Herald-Journal Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, January 19, 1998

Cold and wet

By OPAL "GRANDMA " HABISCH

My daddy said, "I have to start fixing our old fish house. We will go fishing this year and we can take Jimmy along. I will teach him how to fish."

I was so excited. This year I could go along instead of staying home with a babysitter. I asked Dad, "Will we fish all night?" "Yes," he said. "If they bite, we may stay another night, and you can sleep on a cot in the fish house."

Mother started to make up some food for the weekend. Dad took the fish house to the lake and got it ready for us.

Have you ever gone ice fishing? Well, you start by making a big round hole in the ice, large enough to pull a big fish out of. You use a very small pole, about two feet long, and put a fish line and hook on the end and bait on the hook. You put the line down the hole and wait for a fish to bite.

Daddy came in and said, "The fish house is all ready. I started the heater and it is nice and warm inside."

Mother gave the box of food to Dad to put in the truck. She dressed me so I would be warm, as we had to walk out to the house. The ice was not thick enough for us to drive on.

When we got to the house, it was dark. Dad said, "Do not fall in the holes." I told Dad to go in first and he started to laugh. No way would I go first!

Dad put a light on and set it on a table in the fish house. I started to wonder how this could be any fun. "No tv or bathroom and I can't play much in here," I complained.

Dad gave me a fish pole and helped me put the line in the hole. I looked at the hole. It was big. "I sure will have to get a big fish if I need such a big hole," I thought.

Dad said, "Now sit on this stool and watch your line. If it goes down, pull it out fast." I sat and watched the line. And watched the line. Everyone was very quiet as they waited. "I hope I don't have to come all the time," I thought.

All at once I felt cold and wet. Mother started screaming. "You fell asleep and fell into the hole," she exclaimed.

Then dad shouted, "You have a fish on your line!" Mother put a blanket around me and I pulled on the line. I kept pulling and pulling.

Dad asked, "Can I help you?" "No, I can do it myself," I said. "This is a big fish." Finally I pulled it out of the hole. It lay on the floor. It really was big.

Then it started to jump around. Dad said, "Let me help you." "No, I can do it," I insisted. The fish jumped again and went right back into the hole. I looked at Dad and said, "It is gone. I should have let you help me."

"You can try again next year," Mother said. " It's time for you to go home. You are all wet. Do you know you almost drowned?"

Well, I caught a fish, even if it did get away. Mother and Dad didn't even get a bite. They weren't too happy with me after I fell in the hole and got all wet.

Wait until summer to go fishing. If you fall in, at least you won't get cold.


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