Michael

by Jobe

Chapter 5

My life settled into a pattern. Chores in the morning, school, then chores in the evening. Homework out of the way, I spent the rest of the evening reading a book written in Danish. Saturdays I spent fishing after morning chores, tavern after evening chores. Sunday was church and then preparing for the week of school. It's funny how life settles down and knowing that everything is in its place and all is good.

Nohr and I talked a lot at school, after all he was tutoring me. We always made arrangements to go fishing on Saturday and we added crabs to our menu. Nohr's grandfather said that the crabs were very good and so that was on our menu.

We had been fishing about 3 months when something happened that gave me a chance to reflect on Michael. I went to meet Nohr at his home and walking through the village, I noticed a little boy sitting on the curb crying. "Hey, why the tears little guy?"

"My dad is sick and can't work this week. Mom said we needed to get some food but she doesn't have time since she can't leave dad alone."

Just then Nohr walked by and heard the lad. "Jeppe, what is wrong with your dad?"

"I don't know. Every time he tries to eat something he throws it back up."

Nohr went into the house, when he came back out, "Stephan, I need to go to the doctors, why don't you take Jeppe fishing with you."

"Come on Jeppe, let's go fishing."

"I don't have a rod."

"You can use mine."

When we approach the wooden pier, there were two men fishing and a group of small boys. I caught my little fish, baited my hook and had Jeppe throw it into the surf. It didn't go far but he soon pulled out a fish big enough to keep. We did that for about an hour when Nohr showed up. By then, Jeppe had caught about 5 fish that were big enough to eat. The other boys looked as Nohr using the new bait, cast his line and quickly brought in a big fish. The boys quickly came over to check to see what bait he was using. Nohr pointed toward me, and they headed in my direction.

"Which one of those men are your fathers?"

The youngest one pointed to the man with the green hat on. "Ok, I'll bait your hook, don't let your dad see it and cast it there." Pointed where Nohr was standing. The boy nodded, I baited his hook, he went by Nohr and cast his line. While he did that, I baited the other boy's hook and showed him where to go to cast. And now I waited.

Nohr reeled in another big fish, I noticed the fathers looking, soon the youngest yelled, "I got a fish." The boys father came over and helped him reeled in the fish. When the man saw the size of the fish, he started to laugh. Patting his son on his back, gave him hug and kiss. The boy was smiling. He looked at me and gave me a slight wave. By the time all of the excitement calmed down, the other boy began to reel in his fish. Nohr stopped to help him and his dad came over. So far these two boys had out fished their fathers. One of the boys came over and said they had to take another fish home so they all could eat fish for supper. So I baited his hook once more. One of the dads came over and wanted to know what I was using on his son's hook.

Now, do I tell or should I keep it a secret. I decided there was enough fish in the ocean for us all so I showed him. He looked at me, I took his hook and put a fish on it. He went back, casted off and soon he was pulling in a big fish. His buddy looked at him and with a nod of his head the other one was headed my way. Little Jeppe was still fishing with my rod and catching a lot of fish. Soon I ran out of bait. The men and boys left after thanking me. Nohr and I cleaned Jeppe's fish for him while I caught enough crabs for my meal. Nohr wanted to give me a fish to take home, but I told him the crabs will be fine.

Jeppe gave me a hug as he took his fish home. I told Nohr I'll see him at the tavern later this evening. Aunty was surprised when I didn't have any fish. I told her about Jeppe and the other boys who were fishing. I showed her the crabs I brought and she said they would be good boiled. I left them with her as I went to get more worms and to do my chores.

After dinner, aunty and I walked to the tavern. I told her I was to meet Nohr there. I was surprised to see Jeppe there with his mother. Evidently with the medicine Nohr brought had settled his dad's stomach and she wanted to come and thank me for the fish. I told her I just let Jeppe use my gear but he was the one that caught the fish. Jeppe smiled and I got a hug from him, albeit it was around my waist.

The fathers who we were fishing with came over and was telling aunty about how I tricked them. Aunty was laughing when they told her their sons were pulling in big fish and they were getting nothing. I left them talking as Nohr indicated for me to follow him.

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