Sami and The Minnow Man – The Beginning
A long time ago, Indians lived by a lake north of the island river that led to the salt water. The water was so clear that it looked black. At night, when the moon’s rays spread across the dark surface, the lake appeared to be smiling. The Indians called it Happy Lake.
The lake had many fish. The Indians caught big largemouth bass and the great northern pike by using spears. The fish were so plentiful that sometimes the Indians trapped them in their hands. While their mothers prepared the fires, the Indian children then set about separating the meat from the small fish bones. A tasty meal would soon be ready.
Over time, the Indians left Happy Lake. Settlers moved in. Today, there are houses and boats and docks along the waterfront. Tourists come to fish, swim and go boating. The lake has changed, but Happy Lake is still beautiful, and many fish still swim her waters.
Loons distinctively sing their contentment as they drift on the surface searching for their next meal. Flocks of geese swoop down as ducks paddle by. Magical herons of varying shades stand erect and still in trees along the rocky shores. Moccasin snakes and snapping turtles busily work the waters as giant mountain frogs mingle in the lily pads. Beaver build their huts while woodpeckers drill the trees. Elegant black mink go about their harvesting as seagulls rest on the rocky shoals before darting away for nature’s scraps. Ever-watchful, gigantic osprey circle above, as Happy Lake quietly accommodates all her patrons.
When the water is still, the swirl of a big pike or the high rise of a black bass breaks through the calm. Happy Lake has smaller fish too. Sunfish, moonfish, colorful perch, whiskered catfish and frisky rock bass line the shallower waters cozying up to the docks.
Sami’s grandfather and grandmother live on an island on Happy Lake. One day, Sami’s grandmother, Dotie, gave him a floating vest and a big straw hat. Sami’s grandfather, Papa, took him down to the dock. Papa handed Sami a fishing rod with a gold reel. The gold reel quietly let the line out then neatly retrieved it back onto the spool. On the end of the line was a hook. Papa put a small piece of bread on the hook. “Now Sami, drop that bread into the water,” he said.
Sami lowered the line with the bread on the hook into the water. In a blink, several fish swept up and grabbed the bread from the hook. Sami stood for a minute, thinking about what had happened. He smiled, because now he understood, this was just the beginning.