Tag Archives: fish

2279. Trout tickling

There was a time when my family was extremely happy. There was my mother and father, and my sister, and my twin brother. We’re identical twins.

Disaster arrived when my parents decided to have a boy who was a ward of the state to stay with us over the summer. His name was Rene Leschallier de Lisle and he had a carrot up his bum. He was the same age as me and my brother and we were meant to look after him and be nice to him and let him join in with everything we did. So we were prepared to do that and all he did was not join in anything and complain about it. I can see why his own parents rejected him and he’d been passed on from one foster home to another.

It was proving to be the worst summer break ever in my whole life. Then one day we asked him – me and my brother – if he wanted to come trout fishing in the river and he said yes. Thank goodness he wanted to do something although we weren’t looking forward to having his company much while we went fishing.

When we got there he did an amazing thing: he tickled a trout. I always thought that trout tickling was a fiction but he showed us that it was true. Then he showed us how to do it. It was a bit like trying to hold a bar of soap in the bath. It is illegal of course but we went home with more trout than we were allowed to and we hadn’t even used the fishing line.

After that we couldn’t shut Rene Leschallier de Lisle up. He was interested in everything and the rest of the summer was a lot of fun.

Then as the summer ended our parents asked him if he wanted to stay with us permanently and he said yes. And my brother and I were very pleased.

2211. Two rings and a fish

(Day 4 of a week of retelling traditional folktales.)

Flora and Fiona were twins. They both fancied the Handsome Prince. The Handsome Prince felt hounded. They were stalking him.

The Prince came up with an idea (which could be construed as being unusual). He threw two gold rings into the sea.

“The first to find one of the rings I will marry and she will become a princess.”

A commotion followed the announcement. Flora and Fiona practically drowned each other in their hurry to get into the ocean. No ring was found.

“Perhaps a fish swallowed the rings,” suggested the Prince. “A holy mackerel if I’m not mistaken. Or perhaps a big mouthed bass.”

Out came the fishing rods. Months of intense fishing followed. Suddenly…

Fiona caught a fish. It was a mackerel. It was the biggest mackerel the world had ever seen. Fiona was excited. The Handsome Prince was worried.

The fish was opened. Behold!

Just fish guts.

2100. My fishpond

(As some of you know, for a significant Story Number, I sometimes lapse into reality. Here then is Story 2100 to celebrate Story 2100!)

I thought I would tell you about the time I set out to make a fishpond. It was the first time I had downloaded plans for anything from the internet – and in this case it was how to make a fishpond. It was at a boarding high school in Christchurch where I taught and lived as a house master. I asked the principal of the school if I might make a path through the lawn that was next to the Administration Block. He was more than surprised when I turned up with a tractor with a frontend loader!

The plan was to make the work of art over several weekends. I had multitudinous helpers as every boarding student and his dog wanted to help. The first thing was to dig a hole – no deeper than the Christchurch City Council stipulated before it required safety fencing.

The next thing was to gather rocks to create a tumbling waterfall. Then it was a question of installing an underwater pump and hoses with a secret hole drilled through the bricks into the Administration Block to plug the pump into an electric system! After that it was a question of mixing concrete and creating the tumbling waterfall and pond itself.

The final thing was to landscape the piles of dirt and make a higgledy-piggledy path through the area.

Volunteers arrived with shrubs and pond plants from goodness knows where. One parent donated a little garden statue. Another parent arrived with three goldfish even before there was water in the pond! Oh! I forgot to mention that along with the pump I had installed a water fountain and under water and garden lighting, all on an automatic time switch.

When all was done, things were turned on. I have memories of two comments. One from the headmaster who stood looking at it in wonder and said: “I thought you said you were just making a path.” The other comment was from a neighbouring high school. A team had come to play rugby. After the match the visiting team members were standing looking at the pond. One boy said: “Why can’t our school have one of these?”

Tragically, 14 years later the Christchurch earthquake struck killing 185 people. It also unfortunately destroyed the fishpond.

2023. The tank

Heather and Peter had been married for eleven years or so. Heather had learned to put up with Peter’s eccentricities. In fact, she went further and knew that if she whole-heartedly and enthusiastically entered into the spirit of his latest eccentric enthusiasm he’d quickly drop it and move on, hopefully, to something less crazy.

Peter’s latest eccentric enthusiasm was to build a tank that could be lowered into the nearby river. The tank had a glass side and enabled a lover of the environment to sit in the tank and view the fish and all the goings on deep down in the beautiful clear waters. Of course, one wore swimming attire because the tank wasn’t water proof so one breathed through a tube that went up above the surface of the water. (Peter’s inventions were rarely perfect).

Heather feigned her usual enthusiasm. After giving careful instructions, Peter lowered the tank deep into the river with Heather inside breathing through the tube.

To be honest, once the sand on the bottom of the river had settled there wasn’t much to see. In fact, Heather didn’t see a single fish. She pulled the rope which was the sign for the tank to be raised. Once Peter opened the tank and Heather stepped out she explained as nicely as she could (so as not to dampen his enthusiasm) that she hadn’t seen a single fish and maybe the invention wasn’t the best thing he had done.

