Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fishing with Granddad, Part 1: Saving Damsels

I took the picture to the left last summer in the mountains of North Carolina. This was not the lake in the story below and I can't find any digital pictures I have of a Sandhill lake.

Every summer, from the time I was twelve up till I started working at the age of sixteen, I spent at least two weeks with my grandparents. These lazy summer days were spent doing odd chores around their house and yard and going with my grandmother to visit relatives and old cemeteries where our ancestors were buried. My granddad would come in from work at 5 PM and my grandmother would have dinner ready so that as soon as we finished, the two of us could take off to a lake, a beaver dam or some farm pond where we’d fish till either a storm came up or the light had been drained from the sky. Then we’d go home and out back, under the porch light, we’d clean our catch, many of which my grandmother would fry up for us the next evening.

I have fond memories of fishing with my granddad. He allowed me a lot of independence which I valued, but probably had something to do with his belief that fish could hear you talking and him wanting to fish quietly. Once we got to the water, we’d often go in different directions. One evening we were fishing in rather large lake, downhill from a house that belonged to people my granddaddy knew. They were not home, so we drove around the house and my granddad parked his truck by the dam. With his fly rod, which is now one of my prize possessions, he fished one side of the lake while I crossed the dam and fished the other side using a spinning rod and a rebel, a top floating lure that when pulled fast will dive to about a foot under the surface and wiggle in a way that sometimes drove bass crazy.

After a few minutes of fishing this evening, I was startled to hear the muffled cry of a woman calling for help. I looked, but didn’t see anyone and was troubled because the voice seemed to come from behind my grandfather, up near the house, yet he didn’t seem fazed. The cry came again and I shouted at my grandfather, but he just waved and said its okay. It sure didn’t sound okay. When the cry came a third time, I knew someone was in trouble. I dropped my rod, made sure my Ka-bar knife was safely stowed in its sheath on my belt, and ran as fast as I could around the dam and up the hill, all the while yelling for my grandfather to join me. I couldn’t believe his hearing had gotten so bad, yet granddad didn’t bulge. “Come back here,” he said. But I kept running, with images of me saving some beautiful damsel in distress. I was also worried over what was wrong with my granddad and why he wasn't helping. I got up on top of the hill, near the house and started looking around frantically.

Instead of finding a woman in peril, I saw a peacock, its feathers displayed like the old NBC logo. I didn’t think anything about it, except that it was strange for peacocks are not native to the Sandhills of North Carolina. After a few minutes of not finding anything else unusual, I walked back down the hill toward my granddad. Right before I got to him, the cry came again. I turned around and saw the peacock up on top of the hill and heard my granddad laugh. Peacocks can make a cry that sounds a lot like a woman crying for help. Feeling a bit foolish, I went back to my fishing. I’d have to wait for another day to make my debut as the lone ranger.


  1. Humorous tale, Sage. Thanks for sharing.

    I always thought fish could hear you talk, as well. Or maybe that's just whales.

    I love to fish, but was known as the kid who always got his lures hung up in the dam or the brush.

  2. That is funny...Peacocks can be a bit aggressive too. I never get too close to one.
    It was my grandfather who actually taught me to fish as a little girl. He was very patient with us.

  3. Ah, I love that you were so hell bent to save her, Sage. You have the white-knight syndrome, don't you? Good for you!

  4. Or at least you once had the white-knight syndrome. Now you don't probably help any female because you assume it's another peacock. :-)

  5. Bone, I'm sure fish can hear the vibration from talking--if you're close

    Deanna, I'm glad that I wasn't assaulted by a peacock!

    Kenju, go ahead and spread that rumor about me being a white knight. Thanks.

    Murf, I could say something about being attracted to tail feathers...

  6. Did I ever mention what a great photographer you are? :o)

  7. OMG how funny! I can remember my Gran telling a story about a screaming peacock. Easy mistake to make, and it makes a great story for comic relief.

  8. No wonder! Your love for fishing is easily explained here. I did tell you before, I like that photograph.

    And this time you know who sent me here!

  9. Look at you being funny and witty.

  10. LOL! The first time I heard a peacock I thought it was a goose.

  11. Thanks Karen

    Kontan, what was it about Southerners to keep peacocks? I enjoy your Gram stories

    Gautami, is that because I'm hoping to make a debut as the Lone Ranger saving a damsel?

    Murf :)

    Mistress, a goose can also terrorize you! But they do have an exposed neck

  12. Excellent story and definitely not how I thought it would end. I had one of those diving lures at one time too that drove bass crazy. I lost it once when I hooked on a bigger bass than my line would hold.

  13. I had one of those lures, too, as a kid...most of the time the bass just watched it swim by before jumping outta the water and laughing at me...I was a very poor fisherman.