UNCLE BEN'S LETTER
Well, boys, another trapping season has passed into history and I am willing to quit the job, until that fever takes hold again.
I've found myself looking over my fishing outfit several times already, and I'll not be surprised if I find myself out on a fishing trip pretty soon. It seems strange that in the fall I take the trapping fever and in the spring I take the fishing and bee-hunting fever; but when we call to mind that it is nothing more than nature, it does not seem so strange after all and I am delighted to think that it is not a bad fever when we can get the right medicine. However, we must not take it too often, nor in over-doses; but it's a fine medicine to take it the right way.
I remember when I was quite young, father and I went to town, and father met one of his old friends, who was a business man. He told father that his health was bad and growing worse, and that the doctors seemed not to do him any good. Father told him that he needed rest and to come out at least once a month and go fishing with him and his health would improve. So he took father's advice and in a few days he came and everything was arranged and we were off for a two days' fish.
Now to make the party complete, father invited Unlucky Bill to go with us. Unlucky Bill is so called because he would have so much hard luck with anything he would undertake and he loved to fish and fish he would in spite of his hard luck. He was by no means a handsome man and especially since he had a nose entirely out of the ordinary in size, now the party included Mr. Jay, father's friend, Unlucky Bill, father and myself.
The first few hours of the day were spent with pretty good luck with all except "Unlucky Bill;" he only had a few very small fish, but his courage was good and I never saw any one fish with any more satisfaction than he did. Finally he got an awful heavy "bite," as he called it, and he gave such a hard jerk on his rod that it caused the line to whip around his head, and the hook stuck in his nose. Now boys, I think Mr. Jay had about already forgot that he was sick; but that answered for an extra dose of tonic. Mr. Jay could not help laughing, neither could father; but father gave me a wink so I had to put mine off. However, we showed great sympathy toward Bill, and took the hook out of his nose and father put some antiseptic on it, which he carried along in case of accidents.
It was not long before Bill had forgot all about catching his nose and was enjoying fishing.
Now everything went well with Bill till along in the evening, when he got another "heavy bite," and he gave his rod (a dried reed) the usual jerk. This time the fish had go'- well fastened and the rod slipped f: ->m his hands and away it went, "scootin'," as he called it, along on top of the water. Bill looked on a moment.
then said "by grabs! That rod floats like a life saver; but if that fish don't get up speed it'll be a fish saver and in he went after it. Now, boys, I can say that it was a pretty good circus to see Bill swimming after his rod. It was a close race; sometimes Bill would get near, when the fish would go faster, leaving Bill behind again. Finally the fish made a turn in Bill's favor and he caught the rod with one hand and swam to shore. After admiring his nice catch, he looked around at us and said, "Guess you all never saw a man swim a race with a fish before."
"No," said Mr. Jay, "and I can assure you that I enjoyed the race very much."
"Well," said Bill, "I've done most everything in my life except die and if I don't get killed or drowned, guess I'll do that some day." After another hearty laugh, Mr. Jay proposed that we go in, as he was more hungry than he had been in two years and he proved it when he got to the table.
Now, boys, I may add that Mr. Jay soon realized the benefit he got from his occasional fishing trips and went as often as his business would permit and we should follow Mr. Jay's example and not neglect our duties of life to go fishing; but go as often as we can get the spare time, as it is an appetizer, soothing and refreshing to the mind.
Now in conclusion and for the benefit of the boys, I will add that you should never go fishing with reckless and careless boys, because you need good company on a fishing trip, as well as you do at home. Then, too, such boys may be the cause of a serious accident. Always get the consent of your parents and go with the right persons and your fishing trip will be worth a part of that precious gift, "life."
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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