Herald-Journal
Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, May 8, 2000

Wally the walleye

By OPAL "GRANDMA" HABISCH

Wally and Willy were brothers. These two brothers were also fish, a special kind of fish known as a walleye.

Wally and Willy liked to swim around in their big lake. One day, late in the afternoon, they noticed that there were many fish all gathered together in one spot on the lake. They swam over to see what was going on.

When they got near the area, they found that there were many people fishing there and they were using some very good-tasting bait.

"Let's go get something to eat," Wally said to Willy. "If we are careful to only nibble on the small hooks, we won't get caught, as those hooks are too small to catch us."

So the brothers swam around until they found some small hooks with nice, big worms on them. They nibbled very carefully, and soon, they were feeling very full.

"Let's go," Wally said, as he noticed a fish near him get pulled up into the fisherman's boat.

"Wait," Willy answered, "I want to see what kind of food they send down next."

So they swam around a little more, and soon a line came down into the water with something big on the end. It was so big that you couldn't even see what kind of hook it was attached to.

"I'm going to see what that tastes like," Willy said.

"Don't touch it," Wally warned him. "It might be a trick."

But Willy wouldn't listen to him.

"How do you think I got to be so big?" he asked his brother. "I'm too smart to fall for a trick. You don't have to worry about me."

And he swam over and took a big bite out of the bait.

Splash! All of a sudden, Willy was being pulled up out of the water. Wally swam around and around, trying to figure out what he could do to save his brother.

He could hear people in the boat up above him talking.

"He is a big one," Wally heard them say. "I bet he is 28 inches long."

Then he saw flashes of light on the water over his head as the people started taking pictures of their catch.

"What should I do," Wally wondered. "Willy can't stay out of the water for very long. I must save him, but how? . . . What can I do?"

The people in the boat were very excited about the big fish they had caught.

Then, Wally heard someone say, "You have to throw that fish back. You know the law. He is too big for you to keep."

There was a big splash and Willy fell back into the lake.

He felt very weak, but Willy was still alive. And most of all, he knew he was a very lucky fish.

Slowly, he swam over to Wally.

"Let's go home," Willy said. "I guess I'm not as smart as I thought I was."

"That's okay," his brother answered. "Now, you know how easy it is to get into trouble when you think you know it all."

The two brothers swam back to the middle of the lake. They remembered to always be very careful about what they nibbled on after that, and they never got caught.


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