Fictionalized account from my childhood fishing spot, a rough sketch,—
The eel looked like it was floating. We had never seen one up close, so close. Neither of us wanted to take it off the line so Mike started banging it against the side of the concrete dam. I felt bad for the eel, but started laughing because he looked like a maniac. I couldn’t help it.
A window in old mill opened above us and an old guy with a beard stuck is head out.
“knock it off!
“that’s what we’re trying!”
He shut the window and a minute later he came out his front door tucking his shirt in.
“Don’t kill it.. Let me help you” He ran over the lip of the dam, and grabbed the eel, held it slithering in his hands. He started whispering to it and us. It can’t hurt you, it isn’t a snake. “Look, its beautiful”– and then he told us all about eels and how they mate out in the middle of Atlantic somewhere. Somewhere no one even knows about, and how this eel swam thousands of miles. We could tell he really loved eels.
“Well this one is dying so we might as well cook it up. You want to try some?” Neither of us had the guts to say no, now that we’d killed it. “You keep fishing I’ll yell when its ready.”