Hey Kid ( part two )

Another Day

The creek splashed noisily below
The cut banks covered with wildflowers
And ripe wild strawberries
I eased my way into the water crossing
A hundred yards or so above the bend
A shallow stretch slippery, rushing
Stalking the bank, bending low
Then knelt in the cold water
And began to pull line from the reel
Preparing for the cast
Breathless with anticipation

I had never cast a fly before
Never had to land a fly with precision
But knew instinctively what to do, I thought
And soon the line whistled above my head
Fly line curving just above the water
The fly floated momentarily to the target
Then landing in the willow leaves
The current pulling the line beneath the branches
There would be no ambush this day
No trout to share with old man Alexander
The rod in my hand would not be mine

I rose and tugged gently to free the fly
And in an instant broke the fragile line
My heart sinking at the failure
One cast is all you get, one try
He accepted my explanation without judgment
Saying gently, “you did your best”
“Big trout are big because of the challenge
And skill in catching them
Anyone can catch the small ones
But, and this is the important lesson
There is always another day”

Summer passed and fall turned to winter
He hired me to keep his coal bin full
And feed the stove each morning
Before going to school
I would sit with him after my evening chores
Tying flies and learning about trout and life
At his fly tying bench, snow pelting the windows
He patiently taught me to tie the grasshopper
Early Morning Dun, and Quill Gordon
I watched his aged fingers deftly wind the thread
Feathers and fur and quill forming insects, magic

Providence is not some random gift
From a capricious universe
But a consequence of choice
Beginnings form the paths we follow
Leading us to another, then another
And as the winter slowly passed
We joked about the dozen flies I’d lost
Mistakes and the lessons learned
How the brown trout smiled beneath the willows
“I can teach you to cast and tie a fly”, he said
“But only you can catch the fish”

And, as the dogwoods filled the Maryland hills
With a snow like glow against the spring greens
There was another day
The thousand rehearsals as I fell to sleep
Made the moment more like a dream
The Pale Blue Dun floating in the breeze
Landing softly on the mark
Just inches from the willows
The dark trout rushing from the shadows
Sucking the fly like a plucked grape
Exploding with anger as he felt the sting

I reacted with the predators instincts
My mind subordinated by the limbic rush
Every run and lunge and turn
Met with the just right touch
A slow motion movie being played
As if another person held the rod
And soon he was flopping on the rocks
I held him high as I ran across the fields
“Watcha got there”, he exclaimed
“Dinner” I stammered, out of breath
“Yes”, he said smiling, “Yes it is.”

(To be continued)

Hey Kid ( part two )

Boyd Miller

Newport, United States

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Artist's Description

Part Two of a short story called “Hey Kid”

Artwork Comments

  • Laura Puglia
  • lianne
  • saleire
  • Ann Rodriquez
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