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Reeling ’em in

September 7, 2013 by Diane

“Nice fishing rod you’ve got there.”

“This? Oh, it’s  just your average rod. Belonged to my father. But I’ll let you in on a secret. It reels in the most amazing things. Wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, though. Pull up a rock and try your own hand.”

“Anything biting?”

“Oh, yes. Plenty of bites.”

“Have you reeled in any Ants?”

“What’s that?’

“Automatic Negative Thoughts. You know, Ants.”

“Oh sure sure. Don’t hold much stock in them. We call them Nats around here. Negative Automatic Thoughts. This sinkhole was full of ‘em. My father snagged ’em all the time. Had my fill growing up.”

“Any left?”

“Oh, I reel one in now and then. Caught a whopper just yesterday.”

“How big?”

“Well, have you ever seen: I’m a failure?”

“As a matter of fact I caught one myself not too long ago. Gave me the worst heartburn. Couldn’t sleep for a week.”

“This was bigger.”

“No kidding.”

“Nothing to kid about this one. Took a lot of muscle reeling it in.”

“What was it?”

Nobody loves me.

“That is a biggie.”

“The week before that: Nothing works out for me.”

“Holy mackerel. I haven’t seen one of those in I don’t know how long. With any luck I’ll hook one myself.”

“I don’t think luck has anything to do with it.”

“Whatever you call it, as long as I’ve got something to chew on for a good long…holy smokes, looks like I’ve got something here. I’ve got something! And it’s a biggie.”

“Careful now.”

“This one’s a monster! It’s about to rip my shoulder off!”


“It’s gonna snap my rod in two! Come to Papa.”

“You’ve almost got it.”

“Come to Papa, come to…Got it! Got it! Wow. Will you look at the size of that sucker! Jimminy crickets. Will you look at the size of that thing?”

“It’s a monster, all right.”

“Unhook it, will ya? Unhook it before it gets away!”

“You’ve caught yourself a real humdinger.”

“What is it? What is it?”

I’ll be alone forever.

“Holy cow. That is a humdinger. Where’s my bucket. Where did I put that thing? Here, toss it in here, toss it….Hey! What are you doing? You don’t have to take a hammer to it. What are you doing?”

“Throwing it back.”

“Why’d you do that!”

“It’s no good.”

“Are you nuts?”

“Don’t worry, it won’t be bobbing up anytime soon. I shoved some rocks down its gullet. Wouldn’t want anyone else catching it.”

“You are nuts!”

“You should be thanking me! Do you know what happens when you eat one of those? You won’t be able to pull yourself out of bed for a month. You should be thanking me! I saved you a month of misery. Doggonit, I thought I’d seen the last of them. Usually when I catch one, I bury it under that Cottonwood.”

“You bury it?”

“Along with all the other Nats I reel in. But I was afraid you’d dig it up.”

“What do you expect folks to feed on? A man’s gotta eat.”

“Here, take this. I’ve got plenty in my bucket.”

“That? Doesn’t look much bigger than a snack.”

“Oh it’ll keep you satisfied for a good long while.”

“What is it?”

You can’t predict the future, things have a way of working out.”

“Sounds like a mouthful.”

“It is, it is. And I’ll wager that if you bait up again, and keep at, it you’ll catch one of those rare finds:  Just because I think it, doesn’t mean it’s true.

“No kidding.”

“No sir. Catch one of those and it’ll last you a week.”

“A week? Boy would that put a smile on the wife’s face.”

“I guarantee it.”

“Well, if you say so.”

“What’s your name, by the way?”


“Glad to meet you, Joe. I’m Bert. Pull up a rock.”





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