Fresh Catch of the Day
“Stand off to the other side.” My father told me. He leaned out of a second-story window to keep a closer watch.
I waded back to the tiny island, and then ran to the farthest edge to squat and wait while he and his pal Tony reloaded each of their rifles. The soft sand beneath my bottom, heated up by the Georgia sun, felt wonderfully warm against the pair of wet shorts I wore. I wriggled my toes to drive them all deeper into the snuggly sandbar and hugged both bare knees, and then shivered once while waiting for the sound of the next shot.
The black lake on the other side of the dam was home to bass and catfish and trout. It also supported sunfish as well as several kinds of turtles. Tales of a large alligator, killed when we first moved to the millpond, were retold many times, but here in the shallows of the raceway there was nothing to fear but an occasional water moccasin. My eyes darted around the perimeter of the race, looking for any unusual movements.
In one of the other windows high above, I saw Tony taking careful aim.
My father coughed quietly. Steady, Tony; steady.
Then I heard the slightest ping. The small caliber shot made no real impression on me as it left the rifle, but the sound that bullet made hitting water sure did.
I watched as Tony withdrew his weapon. My dad beamed down at me as he pointed to a familiar shape floating out in the shallows.
“Run get it, son.”
I heard Tony laughing as I splashed forward.
A .22 rifle was a different way to fish, I though, and lots more fun than using a cane pole.