April 22nd, 2002

A Fable of Fishies
(A Bedtime Story )
By James Castwell

*Publishers note: Castwell sometimes get a bit carried away, this is one of those times. We decided to run it anyway due to the general pervasiveness of the education of our young folks. In their formative years they seem to be inundated with things of high interest and little value.


Once upon a time in a land far away there lived two men, one was a nice man and the other was not. These men lived by a beautiful bubbling brook and each day they would go to the edge of the water and fish for the fishies who played in the water.

The nice man, his name was Todd, wore a big tall cowboy hat and he lived in a beautiful vine covered cottage with a wonderful view of the hills and the trees and the beautiful bubbling brook. The other man, Bart lived in a scraggy old trailer on the lot next door, he wore a real dumb looking hat. Bart's yard was overgrown with weeds and pickers and not very nice at all. His yard was messy like him.

When they fished, Bart would use worms and a spinning rod and when he caught a fishy he would yank it out of the water so fast it would plop behind him with a 'Thump' and wiggle there until it died. Bart ate a lot of fish. Todd thought this was an awful thing for him to do. This is Todd watching Bart.

Todd, the nice man, was a fly-fisherman and when he went to the beautiful bubbling brook he would tie a nice pretty fly on the end of a very tiny line, and when he caught a fish he would ease the fish over to him, and now think about this, he would gently remove the tiny fly from the little fishy and stroking its head, tell it to go back to its' mommy and be very careful so that Bart did not catch it and eat it up.

When Bart fished he would just fling his line out with a loud splash and let the big ugly sinker take the poor drowning worm way down deep. Then he would lean back against an old tree, let out a loud belch and wait. Sometimes he would scratch himself, I think Bart had fleas. Poor Todd, what was he to do? Bart was killing all of his friends, the tiny fishies in the bubbling brook.

Then one nice summer day Todd got an idea. He would talk to Bart and explain that there were other ways to do things, and a lot better ones at that.

The nice man, Todd invited Bart to come over and see his brand new fishing pole. Now Bart was always looking for more and better ways to catch fish, so he went right over. Todd showed him the beautiful split-bamboo rod, the glistening silk fly line, the ever so delicate leader and his box of wonderfully colorful flies. Bart was very interested but he didn't think it would help him catch more fish.

After lunch they both went to the edge of the bubbling brook and Todd, with graceful waves of the fly rod cast the fly line silently upstream, let it gently drop to the water and with it went the delicate wisp of leader and brightly colored fly. As the fluffy little fly drifted back to them, an inquisitive fishy gobbled up the fly and started to tug on it. The foolish fishy thought it was a bug floating on the water, how silly. Todd carefully pulled him over and released the hook and the happy little fishy swam back home, excited and much wiser.

Bart was dumbfounded. "Holy-smokes," he said. "That sure is a better way than using those dirty old worms, yuck." That very day Bart went into town to his 'Pro-Shop' and bought the nicest fly rod he could find. He even signed up for some casting lessons and a tying class.

During the rest of the summer Bart learned how to cast and when he started catching so many fish that he had to turn some loose, he was over his limit for the day, he got to wondering about the fishies he has released. He would think about them at night and during the day as he was cleaning up his yard too. You see, after he became a fly-fisherman, he started to think better of himself and cleaned up his yard, cut the weeds, took regular baths and even got rid of his fleas too.

It is said that the two of them, Todd the nice man, and his new best friend, Bart, lived for many years side by side, fishing nearly every day and releasing all the pretty little fishies they caught. They called it a game and were only playing with the fishies, they even named many of them. Often the two of them would pick up cans and things that had floated down the stream and even once they put some nice big rocks into the water to make the beautiful bubbling brook bubble even more so the fishies would have a lot of oxygen to live in.

And they all lived to a very old age, Todd, Bart and most importantly... all of the pretty little fishies. This is Todd watching YOU! ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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