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Spiders big catch - book-reviews

 

When I was in college, Spider McGee, Charlie Fox, and I loved to fish off the log boom in the river near my house on summer afternoons. We'd sit and talk about life, drink hot chocolate, and rarely catch a fish or two. But one day, Spider yelled, "Hey, I got something, and it feels big!"

Catching any fish-of any size-was continually a surprise, but hooking a little big was basis for actual excitement. As Spider began to reel, his pole bent about in half.

"This thing is a monster," he said, the drag on his reel screaming.

After twenty notes or so, he'd gotten it close adequate to the boom to get a foretaste of his catch. It was a snapping turtle.

"Ah, man, that's too bad," said Charlie. "I attention maybe you had Old Granddad there, for a second. Cut the line and let him go. "

"Are you crazy?" said Spider. "That lure was given to my dad by his grandfather. It was hand-carved in Norway-and he doesn't even know I on loan it! I gotta get it back. "

"Well, how're you gonna do that?" I asked-and was soon sorry I had.

"I'll just bring him up to the edge of the boom, and you guys reach out and grab it," Spider said calmly.

Now, I'm dumb, but I'm not stupid.

I said, "No, no, no-you bring him to the edge of the boom, and then I'll try to pry the lure loose with a stick. "

"OK, that'll work," said Spider.

As Spider struggled to bring the turtle close to the edge of the boom, Charlie handed me a long stick. I reached out, and the turtle's jaws instantaneously clamped down on the stick. I lifted him out of the water, and we headed en route for the bank.

Once on shore, we set the angry turtle on the ground, but he refused to let go of the stick, the lure still floppy from the back into a corner of his mouth. I reached out with my tennis shoe to nudge him in the back, and immediately erudite a number of attention-grabbing belongings about snapping turtles. First, they're not as slow as you might think, second, they're very agile, and third, they're well-named.

In a heartbeat, the turtle's neck shot out, reached absolutely at the back of him, and bit because of the end of my sneaker. Then, spitting out rubber and nylon, he crooked and looked at us menacingly.

"OK, we need a new plan," said Spider.

"And a new pair of shoes," I added, looking down at my big toe, which was now plainly detectable by means of the hole in my shoe.

"You hold his head down with the stick, and I'll reach out and grab the lure," Spider said.

It was an insane plan, but it was still a step in the right direction, I thought. At least, there wouldn't be any parts of my anatomy at risk this time. I took the stick and pinned the turtle's head to the argument while Spider got down on his belly and crept bit by bit about the angry, struggling turtle.

It was then I academic even more coaching about snapping turtles. First, their front feet can be used a lot like a pair of hands, and second, snapping turtles are much stronger than you might think.

The turtle reached up and abruptly short of the stick away and cursorily raised his head-now departure him face-to-face with a very bowled over Spider McGee.

The big guy screamed, which was doubtless the best thing to do at the time, since it caused the startled turtle to reach up with a front foot, pop the lure from its mouth, and then it whirl about and head back for the river.

While all that was going on, the lure leapt because of the air and at last came to rest-firmly stuck fast in Spider's left ear. He danced about in pain, but we after all managed to pin him down and cut the line from the lure. Then we packed up and burdened him into the car.

All the way home, Charlie and I would infrequently look back at poor Spider, session like a sad puppy in the back seat and bearing what looked like a giant hand-carved, bug-eyed earring. Then we'd look at each other-and laugh.

All that happened more than 30 years ago, and though Spider didn't know it at the time, he was a trendsetter. He was the first guy I ever knew to wear an earring, even if he'd had to get his ear pierced by a snapping turtle to do it.

I'm beautiful sure they have easier ways of doing that nowadays.

From the book Spider's Big Catch
Gary E. Anderson
www. abciowa. com

Gary E. Anderson. All civil liberties reserved.

About The Author

Gary Anderson is a self-employed writer, editor, ghostwriter, and script analyst, active on a small Iowa farm. He's in print more than 500 articles and four books. He's also ghosted a dozen books, reduced more than 30 full-length manuscripts, created seven newsletters, and has done more than 800 text reviews for a choice of publishers about the nation. If you need journalism or bowdlerization help, visit Gary's website at www. abciowa. com.

abciowa@alpinecom. net



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