for the moment 3

Night Crawlers
I've never been afraid of the dark. When my cousin wanted to fish at sundown I said, "sure that's no problem for me." He'd found a great looking spot down off the main dirt road. His only concern was that his night crawlers were going to die before he could get a line in the water. They'd seemed much more active that morning.

Itching to go, he, his wife and I all scrambled off to the bank with our fishing paraphernalia entertaining our thoughts of high hopes to land the big one. We'd been camping in the Allegheny Nat'l Forest of Pennsylvania for almost 5 days and no one had gotten so much as a good bite yet.

Once I got near the water's edge, my crutches began to sink and get stuck in the thick yucky mud, so I had to go back to the suburban. My cousin came back with me to assist in the comfort setup. (She wasn't too interested in fishing along that muddy bank with bugs everywhere anyway.)

We'd just put the tailgate down, opened up all the windows, and popped the tops on our Dr.Peppers when we noticed the frog choir beginning. There were several with voices resembling moaning, whining, announcing, and one deep grandpa bass. We had the flashlight and were keeping a watchful eye on the fishing, commencing about 10 yards in front of us, just in case he wanted something.

Well all was fine for about 15 minutes, and then he signaled he wanted the flashlight. We had noticed that all the frogs would stop singing suddenly, having their songs replaced with a crunching movement sound in the forest. Our eyes followed the light from the flashlight as it would quickly shine back and forth over into the forest, but we never saw anything. After this repeated several times over the course of 2 minutes, he jumped up, reeled in his line and began to pack up his stuff. In the meantime, we had locked all the doors, raised all the windows, and closed the tailgate. As he was tossing his equipment into the suburban, I watched the forest as I whispered, "Big Foot's out there." He replied, "I know."

We drove back to the camp and decided fishing would be much better in the mornings when the night crawlers were more active.

by snowhawk August 7, 1997


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