Half a fish tale

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“Shh! Be quiet or you’ll scare the fish away.”

“Because fish can hear sounds outside the water.”

“Yes, Honey. So don’t thump boat.”

“I know she did.”

“You both did. That’s why I said to stop.”

“Fish can hear underwater.”

“No, not ears like ours.”

“Yes, Sweetie. That would look pretty silly.”

“They look like little holes up near the top of their head, slightly behind their eyes.”

“He’s too young to go fishing, so he stayed with Mommy. I thought it would be fun if it was just the three of us.”

“Well, he can’t swim, for one thing.”

“Yes, but life vests don’t keep you from causing trouble. I don’t want to have to watch three kids in a boat while we’re trying to catch fish.”

“Because trying to keep you from fighting at home is hard enough. I don’t want the added problem of water safety too.”

“Because it’s — honey, you got a bite!”

“Set the hook.”

“No, don’t put the pole down. Yank on it.”

“Harder.”

“Uh-oh.”

“Oh, no, no. It’s OK. No, it’s fine. Dry your eyes.”

“You did fine. That was great.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll catch one.”

“Because sometimes fish don’t get a good bite on the hook, so when you set the hook, it pulls out of his mouth.”

“No. We can’t keep them as pets.”

“We’re not catching goldfish.”

“Bass.”

“We’re not keeping them.”

“Because they’re too big to fit in the fish bowl.”

“They’re about 12 inches long and they weigh two pounds.”

“You eat them.”

“What do you mean, ‘yuck’?”

“You like fish.”

“Yes, you do. You like it when Mommy makes salmon, right?”

“Salmon are fish.”

“They are so!”

“I have an idea. Let’s — sweetie, you got a bite! Set the hook!”

“Great! Now reel him in.”

“I don’t know if he’s a boy fish. I call all fish ‘he’.”

“I don’t know. I just — keep cranking!”

“Wow, look at that one. Good job, Sweetie. OK, I’ll net him — uhh, her.”

“You take her off the hook. Do you have your needle nose pliers?”

“Good! Got your glove?”

“What do you mean, real fisherman don’t wear gloves?”

“Says who?”

“Oh, he did, did he? Well, you just tell Grandpa that he can just — hey, I got a bite!”

“Let’s reel this bad boy in here”

“No, honey. He’s not a bad boy. He’s just a fish.”

“Because my fish is a boy fish.”

“No, honey, not like Nemo.”

“No. We’re not eating Nemo.”

“Nemo is an ocean fish. Bass are lake fish.”

“Sweetie, I’m busy at the moment. Can you take your own fish off the hook?”

“What do you mean you did?”

“Already? Wow! That’s fast.”

“Here he comes. Almost there.”

“No. I don’t want the net.”

“I’ll just grab him.”

“All right, her. Where’s my glove?”

“What do you mean, ‘back there’?”

“Why didn’t you tell me you dropped it?”

“Never mind. I know a trick.”

“Here he com—dammit.”

“I know I shouldn’t. Don’t tell Mommy.”

“No, it’s not. It’s a wood fish.”

“Those aren’t leaves, they’re fins.”

“Fine. It’s a branch.”

“Yes. I know that’s not a fish.”

“It’s not that funny.”

“Lots of people catch branches.”

“Sure they do. I remember one time I caught a branch, and it was so big, I built a desk out of it.”

“No. Not really.”

“No, Honey. That wasn’t a lie. It’s a fish tale.”

“That’s when a fisherman exaggerates about the size of the fish he caught.”

“Because it’s not a lie.”

“Because it’s not.”

“It just — hey, honey, you got a bite! Set the hook. Yank on it like I showed you.”

“Good job. Keep reeling him in.”

“Sorry, ‘her.’”

“Sweetie, would you help your sister take the fish off the hook?”

“Please?”

“But you’re the one who dropped it back there.”

“But, but. . . fine. I’ll do it.”

“Let me get ahold — ewwwwww, it’s SLIMY!”

“You’d better remember this when you want your driver’s licenses.”

“What else should we talk about?”

“Uhh, you should ask Mommy about that.”

“Because that’s a conversation every Mommy should have with her daughters.”

“Because I don’t — oh, look, I got a bite.”

“Yes, I did.”

“What do you mean the pole’s not bending?”

“Well, it’s a super strong pole. It doesn’t bend that easily.”

“Shh! Don’t talk or you’ll scare the fish away.”

“Especially about that.”