Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Fisherman's Luck Henry van Dyke

A Wild Strawberry

Page 6 of 8

Table Of Contents: Fisherman's Luck

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

There is a wilding strain in our blood that all the civilization in the world will not eradicate. I never knew a real boy--or, for that matter, a girl worth knowing--who would not rather climb a tree, any day, than walk up a golden stairway.

It is a touch of this instinct, I suppose, that makes it more delightful to fish in the most insignificant of free streams than in a carefully stocked and preserved pond, where the fish are brought up by hand and fed on minced liver. Such elaborate precautions to ensure good luck extract all the spice from the sport of angling. Casting the fly in such a pond, if you hooked a fish, you might expect to hear the keeper say, "Ah, that is Charles, we will play him and put him back, if you please, sir; for the master is very fond of him,"--or, "Now you have got hold of Edward; let us land him and keep him; he is three years old this month, and just ready to be eaten." It would seem like taking trout out of cold storage.

Who could find any pleasure in angling for the tame carp in the fish-pool of Fontainebleau? They gather at the marble steps, those venerable, courtly fish, to receive their rations; and there are veterans among them, in ancient livery, with fringes of green moss on their shoulders, who could tell you pretty tales of being fed by the white hands of maids of honour, or even of nibbling their crumbs of bread from the jewelled fingers of a princess.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

There is no sport in bringing pets to the table. It may be necessary sometimes; but the true sportsman would always prefer to leave the unpleasant task of execution to menial hands, while he goes out into the wild country to capture his game by his own skill,--if he has good luck. I would rather run some risk in this enterprise (even as the young Tobias did, when the voracious pike sprang at him from the waters of the Tigris, and would have devoured him but for the friendly instruction of the piscatory Angel, who taught Tobias how to land the monster),--I would far rather take any number of chances in my sport than have it domesticated to the point of dulness.

The trim plantations of trees which are called "forests" in certain parts of Europe--scientifically pruned and tended, counted every year by uniformed foresters, and defended against all possible depredations--are admirable and useful in their way; but they lack the mystic enchantment of the fragments of native woodland which linger among the Adirondacks and the White Mountains, or the vast, shaggy, sylvan wildernesses which hide the lakes and rivers of Canada. These Laurentian Hills lie in No Man's Land. Here you do not need to keep to the path, for there is none. You may make your own trail, whithersoever fancy leads you; and at night you may pitch your tent under any tree that looks friendly and firm.

Page 6 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004