it. He did see some beautiful stars. "Why are there so many stars, Father?" he asked. "Are there as many fish in the river as there are stars in the sky?"

"Oh no, son; not nearly as many. The stars in the sky are more than the grains of sand on all the beaches in the world. Arenít they beautiful?" he asked. "When I was a boy, I lived in a croft cottage in the highlands, up north. There were no lights like there are here, in the city. It was black as coal and the stars were thick in the heavens. I would lie awake for hours, gazing at them, wondering why they were all there?"

"There are a lot of them, Father. I hope there are a lot of fish for us to catch," Kevin smiled.

They walked silently the rest of the way. Already they could hear the morning rush hour traffic off in the distance. Lights from houses were turning on, one at a time, as their occupants rose. Dogs began to bark and roosters crowed. By the time they reached the river bank, the sun was coming over the horizon. "It looks like strands of shimmering gold, doesnít it, Kevin?" his father asked.

Kevin stood and watched it. Finally he had to cover his eyes, as it was so bright. He knew that soon it would be warm. He was glad he was at the river. He could swim if he got too hot.

Father handed Kevin his fishing pole. They tossed them into the river and sat down on the muddy bank. Father had brought an old tartan blanket to sit on as the mud was very black and stained their clothing. They sat watching as the river came to life. Several tug boats sailed by. A tanker or two sailed up the river towards an inland dock. Some were carrying fruit, others crates of auto parts, and still others carried beautiful, shiny, new cars.

Birds started flying about, some landing in the water, bobbing up and down on the small waves. Their heads went underwater now and then, searching for a breakfast of fish, perhaps herring. "Look, Kevin," Father said, pointing across the river. "Thereís a pelican. Itís after some birds."

Kevin watched the pelican glide across the water and flap its wing up and down silently. Just then it dipped its beak into the water and brought it up filled with fish. The pelican flew off into the air. "I hope that pelican doesnít feel like eating us for breakfast," Kevin said, jokingly.

"Donít worry, son. Heíd much rather eat some fish or perhaps some rats crawling along the bank."

Fishing With Father Just then Kevinís pole began to jiggle. "Iíve got a fish, Father. Iíve got a fish!" He was so excited. He pulled and started winding in his fishing line. "It must be a big one," he cried out.

Soon a large, silvery fish was floundering on the blanket next to father. "Iíve got it," he said, grabbing the wriggling fish in his hands. "Kevin, open the basket and Iíll throw it in," Father said.

Kevin lifted the lid and his father tossed the fish inside. After a few hours there were a dozen fish in the basket. Kevin and his father sat munching away on ripe, sticky plums, some shortbread that had been made fresh the night before, some sharp cheddar cheese, and some grapes. "Well, son, I think we should get these fish home and into the refrigerator before they spoil," Father said.

"I canít wait to eat one for dinner tonight," Kevin said, his mouth drooling with anticipation.

That night Kevinís mum fried the fish. She cooked some chips and heated some beans. She chopped up some tomato and cucumber and put them in a bowl. For dessert she poured cream over a pastry filled with jam and covered with white icing.

"This is the best fish Iíve ever tasted," Kevin said, "and thatís because I caught it myself!" Heíd never been prouder and never had a nicer day today, fishing with his father.


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