Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Trout Whisperer

I fed the fish today, as I love to do. But today was different, because the lake I go to has just recently been stocked full of trout for the upcoming "Trout Derby", held each year at the park.

With messed up scraggly hair, a five o'clock shadow, and my leather coat, I had only been off work for little over an hour, and needed to wind down. My cheeks were even more flushed than usual from a day of stress, working with the wonderful people we call the public. What better way to end such a day than with a walk to the park?

I felt like a kid again, taking a handful of saltines and crumbling them into the glassy water. I saw myself, now twenty-one, and so much more serious, in the reflection of the water.

Suddenly, the water began to churn, and a variety of trout twisted and writhed into a feeding frenzy. Some of the trout were dark with white spots, and orangish fins -- those were brook trout. Then there were the lighter green ones, with black dots and a pink stripe down the side -- the famous rainbow trout. And then of course, were the olivey brown trout...even called "brown trout", who were less frequent than the latter two.

At that point, as I sat on the concrete wall that surrounds part of the pond, and placed my finger gently on the surface of the water, imitating a piece of cracker.

The trout began swarming around my finger, nippling with tiny hooked teeth. They showed little fear of me, typical of hatchery fish. One individual swam right over my palm.

As the larger trout began intermingling with these smaller ones, I was quick to withdraw my finger from the cold water, for fear a nibble would turn into a chomp.

Peace and love to all.