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A Lazy, Idle Brook Henry van Dyke

The Secrets Of Intimacy

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Table Of Contents: Fisherman's Luck

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Of course we could not resist the temptation to show those fish to the neighbours. But, equally of course, we evaded the request to give precise information as to the precise place where they were caught. Indeed, I fear that there must have been something confused in our description of where we had been on that afternoon. Our carefully selected language may have been open to misunderstanding. At all events, the next day, which was the Sabbath, there was a row of eager but unprincipled anglers sitting on a bridge OVER ANOTHER STREAM, and fishing for trout with worms and large expectations, but without visible results.

The boy and I agreed that if this did not teach a good moral lesson it was not our fault.

I obtained the boy's consent to admit the partner of my life's joys and two of our children to the secret of the brook, and thereafter, when we visited it, we took the fly-rod with us. If by chance another boat passed us in the estuary, we were never fishing, but only gathering flowers, or going for a picnic, or taking photographs. But when the uninitiated ones had passed by, we would get out the rod again, and try a few more casts.

One day in particular I remember, when Graygown and little Teddy were my companions. We really had no hopes of angling, for the hour was mid-noon, and the day was warm and still. But suddenly the trout, by one of those unaccountable freaks which make their disposition so interesting and attractive, began to rise all about us in a bend of the stream.

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"Look!" said Teddy; "wherever you see one of those big smiles on the water, I believe there's a fish!"

Fortunately the rod was at hand. Graygown and Teddy managed the boat and the landing-net with consummate skill. We landed no less than a dozen beautiful fish at that most unlikely hour and then solemnly shook hands all around.

There is a peculiar pleasure in doing a thing like this, catching trout in a place where nobody thinks of looking for them, and at an hour when everybody believes they cannot be caught. It is more fun to take one good fish out of an old, fished-out stream, near at hand to the village, than to fill a basket from some far-famed and well-stocked water. It is the unexpected touch that tickles our sense of pleasure. While life lasts, we are always hoping for it and expecting it. There is no country so civilized, no existence so humdrum, that there is not room enough in it somewhere for a lazy, idle brook, an encourager of indolence, with hope of happy surprises.

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Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

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