Make Happy
by Gail Denham

No bites for the last hour, only
two lures lost to snags. His mother
had sent him to catch fish for
their meal.

“But Oka-san, I’m in the middle
of …” Hisae fussed.

“Get away from fight games,”
said Oka-san. “Go fish. Keep
busy. Makes happy.”

Hisae sighed, but picked up his pole,
snuck a book under his shirt. “I obey,”
he muttered, “so here I sit, bored.
This is busy?”

Hisae had to admit–it was quiet, peaceful
at the lake, a place to think. Over to his
left, two brown herons dived for fish. Hope
they have better luck than I’ve had.
buzzed nearby. Doves cooed in the tree.

Ripples swished at the shore–a soothing sound.
He grew drowsy. Gradually, he lay back
on damp moss. This busy is nice, he thought.

Suddenly his pole jerked. He whipped the rod
to set the hook. As he reeled it in, he felt strong.
It was a Yamame trout, a favorite of Oka-san.

He envisioned his Oka-san filleting the trout,
dipping fish in flour; the trout sizzling in the pan,
his mother busy with cooking for their family,
always happy. Hisae felt glad, and hungry.

Hmm … Maybe he’d try for one more fish.


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