Well, the hunting’s easy. I know, because I sometimes hunt out cockroaches, but shooting them? No, leave that to the experts. Fishing, now, that has to be easy. This big guy, Hassan, he comes up to me and he says,
“Look Eleanor, I caught this fella right alongside your boat”.
“OK”, I think. “If he can, I can.” So out I go and buy me a reel of line. “Tough stuff” I told the shopkeeper. “Gonna be catching a big fish.”
Got a whole bunch of hooks too, all sizes, from big to miniscule.
“Something else you’re sure gonna need,” he said. “This little book.”
“Yep. Tells you about the right knots and stuff.”
So, I’m all set and I sit in the cockpit and figure out how it all fits together and all the knots and weights and stuff. Not so easy, because Alicia, my cat, is very interested and involved, getting into coils of fishing line and dabbing at the hooks. But finally, I’m there.
“Oops. Need some bait.” A quick shifty through the food locker soon sniffed out some dubious bacon.
“This will do the trick” I told Alicia. Hooked it on, slung the lot overboard and fixed my supper.
Well, you’ve read so far. By now you want to know what I caught, right? Only thing is, I don’t really want to tell you. Because — it was only a plastic bag.
Retired to bed disillusioned with the whole fishing business.
However, a new day is a new day, and I arose, a new woman and threw myself once again into this fishing business. I mean, if there really were fish hanging around my boat, like Hassan said, then there must be one stupid enough to take my hook.
Hook? Maybe I should be a bit more modest about the size. And — there was! A stupid fish, I mean. It came wiggling and squirming up out of the water, all silvery and fantastic. Probably all of six inches long, too, or maybe just about the length of one of my fingers, if I am to be honest, but it was, without a doubt, a real genuine fish. Alicia knew the real thing, too, when she saw it. In a flash she was up on her hind legs, her little dabs stretched out over the guard-rail, and before I could recover from my astonishment at having caught a real live fish, she had bitten through the line.
Oh, the disappointment; it pierced my heart, it really did. Alicia was not at all pleased, either. She gave me a cold stare. No purring. Just this blue-eyed glare. I had to resort to sharing a can of sardines with her. I had mine on toast. She had hers on my bed, her favourite eating place, pretty disgusting I bet you’re thinking.
From this you will gather that she’s not the best brought-up cat you would ever meet, no manners at all really, but I love her all the same. Even if she did ruin my day’s fishing.
Next line of defence, or do I mean attack? Yes, I guess I do, because I’m attacking wild creatures in their natural habitat. Needed advice. Yep. Into the dinghy to find Hassan.
“That one?” he exclaimed.“That one was nothing.
Boy! You shoulda seen the one that got away.” He hunted in his pocket and produced a fish hook.
And that was the moment when I decided that none of that trio, the huntin, shootin, fishin was for me. I’d stick to canned sardines or a tuna steak from the market.
For just now, anyway.