“You can’t catch a fish from a spring - I’ve never heard of such a ridiculous thing!” Exclaimed the voice of doubt from Seymour, as he watched his friend unpack the fishing equipment.
But the words fell silent to Lee, the other small boy with hopes that were pure and endless.
“You must be confused, or lack in understanding, or maybe just a little bit odd,” professed Seymour.
No, none of these fit Lee as he quickly scrambled to get the hook tied to his fishing line.
“Let me explain, a spring is where water spouts forth from a rock, where the streams and river begin – only water, no fish, spout forth from the rock,” explained Seymour.
Lee’s hand sank deep into the can of dirt in search of the biggest, juiciest worm he could find.
“You see, fish need deeper water, they need food, they need places to hide for their homes,” continued Seymour.
Lee pulled his hand from the can with a worm the size of a small snake, the worm twisted wildly in his hand.
“Just look at this spring, it is so small, it is hardly even a stream. It is only an inch or two deep, and it is only a foot or two wide,” claimed Seymour.
Lee stared at the worm for a moment or two, and thought, “Yes he is worthy of my prize fish.”
“I can see all the pebbles which make up the stream bed, there are no fish in sight, just give in now and all will be forgotten,” added Seymour.
Lee still ignoring the doubts of his friend, carefully placed the worm onto the shiny fish hook at the end of his fishing line.
“Let me take you down to the river below, there you will find gushing river waters, deep fishing holes, water falls and many fish for your adventure,” declared Seymour.
Lee smiled as he slowly dipped the worm into the clear, crisp water of the small pool formed by the spring as it sprang forth from the rock wall.
Seymour now began to speak firmly, “You see the worm squirming in the water. You see the pebbles. You see everything in the small pool because the water is so clear – There are NO FISH!”
Suddenly the boys heard a rustling in the nearby bushes. Startled by the noise, they sat quietly, listening… Then they heard Lee’s name called out from somewhere in the thick bushes. The voice beckoned them to come quickly for a wondrous surprise. They both recognized the voice, it was the voice of Lee’s brother.
The boys glanced at the worm still squirming in the clear, cool water. Lee decided that he could take a brief moment, but only a moment, to leave his fishing pole unattended. Any longer and who knows what kind of prized fish might escape his grasp.
The two boys scurried through the dense bushes in search of Lee’s brother. Back and forth the boys ran, jumping over small logs, and crawling under the low branches. Still they could see no sign of Lee’s brother. Tired from their short adventure through the bushes they returned to the fishing spot.
Seymour began again with his voice of doubt, “foolish kid, still waiting to catch a fish in a small spring, when will you ever learn…” his voice tailed off to silence.
As the boys approached the spring, their eyes caught a glisten of light from where the worm had been only moments before.
It was a FISH!
But it wasn’t just any ordinary fish, this was a most peculiar fish, it was a fish made out of aluminum foil. And yes, it was attached securely to the hook where the worm had been placed carefully by the Lee only minutes before.
As Lee boy reeled in his fishing line ever so slowly, Seymour’s voice of doubt vanished in the glory of this simple act of kindness - the prized fish emerged from the water sparkling forth in brilliant light.
Seymour stood motionless as Lee’s eyes welled with tears of excitement. Then the two turned and raced back to camp to show their families the fish –
the most prized fish … ever!
© Karl Egbert 2003
(dedicated to my brother Mark)