Friday, December 15, 2006

Here Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

Earlier this week I attended a meeting about a half-hour from my home office, and on the way took a short-cut passing by a small man-made lake/pond in Brentwood TN.

As I miraculously drove the speed limit of 25mph or so, I noticed a group of six kids standing by the shore. They were bending down picking up rocks and hurling them side-armed, full speed, at a group of geese about fifty feet beyond. The kids looked like they were out for blood.

It’s amazing how memories can flood instantly. I was about seven years old, standing outside the Honolulu airport waiting for my grandparents to get their luggage. My mother and sister were with me while dad was helping his parents. We had a few minutes to kill, so I wandered over to a carp pond (I don’t know if there still is one at the airport- I would be interested to know) and watched the colorful fish. I noticed, as do all young boys, that if you spit in the water, the fish come running. Or swimming or whatever.

I progressed to dropping in bits of paper, then small pebbles. Each new item, the larger it got, summoned more fish. I remembered wondering if I could hit one of the fish with a pebble, so I picked up a large one, threw it in, and struck one of the carp squarely on the head. He sunk to the bottom and rested on his side, not moving again as I watched for a few minutes. I was devastated and ashamed- moving quickly away from the area while looking to see if anyone saw what I did.

That was the first creature- other than insects and a baby duck- I had killed. The baby duck thing was when I was 2 years old, and that’s another story.

I honked at the group of kids by the lake, and they glanced at me and continued throwing rocks. So I pulled over, honked several times and when I got their attention, gave them the universally known hand signal communicating "cut-it-out" (flat hand moving back and forth in front of the neck). They slinked away, unsuccessful at their attempt to fell a goose.

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Anonymous said...

This was wonderfully written. I think many of us have unintentionally harmed or killed an animal as a child. It's an unfortunate lesson to learn - that there are sometimes irreparable consequences to our actions - what has been done cannot be undone. Thank you for sharing.

DigitalRich said...

Ms. Q- thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the comment. Be sure to read the follow-up of sorts that I posted today giving the background on the duck mentioned.