BROOKIE

Anglers Journal - - CONTENTS -

The short life of a brook trout is con­tem­plated af­ter it was eaten for din­ner. Trout are a dime a dozen, said the chil­dren, who caught the wild fish. By TOM AB­SHER

It’s my night for dishes so ev­ery­one has left the kitchen. There on the cut­ting board the head of a brook trout we had for sup­per. A brookie to the kids who caught it. I look at the face, the dour fish face with its flat eye. At the ta­ble we talked about eat­ing an­i­mals. The chil­dren won’t eat veni­son — Deer are spir­i­tual. Trout are a dime a dozen. I know what they mean, but while I ate I kept think­ing about the fish, its life­time in the lake, how it trav­elled all day through lay­ers of color down into shad­owed zones of boul­ders and sunken logs. About its be­ing drawn to sun­light pol­ish­ing the wa­ter’s sur­face, bril­liant, a fish’s heaven.

Hold­ing its body per­fectly still in a cold cur­rent feed­ing the lake, watch­ing with those eyes that never close, how like a god it must have felt in that sliver of flesh which was its heart.

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