“Oh but you simply must have been lowered at the wrong time. Try it again!” declared Peter. “I promise you you’ll see a fish or two.”

Heather was once again lowered. Once again there were no fish. Heather pulled the rope to signal to Peter that she wished the tank raised. She should have waited longer. Peter blocked the breathing tube.

1644. Clown loaches

Danny was upset. His teenage son was having a party and a group of drunken youths were having bets as to who would swallow a clown loach. So far three of Danny’s four loaches in his tropical aquarium had been swallowed.

Danny enjoyed his aquarium. It was a hobby. He had the aquarium in the sitting room where all could enjoy it watching the fish. He knew it was a silly thing to try to tell seven drunken teens not to swallow another loach. They swore at him and one started to chase the remaining clown loach around and around in the aquarium with a pocket knife.

Danny stepped in. A youth pushed the aquarium over and glass shattered everywhere. Water drenched the carpet. Everyone laughed hysterically, until they realized that the guy who had pushed the aquarium over has cut his arm rather badly. Danny had to quickly bandage the arm and call for an ambulance.

It was all a waste of time anyway. The youth died in the ambulance. Some sort of bacterial poisoning from the gut of the fish.

1641. A fishy story

Basil’s job was to design labels for fish food packaging. He had worked for Fins and Gills Fish Food Company for eleven years. Being a graphics designer, the Fins and Gills Fish Food Company was the last place that Basil would have thought he would end up. But the fish food company produced such a variety of aquarium products that a permanent packaging designer was called for.

As you can probably imagine, eleven years working for a fish food making establishment would drive anyone crazy; even thick, boring people. And drive Basil crazy it did. He was thick. He was boring. Now he was crazy. At first his idiocy was almost imperceptible; for example on the packaging for an aquarium thermometer he coloured in the picture of a Siamese Tigerfish so that it looked like it had pink stripes. Pink stripes! But things went from bad to worse. Oh no! Oh yes!

Everyone noticed. You couldn’t miss it. In every packaging picture the fish were naked. Completely starkers. Not even a fish wearing skimpy underwear. Responsible parents could no longer purchase Fins and Gills Fish Food for their children’s goldfish bowl. The fish food business went out of business. Basil was left without a job. Meanwhile, little boys sniggered at the fish food packets that they kept hidden under their iPads. Even the fish food display at the International Fish Food Museum had to cover up the Fins and Gills Fish Food packing boxes. As Ms Myrtle Browningham of the Fish Food Manufacturers’ Union said: Disgusting! Nude fish! What will they think of next? It’s sickening.

And that’s the naked truth.

1342. Lost trust

Every day after school Biddy would go down to the lake to feed the fish. A good dozen trout used to wait for her, and then dart around excitedly when she appeared. They knew her and Biddy knew them. She even had names for some of them: Spot, Rainbow, Shadow, Speedy…

One day her mother said, “Why don’t you catch one for dinner? There’s plenty there, and one less fish won’t matter.”

So Biddy did that. She got a little fishing line, and fortunately caught one of the trout that didn’t have a name.

But none of the fish ever came back to see Biddy again. They disappeared into the depths of the lake. She had lost their trust.

1075. A fishy story

To be honest, Tetra was tired of being a “Fishing Widow”. Her husband Finlay, was hooked on fishing. He was never home. Tetra would carp on and on about it.

“You seem to have fish on the brain,” said Tetra.

“Don’t be such a wet fish,” said Finlay. “When it comes to fishing I’m just a little fish in a big pond.”

“You should cast your net wider and find other interests,” said Tetra.

“You’re a queer fish. It’s just a red herring. I’d be like a fish out of water,” said Finlay. “I haven’t got bigger fish to fry. I don’t mind fishing around for other interests but it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.”

“But there are plenty of other fish in the sea,” said Tetra.

“I really don’t see what that’s got to do with the price of fish,” said Finlay. “It’s neither fish nor fowl whether I take up another interest. Quite frankly, I don’t give a flying fish. Life can be crooked as a barrel of fish hooks. I need other interests like a fish needs a bicycle.”

“At least you don’t go to the pub like other men and drink like a fish,” said Tetra. “That would be another kettle of fish altogether.”

“Holy mackerel!” said Finlay. “If that happened I’d imagine I’d become quite boring.”

Tetra stared like a stunned mullet.

619. A fisherman’s tale

© Bruce Goodman 21 June 2015

619trout

Logan was almost five years old. He loved to go fishing with his Dad. Sometimes his grandfather would come fishing too. They would fish in the river.

There was a quota limit of five trout per person. Logan’s father and grandfather had caught twenty-three.

“I’d better take these fish home in the car before the ranger turns up,” said Logan’s grandfather.

He went off in the car. Logan and his Dad stayed on fishing.

But who is this approaching? It is a stranger in uniform.

“Hello,” said the stranger. “Have you had any luck with fishing?”

“Yes! Yes!” said Logan excitedly. “My Dad caught twenty-three fish, but my grandfather has taken them home in the car.”