The sun’s golden rays,
shimmering in the morning sky, peeked out from behind the lofty peak of
Ben Collin. Morning mist blanketed the countryside until the sun’s warmth
began to burn it off, leaving small patches dotting the landscape. Several
ducks flew from the banks of the loch into the golden-lined, pinkish
As Maggie stirred in her
bed, the sun burst through her window. "Time to get up, Maggie," Gran
said, pulling the covers away from Maggie’s snuggling body. "We’re going
fishing this morning. Remember?"
Maggie yawned and
stretched, and then sat up and rubbed her eyes. "Are you going too, Gran?"
"Yes, lass. I want to go.
Is that all right with you?"
"Oh Gran, of course its all
right," Maggie smiled, reaching her arms up to hug her grandmother.
Maggie climbed out of bed
and quickly dressed in her blue and green tartan pants, a white turtleneck
with long sleeves and a small cluster of bluebells embroidered on it, and
tied her pleated hair with blue ribbons. When she went into the kitchen,
her gran and grandpa were sitting at the table. "Come and eat your
porridge, hen," Gran said.
"Good morning, Grandpa,"
Maggie said, smiling. "Isn’t it wonderful that Gran is going fishing with
us this morning?"
"Aye, lassie, it is. Now,
eat your porridge and then we’ll be off," he urged.
They finished their
breakfast and cleaned up. Gran had packed a picnic lunch for later and had
put it in a basket. Grandpa had the fishing tackle box and several poles
in his hand. "Let’s be off," Gran said.
They walked for a mile or
two through the wildflowers towards the river. Maggie stopped to pick a
daisy or two and put them behind her ear, in one of her pigtails. As they
walked over the hills, Maggie saw a few sheep and cows grazing. Birds flew
overhead, and now and then she saw smoke rising from a few of the crofts
scattered about. "How much longer, Grandpa?" she asked.
"We’re almost there. See
those trees up there?" he pointed? Maggie nodded yes. "There is the
Maggie ran ahead and
stopped when she reached the bank. She looked around for a grassy area.
"Over here, Gran. Here’s some soft grass we can sit on."
Gran and Grandpa soon
arrived. Maggie sat down while Grandpa baited her hook. She watched the
river. It was moving quickly, bouncing off rocks in the middle of it, and
swirling around tree trunks that stuck out into the water. She looked
down. The water was so clear that she could see everything perfectly. "Oh,
there’s a fish," she squealed excitedly.
Grandpa handed her a pole.
She walked to the edge and cast it into the water. She sat down on a rock
and waited. Gran joined her a few minutes later with her pole. "I didn’t
know you like to fish, Gran," Maggie said.
"Aye lass, I’ve fished
since I was a wee lass, like you. My father taught me. Grandpa and I used
to bring your mum here to fish when she was wee. She loved fishing," Gran
sighed. Then, more cheerfully, she added, "But now we have you to fish
with us." She smiled and patted Maggie’s hand. A few minutes later Grandpa
sat down next to them. The three waited patiently for a nibble on their
"Let’s sing a song," Maggie
suggested. "Or maybe Grandpa could tell us a story, or a poem."
"Oh, my dear Maggie. I’m
not very good at singing, but I can tell you a story," Grandpa said. The
time passed quickly as he spoke. He had just finished up when Maggie felt
a tug at her line.
"Grandpa, I caught a fish,"
she laughed. She stood up and pulled the pole towards her.
"Roll in your line, lass.
Bring the fish in slowly," Grandpa urged.
Maggie turned the handle on
her reel and within a few moments, a good-sized fish came flying out of
the water and landed on the grass near her feet. "A fish! It’s big."
Grandpa grabbed it, took
the hook out of its mouth and showed it to Maggie. "Aye, that’s a big
fish, Maggie. Good girl." He then put it on top of some ice a container.
About that time Gran caught
a fish. "I’ve got one too," she said, reeling it in. It wasn’t as big as
Maggie’s. She pulled it onto the grass and took the hook out of its mouth.
She held it up to her face and made her lips move like the fish’s.
"Silly, Gran," Maggie said.
During the next hour they
each caught two more fish. Most of them were trout. Grandpa caught a
salmon. "We’ve got plenty of fish; enough to last for a week now." He
reached over and picked up the picnic basket. "Who’s hungry?" he asked.
Gran raised her hand and so
did Maggie. Granpa handed Gran the basket and went to the stream to wash
the fishy smell off his hands. Gran pulled out a cloth to put the food on
and spread it on the grass. It was pale lavender with thistles embroidered
on it. She’d packed sandwiches, potato crisps, pastries, pickled onions,
and iced tea for she and Grandpa and Ribena for Maggie. "I love Ribena,"
Maggie said, picking up her half-filled plastic cup. What’s it made of,
"Black currants, I think,"
Gran answered. Maggie took a big sip. Gran unwrapped one of the
sandwiches. "Who wants the cheddar and pickle sandwich?" she asked.
"What other kinds are
there?" Maggie enquired.
"We’ve got smoked salmon
and cucumber," Gran said. Maggie turned up her nose. "This is for me." She
put the sandwich down next to her. "We’ve got a cheddar, Swiss, and tomato
sandwich with spicy mustard," she continued. Grandpa raised his hand and
Gran passed it to him.
"I’ll take the cheese and
pickle, Gran," Maggie said.
They feasted as the water flowed by. A few magpies landed in the grass not
far from where they sat, hoping for a crust of bread or fallen crumb.
Grandpa shooed them away. "These pastries are delicious," Grandpa said,
wiping the custard and chocolate off his mouth. "I’ll have another, if
there’s any left. Maggie, are you gobbling them all up?" he laughed.
Maggie wiped her mouth with
her napkin. "No, Grandpa. Don’t be silly. I’ve only had one. It had cream
and raspberries and flaky crust with vanilla icing. It was delicious." She
reached into the basket and handed him another pastry, just like the one
When they’d finished, the
three of them lay down on the grass. Grandpa dozed off right away. Maggie
lifted her head and looked at Gran. The two of them giggled at Grandpa’s
loud snoring. Gran fell asleep next and Maggie lay there, staring at the
puffy white clouds that were floating by. She soon fell asleep.
They woke up after an hour,
packed everything up and headed for home. Grandpa carried the bucket full
of ice and fish and all the poles. Gran carried the empty picnic basket
with the lavender blanket inside. Maggie ran about, carefree. She picked a
handful of daisies, bluebells, and heather to put in the vase on the
kitchen table when they got home. "That was fun fishing," Maggie said.
"Aye, lass, it was at
that," Grandpa said.
She reached up and slipped
one hand into her gran’s hand, and the other into her grandpas and they
walked back to the house together after a wonderful day.