The Fish - page 2
Dad, I see a big fish.
The young father responded sleepily, Oh, yeah?
A few minutes later the boy, walking around quietly in the water, discovered a fish about ten centimeters long poking its muzzle against his shin. He chased the fish back to the sandbar, kicking at the water. Splash! The fish jumped up from the river and fell onto the sand. When its entire length showed this way, the fish looked more than twice as long as it had in the water.
It was a desperate-sounding cry, bringing the father straight to his feet. He was half-sitting and half-standing, his body twisted slightly as if he were swimming, when he saw the fish on the sand. He reached out for it right away but the fish gave another jump. With a splash, it slipped through the water and away, evading the hand the boy then stretched through the water to catch it.
Damn! the father muttered.
Hey! the boy yelled.
The mother woke up then too.
Look, there are a lot of big ones around where you are, the father said, standing in the water and peering down into it. Go on over there, would you, and chase the fish over this way this time.
Okay. The boy went to the deep part, turned around and shouted, Okay, here I come!
We let a big one get away. The husband held up the fingers of one hand to show her how big it had been. But look, those are huge.
Paying only the slightest attention to where exactly the fish were, the boy came splashing toward the sandbar: that was just how many huge fish there were everywhere. Whoosh! One leapt and fell into the shallows. The wife exclaimed and reached out a hand. Another fish fell onto the sand, but the husband didn't notice. Still another, about fifteen centimeters long, was coming toward the sandbar, the boy in pursuit.
Hey, get that one! the father yelled at the child. It's huge!
The boy, abruptly changing direction in the water, stumbled for a moment. Yeah, it sure is!
But the large fish disappeared upstream. The father joined his son in the water. Standing beside him, he looked down in.
There are lots in there, he murmured, his eyes glassy, then yelled at his wife who had finally managed to catch a fish about ten centimeters long. Hey, forget about that one! There are much bigger ones over here!
Dad, the water is rising.
Yes, you're right, the father said absentmindedly. Okay, we'll go after them, side by side. Look lively now!