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idioms...sayings understood by native speakers part twenty six
Charlie trailed after Carl and Rick as they headed towards the lake with fishing gear in hand.
Jenny went to the bathroom, then gingerly limped out to the kitchen. A covered casserole dish with biscuits, fresh fruit and the smell of fresh coffee awaited her. She leaned over and read the note on top of the dish. "Gone Fishing." was all it said.
"With Charlie?" she paused. "Now that should be interesting." She looked up finding Jenny running into the living room.
"He went fishing with Carl and Rick."
"Fishing? Charlie?" Lynn's voice was incredulous.
"Come on. He's got two big strong men looking after him. Let's eat. This stuff smells really delicious." As she lifted the lid to the casserole and sniffed.
"So we are not using the boat?" Carl inquired, noting the sand chairs Rick carried.
"Nope." He said. "Charlie, this is your first time fishing, isn't it?"
"Charlie wants to fish."
Rick looked at Carl. "No Boat." As he sat the gear down and started to set up.
"Charlie, the best thing about fishing is that it makes people think you are doing something when you are not." Rick said.
"Have a seat." He pulled out his mom's old cane pole and baited it with some dough. He handed it to Charlie. "Hold this, Kay?"
Charlie held on tightly to his pole as he watched Rick bait his line with a live worm.
"euwwwwy" Came the comment from Charlie.
"One thing about fishing is to know what fish like to eat, Charlie."
"So some fish like to eat worms."
"Yup. and others like what is on your pole."
Carl plopped down in the third chair, stretching and soon felt a pole in his hand.
"I thought I was just along for the ride."
Rick arched the eyebrow.
"Okay, okay. Bait my hook."
Same look came from Rick.
"Fine, then. I'll just use some of that dough stuff."
Rick demonstrated how to cast to Charlie as he told him how to throw his line and not hook anyone behind him.
Charlie slipped a little on the first attempt, but giggled as he heard the plop from the line hitting the water.
"Good for a first try." As Rick steadied him, holding his pole while he sat in the chair.
"now what?" Charlie asked anxiously.
"We wait." Rick trolled his line a little, locked the reel. "We wait and contemplate life."
Charlie watched Rick lean back and watch the lake.
Charlie watched his cork bobber floating in the water. "Wick?"
"Why is the brown thing floating?"
"Ah, well that works like a bobber." seeing Charlie's confused face, he tried again. "It floats in the water because it is not very heavy. When a fish starts to nibble at the bait, your bobber will bounce and then you know a fish is interested in taking the bait..." Rick trailed off watching Charlie's face.
Rick jumped up. "Charlie, pull you pole back. Pull it hard."
The boy jerked the fish with all his might and a huge fish went sailing over both their heads.
Carl started laughing, "Must be beginner's luck."
Charlie was startled. He dropped the pole and came over to where Rick was holding the fish up.
"What are you going to do with the fish?" As he watched the fish struggle against the line.
"Bud, we are going to have this guy for dinner. Why?"
"Oh. It looks hurt."
Carl now raised his eyebrow.
Rick looked at the fish and sighed. "We can throw it back, Charlie. But you are right, it is hurt. It will die."
"So it is better if we eat it than let it go to waste, right?"
Charlie frowned and went back to his chair and sat. Carl brought up a bucket filled with lake water. "it is almost like Bambi's mom all over again."
"Shut up. The boy needs to learn."
"It is okay. I have an idea," he grinned at his cousin, "I've got this covered."
"Fine." As Rick removed the hook and set the bait, he offered it to Charlie.
"No. Charlie just wants to watch."
The day wore on and at noon, the three men gathered their equipment up. Rick carried the bucket with two yellow and three white perch up towards the house. Carl followed him. "Are you gonna clean them around back?"
"Like always, why?"
"Let me have about thirty minutes. I want to teach Charlie some Indian folklore."
"You know, that is not a bad idea. I knew I kept you around for something."
Carl grinned and set about for the ceremony. The one he remembered from his boy scout days.
Lynn hearing footsteps out on the porch, opened the door.
"Charlie! I hope you had fun fishing with the guys."
Charlie entered the living room and sat on the couch, rocking.
Lynn looked up at Rick who followed behind him.
"He did great. He caught the biggest one."
"Really? So it looks like we will have dinner tonight."
"Fishy." Charlie mumbled. "Fishy will be like ma."
Lynn narrowed her eyes with concern. "Charlie?"
Rick motioned her to follow. He sighed as he leaned against the porch rail.
"He doesn't understand."
"Why would he?" Lynn, leaning against the same rail with her arms crossed. "Rick, I don't know what to say. I think maybe this is too hard."
"You have always protected your brother. Haven't you?"
"Charlie needs protection."
Rick nodded and sighed. "I know he has some limited capacities. But, Lynn, he is twenty something years old. Don't you think maybe he should experience life a little more."
"Rick... Charlie is my responsibiltiy. As far as I know, he is not one of your employees to be manipulated or..." sounding testy, she stopped.
"Ha. Manipulation would imply a hidden agenda, right?" As he turned to place his hands on the rail.
"That is not what"
"You're right, Lynn. My agenda was to go fishing. Now if you excuse me, I need to clean the five fish I killed, so I can feed my guests that I manipulated to share my weekend." He walked away.
Lynn watched the man head into the house.
"Well, I guess that went well." Jenny stated as she came up beside her friend. "Trouble in paradise already?"
"I don't even know if we just had a fight.." Lynn turned and looked out at the front yard.
"He is right, in a way. But so are you." Jenny smiled. "How is that for being a referee?"
"Thanks. You have been a big help." Lynn stated sarcasticly.
Jenny just shrugged and elbowed her slightly as she slid closer. "Always glad to be of service." giggling.
"no, you stop it."
"You both stop it." came a male voice. As two startled girls turned, Carl asked, "Jenny, can I borrow that red lipstick of yours?"
Carl shook his head. "Come on, shake a leg, I don't have much time."
"Ah, er, Okay." Jenny gave Lynn a questioning glance, and followed Carl into the house.
Rick emerged with his cleaning gear. He stiffly asked Lynn, "Have you seen Charlie?"
"No, he was in the house."
"Follow me, I think I know where he is."
The two hurriedly went around to the back of the house. There was Charlie kneeling over the bucket of fish, just watching them. Rick put his cleaning kit beside the steps of the deck. He and Lynn slowly approached Charlie.
"CHARLIE", Carl stoically spoke out. As he walked down the stairs of the deck, "It is time to honor the fish spirit."
Rick and Lynn turned to watch a familiar looking man with sandy hair, a brown towel draped over one shoulder tied under his left arm with another towel wrapped around his middle with Rick's old brown corduroy house slippers. As he approached and they could see his face more clearly, red lines were on both cheeks and one across his forehead, Lynn gave Rick a sideways glance with a quizzical look on her face.
Rick just shrugged, "I had an idea, but the reality is beyond all words."
"Lii Li is that Carl?"
"I think so." she muttered, and then realized what she said. "yes, Charlie. It is."
"How come he looks like that, Wick?"
"Oh, I think we will find out if we are just a little more patient."
to be continued...