Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, November 9, 1998

A fishy tale about true love


I was only 14 years old and I was in love. I know it was love because I hated eating fish then, but now I love it.

The boy I loved was 14 years old, too. He sat in front of me in school and always talked to me. He would tell me about how he liked to go fishing, and how good the fish tasted.

"I hate fish," I told him.

"If you ate my mother's fish, you would love it," he told me.

One day at lunch, he took a package out of his lunchbox and gave it to me and said, " I have something for you." (I said to myself, "He loves me!")

I was so excited, at first I didn't open the package.

"Open it," he said. So I did, and in the package there was a piece of fried fish.

"But I don't like fish," I told him.

"Taste it," he said. "My mother fried it and I told her I wanted to bring a piece to you."

So I took a little bite. It was good. I told him I loved it and I would trade him a piece of cake out of my lunchbox for some more fish. I told him that he could have the whole piece of cake, as I didn't want to get fat.

"Oh, you aren't fat," he said. "You are just right for me." We both laughed.

It was time to go back to class. "Will you have lunch with me tomorrow?" the boy asked.

"Yes," I said.

When I got home from school that day, I asked mother if we could have fish for supper.

"What did you say?" she asked. "Are you sick?"

"No," I told her. I explained about the delicious fish my friend gave me for lunch and she laughed.

"I guess I will have to call his mother and ask for her recipe for carrots, too," she said.

"Oh, mother, you don't understand," I said. "I love him."

Mother said, "Oh, that's it. But you are too young to know what love is."

"Well," I thought to myself. "I know it's love because it has changed everything I used to think about eating fish."

That was 20 years ago. Now I have three children and a husband, and we all love to eat fish.

But my mother was right. I love my family, and it has nothing to do with eating fish.

Thank goodness, it takes more than a piece of fish to find out if you are really in love.

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