India Goes Fishing: A Black Lab Story
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It was the best time of the summer day – that time when the sun is just beginning to set and the sky is glowing with colors: pink, coral and orange. And it finally cools down.
We had been camping all week with my sisters and their families. The campground had seven different lakes to fish in and we had tried our luck in all of them, catching everything from sunfish to catfish to carp. Earlier the campsite had been a flurry of activity. A tasty meal of fish, potatoes and corn-on-the-cob was cooked over a campfire. Then the dishes were washed and put away and soon everyone was relaxing under the canopy of oak trees. The fire was burning down into a pile of crackling re-hot embers as we gathered around, content to sit and watch the fire after a long day of fishing.
Then my 6-year-old niece who never tired of fishing, wanted to go again. I decided to be the good aunt and go with her. I made the decision to take India along because she had been chained to a tree all day. India responded by leaping into the air and happily wagging her tail. Dogs were not allowed to run loose in the campground.
So my niece and I gathered up our fishing gear and headed for the nearest lake. It took all of my strength to keep India from running off and dragging me along, but soon I had her jogging at a more reasonable pace. India’s shiny black coat shimmered in the golden light, and her ears flapped in the evening breeze. Her tail whipped back and forth like a windshield wiper at full speed as she trudged along in front of me.
Up ahead the lake glittered with sky colors. The water rippled slightly in the refreshing breeze. Frogs and crickets were tuning up for their nighttime symphony. A fish wallowed in the lake. Tiny rings formed when it vanished below the surface of the water. They spread into larger and larger rings until they were no longer visible. A bird perched high in a maple tree across the lake chirped a merry tune that was echoed by another bird on the other side of the campground.
We picked out an inviting spot to fish and my niece cast out her line, eager to be the first one to get a bite. There was no tree to tie India to so I fitted the leash around my ankle and tossed out my fishing line.
Soon my bobber began to dance around. Then my niece’s bobber began to jiggle. Suddenly she screamed, “I got one!” She yanked the fish out of the water and held it up in the air. India’s whole body tensed. Her ears cocked forward and her tail stood straight up in the air like an exclamation point. Then she bolted down the bank, barking excitedly.
“Oh no,” I cried as my leg shot up in the air, I crashed on my backside and started sliding down the bank. “Stop, India!” I commanded as I frantically tried to remove the lease from around my leg. But India kept going, lugging me behind her. Halfway down the bank the leash snapped off of my leg, my tennis shoe sailed into the air and India scampered down to sniff the fish.
“Are you ok Aunt Rose?” my niece managed to ask as she shifted back and forth on the bank with her pole up high in the air, trying to keep the fish away from India. But India was keeping pace with her, hopping on her hind legs with her nose almost glued to the sunfish, even though it was flip-flopping around.
“I guess so,” I answered as I stood up and walked around to see if everything still worked all right, tears of laughter streaming down my face. I hunted for my tennis shoe and called to India who came bounding up the bank, her tail wagging all the way. “You are going back to camp,” I insisted as I gave her a big hug. “I think you have had enough fishing for one day!”
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