On the banks of Kissimmee, under cypress shade and resting on knees, sits a dock. It lies in a cove on the shallows, but near to "Two Braves Deep", where on the bottom many old trees sleep.
"Talisa, I need some more bait."
"Wait Hasse Ola, I have a nibble on my line."
"Fine, I'll get it myself," he says as he pulls his feet up onto the dock, and makes his way over to the pail.
Talisa snatches up the slack on her hand line to set the hook.
"That's good, Hasse Ola, because I'm tied up with another fish right now, and besides it's better to let the catchers catch and the gatherers get the bait."
Hasse Ola smiled, but with a hint of frustration replied, "someone must of told you, you were funny once. I am looking for a big fish."
He stood over the bait pail still a bit hesitant to reach in.
"Oh just grab a piece; it's not going to bite you."
Talisa's father had given them some sun ripened tripe for bait, in the hopes of catfish for dinner.
Hasse closed his eyes and reached into the pail.
"You see, it's the perfect bait for the whiskered ones,' Talisa said as she poked the piece in his hand, causing some of its contents to spill out. ' It is its own little bag filled with goodies to delight the fish."
"Stop it,' Hasse Ola replied with a green face and a full throat,' you know I don't like the way it smells. Why can't you be more like normal girls?"
"What's a normal girl," Talisa asked?
"You know,' he answered as he pressed his hook through the piece of tripe,' they pick flowers and make dolls. They don't play with grubs and pig intestines."
"I think you're just mad because a girl is catching most of the fish, but we could pick flowers if you'd rather?"
"No", he answered, but in all honesty, he would pick flowers, weave baskets and play with dolls if it meant getting to spend time with Talisa. He just couldn't tell her that.
- Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
I don't think fishing, exploring, hunting or any other outdoor activities should be looked at as "boy only" endeavors. I am so excited to have two little girls to share these things with, and I hope every parent exposes their children to the wonders of nature.