A Place Called Sarenity; Catchin' Minnies With Doc and Chuck
|Sarenity had a good place for catching minnows|
and Doc knew just how to do it.
A highway overpass, railroad tracks and a creek bordered the Westside of Serenity. After crossing beneath the tracks and the overpass the creek it snakes its way through Shawnee Township before finding the Ottawa River.
The creek is full of crawdads, turtles, frogs, snakes, and small fish. It is lined with lush trees; willows, oaks, elm, and maples. At certain places they meet over the creek in the middle like prayerful hands.
Chuck, Doc, and Dickie walked across the railroad tracks and down to the creek that ran beside it. They carried a minnow seining net and a bait bucket.
There was a gentle quiet flow to the creek. It was clear and cool.
They stopped at the bank and sat.
“Take off yer shoes and socks, boy,” Doc said.
Dickie removed his shoes and socks as did Chuck and Doc.
“Roll dem pant legs up, boy,” Doc said. “Looky how Chuck’s a doin’ it.”
Dickie watched Chuck roll his pant legs and imitated him. When Chuck was done he helped Dickie finish.
They inched into the stream.
“That’s cold!” Dickie said.
“You’ll get used to it, boy,” Doc smiled broadly exposing a mouth of tobacco stained teeth.
When they got to the middle of the stream, water was beyond Dickie’s knees.
“Keep goin’, boy, dem cloths will dry out in no time,” Doc said. “Down dar,” he said motioning with his head to a place where the sun broke between the trees and reflected from the water. “There’s minnies, dar. Right in front of the cattails. I can see ‘em. Now let’s move slow. Let’s not scare ‘em away.”
The seining net spanned two wooden poles. Doc handed one pole to Chuck. Chuck moved away as if he was reading Doc's thoughts until the net was completely stretched.
“Here, boy,” Doc said. “Ya grab hold of dis pole and put it under the water just like Chuck is doin’.”
Dickie watched Chuck. Doc helped Dickie by steadying his pole.
“Now nice and easy,” Doc said. “We gonna get some minnies.”
Together Chuck and Dickie, with Doc’s help, lowered the net gently and moved slowly into a school of minnows.
“Now,” Doc said quietly. “Bring it up nice ’n’ easy.”
The net emerged from the water with what seem like hundreds of minnows shimmering in the sun and squiggling with excitement.
“We caught ‘em Doc!” Dickie said. “We caught us some minnies.”
Chuck giggled like an oaf.
“Let me hold the pole,” Doc said to Dickie. “And go fetch the minnie bucket.”
Dickie splached back to the bank and grabbed the bucket. “We gonna put ‘em in here, Doc?”
“Ya hold ‘er steady,” Doc said. “’nd let Chuck and me dump ‘em in.”
Dickie watched excitedly as the minnows poured into the bucket.
“We gonna get one more net full ‘fore we go back home,” Doc said.
Chuck and Dock let down the net again and swirled around for a few moments.
“Ya think dar’s enough in there, Son?” Doc said to Chuck.
“Feels like there’s a mess, Pa,” Chuck said.
“Then let’s bring ‘em up,” Doc said.
There was much more than the first net full; maybe three times more.
“Look at ‘em minnies,” Doc said. “They have no idea what’s a comin’ dar way.”