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Ronan's report

Friday 23rd September, 2011

During all this chaos, of moving, job hunting, renting out our old home, packing and unpacking. I and my son Trevor, went hunting for Elk again, and this took me back to one of those Fish Fairy times.

I remember it was about a year after She died, that I was told that my father was back in town and wanted to take me fishing, I was supposed to go with my Grandfather, his father, but Grampy had a Tire Shop Emergency. Now normally you would think a kid would be happy to go fishing with his father, but and there is always a but, my father had left Mom and I when I was 3 months old. He went to the states and out to the western Provinces to play cowboy, I had heard my Grandmother say this to other old ladies in hushed tones. This would be the first time in my memory we had spent any time together, other then those first three months. The day came and I was ready and sitting on the door step, waiting I did not really know how late he was, just that my Grandmother, check on me a couple of times, and said “he will be here soon”. he did arrive and I climbed into his truck that smelled of Skoal, sweat, oil and maybe Pepsi, we traveled a little out of the city, but not in a direction I had been before, it was not long before we pulled into dirt parking lot, that had overgrown willows for a back drop, nothing like the neat little brook behind Gramps Cabin. he reached in the back of the truck and pulled out two fishing rods, heavy fiberglass jobs, with spinning reels, I am sure that he could tell by the look on my face that I had no idea how to use it, he showed me how to flip the bail and flick the wrist to send the “spinner” across the dirty parking lot. he said he get some bait at the bank side, and after tearing up some roots and turning over some large rocks he stuck a worm on the bait hook, and lead the way to the stream.

The bank was littered with worm cans, beer bottles, and garbage, the edge of the stream was a slick of mud, we went up stream, I struggled to keep up with him, he said here should be good, and started fishing, I looked around and could not tell any difference from where we started, I tried to do it like he said and could only get some line out and then a tangle, at the reel and the end of the rod, I sat down and tried to pick it out, looking up stream I could see him dunking and flipping his spinner into the stream and moving further away. I am sure by then I was crying, I am not sure how long they were standing there or how long that buzzing was in my ears, but when I saw them I had a feeling of safeness, She said “she was sorry “ I asked what for, “for the stream” she said. He came forward and said that “he does not understand and that he never did” I looked at Him and He continued “your Father never understood and that it was not my fault”, She was looking at the stream and then back at me, She said “ your Mother loved him, but it was not enough, you did nothing wrong” I asked if he knew about them, they both smiled, and He said “at one time maybe, but not now, and never again, it is his failing” I asked what I could do, He said “nothing, you will be alright” She said “do better then he” at this He looked at Her with a pained look and gave her a hug, and a light touch on the cheek. He looked at me and said “he returns”, He had a slight pause and then said “with your own young, Please do better”

I could hear my father returning, it was not like my Grandfathers light easy step when moving along the stream, it was almost like he was angry at the stream, when he got to me, he threw the candy bar wrapper into the water, and then put some “chew” in his mouth, and said “there is no fish here, lets go I will take you home”. he grabbed the spinning rod from me and headed back down stream, grumbling I am sure about the tangled line and wasted money for the trip.

I looked at my son, this past week as we hunted and I know I have done “better” we had just spent two days slowly tracking these elk, I had passed every little bit of tracking and hunting knowledge on to my son, (he is the only one of the three into hunting) and at the end of the last day, with a smile and a hug he said “thanks it was fun”

We still have a month in Elk season, so there is still hope. As long as I remember who I am and where I have been , even in all this chaos I will not let Her, or Them down.

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