Growing up, my family took a lot of road trips. We were pretty poor. But every couple of years there was a summer road trip to somewhere. Montana, Missouri, Victoria Canada, Texas... and all stops in between.
On the Montana trips we would often stop to fish in one of the many creeks or rivers we passed. My brother and I each had our own poles and creels and I wasn't the least bit squeamish about impaling an earthworm or cricket on my hook. My dad would give my brother and I our little cans of bait and send us off. Never out of shouting distance, but we had quite a bit of freedom for 7 and 9-year-olds.
I don't remember where we were on this particular day, but I remember finding my spot up river from my mom on a big outcropping of rocks. An older woman was fishing from the other end of the rocks and I being a social (chatterbox) little kid quickly struck up a conversation with her.
This lady had a bunch of fish dangling from her line (whatever its called when you sting a fish by its gills and let it float in the water?) and I was impressed. I don't remember a word of our conversation but I do remember what happened after she caught a fish.
"I don't like them to suffer," she said before grabbing the trout (most likely) by the tail and whacking its head on the rock next to her. I was too young to understand the irony of the situation and I don't remember any of our conversation after that. But I do remember my mom calling me over and making me fish beside her the rest of the day.
Now that I am an aunt (to the cutest little boy in the world) I can't imagine letting him wander around in the wilderness talking to strangers, but it was a far different time back then. Wasn't it? Then again there was a weird lady bashing fish to death in front of little girls...
Thanks Feisty Cat for the inspiration as part of the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. Want to join in the fun?