- Markshire PCs:
Lo all! Well, I been away fer awhile . . . in case nobody noticed. There ainâ€™t much to write about in Markshire no more, but I know some oâ€™ the boys Iâ€™ve met in Foothold over the past few months has a hobby oâ€™ huntinâ€™ and fishinâ€™ in their spare time, so I thought Iâ€™d writ a little â€˜bout where I been, and what I done while I wuz away.
I spent the summer back in my old village far south oâ€™ Markshire where a bunch oâ€™ my friends and me rented a tiny beach cottage on the shore oâ€™ a vast ocean! My brothers was there too, â€˜cause they likes to fish and they brought their fishinâ€™ poles and bait and all the stuff they was needinâ€™ fer fishinâ€™ along with them.
For awhile, they was even givinâ€™ me lessons â€˜bout how to cast. They had an extra fishinâ€™ pole and a gizmo with buttons and knobs stickinâ€™ out all over it called a reel, what they let me use, but they ainâ€™t had no extra pair oâ€™ boots what come up to your chest and have straps you buckle over your shoulders, so I done most oâ€™ my fishinâ€™ in my bathingâ€™ suit. Well, most times I was at least knee deep in the water anyways, you know?
After awhile they kinda left me on my own, thinkinâ€™ eventually, Iâ€™d figure things out by myself. Well Iâ€™ll tell ya! It ainâ€™t so easy holdinâ€™ a nine foot pole over yer shoulder whatâ€™s got a huge live eel danglinâ€™ off the tip oâ€™ it! ! The poor thingâ€™s fastened onto a big hook whatâ€™s tied to a string and itâ€™s squigglinâ€™ and jigglinâ€™ every which way, even tyin’ itself into knots, doinâ€™ its best to work its way off cause it ainâ€™t enjoyinâ€™ the pickle it finds itself in at all!
Well . . . you wouldnâ€™t like it either if someone stuck a huge hook up under your chin and kept pushinâ€™ and twistinâ€™ till finally the sharp end popped out a little bit above your nose! Eeeee! Iâ€™ll tell ya! There ainâ€™t no way Iâ€™ll even touch one â€˜o those squirmy, slimy things, never mind havinâ€™ to pick it up and try to stick a hook into it! Uh uh! Iâ€™m sorry but someone else gotta do that part for me.
Anyways, now you have to try to fling that eel as far as ya possibly can, by whippinâ€™ the pole fast over your shoulder with all your strength, aiminâ€™ for a spot â€˜bout a mile out into the deep! Well, thatâ€™s where all the really big fish is right?
All the while, yer strugglinâ€™ to keep a good balance while yer feet is sinkinâ€™ deeper and deeper into the wet sand below you and yer beinâ€™ pummeled by a roilinâ€™ surf whatâ€™s tugginâ€™ away at your bathinâ€™ suit, and it’s a two piece suit, and your worried â€˜bout that cause you got both hands on the pole, and you ainâ€™t able to make no adjustments, you know?
And the tide is also doinâ€™ its best to suck ya out into water what you know is gonna be way above yer head! And god help you if ya loose what little balance ya have, â€˜cause for sure youâ€™ll soon be swimminâ€™ â€˜round out there with the very fish youâ€™re tryinâ€™ ta catch! Oh geez! The things men dreams up to amuse themselves! And then they calls it a sport!
Well, I ainâ€™t gonna let no man beat me at nothinâ€™ and practice makes perfect, so I kept at it. I found out thereâ€™s only two things whatâ€™s really important when Iâ€™m tryinâ€™ to heave an eel whatâ€™s danglinâ€™ off a huge stick, far out out into the ocean. My back, which after a short time was hurtinâ€™ me like hel, and my index finger, what you use to curl around a string thatâ€™s wound up tight â€˜round a spool on the reel.
To those oâ€™ you men what might be interested, but didnâ€™t know, your index fingerâ€™s usually the one what grows right next to yer thumb but I ainâ€™t too sure â€˜bout it havinâ€™ to be there exactly. I suppose it could grow outta some other spot mayhap. Most folks has two oâ€™ â€˜em, one on each hand. I ainâ€™t never seen no one with more than two index fingers.
Anyways, I had to time it perfect, swinginâ€™ that stick as hard as I could over my shoulder and unbendinâ€™ my index finger allowinâ€™ the string fly off the reel at the right moment or really dreadful things would happen.
If I let go oâ€™ the string a bit too soon, the eel would travel straight up â€˜bout elevendy three feet, into the air above me, and I wouldnâ€™t be knowinâ€™ where the hel it went, mayhap even thinkinâ€™ Iâ€™d made a nice cast, and lookinâ€™ â€˜round fer the splash oâ€™ it! Finally it would come down, smackinâ€™ me hard on the head, with the eel drapinâ€™ itself around my neck all wet and wiggly! Oh geez!
More than once, my timing would be really bad and that damn eel would go flyinâ€™ backward, scatterinâ€™ anyone who happened to be standinâ€™ behind me! Yup! Folks would gather there every day, watchinâ€™, laughinâ€™ even sometimes cheerinâ€™ if I managed once in awhile, to flip the damn eel into the water! They was actually enjoyinâ€™ my trib . . . tribula . . . uh, difficulties! I think some o’ them might even have been takin’ bets ’bout how long it was gonna take before somethin’ I was wearin’ came off and started floatin’ away!
I ainâ€™t cared none â€˜bout them anyways. I enjoyed makinâ€™ them run like hel away from that eel shootinâ€™ back at them as much as they enjoyed pokinâ€™ fun at me. So I guess we was about even on that score!
Sometimes Iâ€™d do everything perfect â€˜for sure, â€˜cept the damn reel would break or somethinâ€™, and the string wouldnâ€™t unwind proper. Somehow itâ€™d get all tangled up in itself and make an awful mess! That happened so many times I canâ€™t think oâ€™ a number for it.
I guess I spent most oâ€™ my time sittinâ€™ there in the sand, tryinâ€™ to unravel everything. I ainâ€™t minded too much though, â€˜cause with me sittinâ€™ and not castinâ€™ I wasnâ€™t much oâ€™ a show no more, and most oâ€™ the crowd what was gathered â€˜round would fade away. Driftinâ€™ off to look fer someone else to torment, I guess.
It seemd like forever, but after a few days oâ€™ practice, and a whole bunch oâ€™ dead eels, I finally got the rhythm oâ€™ it, and after heavinâ€™ that eel out into the water a good distance, I caught my first fish!
Oh, the crowd behind me was cheering, clappinâ€™ and even whistlinâ€™ for me! It was a big one too! At least three or four pounds! A blue fish, my brother called it â€˜cept it aint looked blue to me. He took a pliers outta his bag, got a firm grip on the hook and wiggled it out of its mouth for me. Then he held it up and asked me if I was gonna use it for bait!
The crowd standinâ€™ behind us was silent for a moment, mayhap waitinâ€™ to see how I was gonna respond to that bit o’ nastiness and than they started roarinâ€™ with laughter! Well, sometimes brothers will say a thing just to get ya riled up, you know?
I ainâ€™t said nothinâ€™ back to him, but I was burninâ€™ inside and it made me even more determined to catch that coveted prize, a striped bass, sometimes weighinâ€™ thirty or forty pounds what the men was always hopinâ€™ theyâ€™d hook onto. It was only a day or two after suffering that embarrassing moment on the beach, I finally got my chance to do that! Well . . . kind of, you know?
But my mouth is dry now and I ainâ€™t able to squeeze out one more drop oâ€™ ink. Youâ€™ll just have to wait till I can spit out some more.