Thursday, 2 September 2010

The one that got away 1

Arthur always swore there was a giant carp in the River Nidd. He swore he’d seen it frequently, looming just below the surface in secret locations. He swore he’d hooked it twice, but that it had snapped his line with a disdainful tug and cruised sturdily away. He swore that one day he’d land it and then all the walking sheep droppings who cast aspersions at him in the public bar of the Pately Arms would be forced to eat their words.

The public bar thought Arthur was, as ever, talking through the shiny seat of his moleskins. So when, one day, he produced a new reel for his battered old rod, with specialist line vaunting the tensile strength normally required on Marlin boats, they didn’t bother to conceal their reservations. They hooted with mirth. They slapped the bar and the dusty furnishings in their hilarity. They called him all kinds of names in arcane dialects from the primeval Dales.

Arthur did not stand still in the face of such concerted abuse; he finished his pint of tepid local ale and strode off to his appointment with destiny and his giant carp.

An hour or so later the public bar heard an uncanny and suddenly truncated wail. Those not paralysed by beer ran out of the pub and headed down the narrow lane to the river, only to fall silent at what they found on the riverbank.

Arthur’s tackle box and battered old fishing stool had been kicked over; his keep-net was bent and empty; his thermos leaked weak tea upon the mud. Two deep grooves ran down from the upturned stool into the Nidd’s silent waters, gouged out by the heels of Arthur’s ancient rubber boots.

“It’ll be Arthur playing silly buggers,” pronounced someone, and they returned to the bar.

1 comment:

No One In Particular said...

OMG, WHAT does it TAKE to PROVE some things? Trust. Not enough of it. I'll settle for gullibility.