Fishing for fun
To little Boris, the frozen lake seems endless. His walking efficiency was hampered by his short legs, and the heavy drill he was dragging alongside him. It felt like every step he took moved him no closer to his destination. Boris had completed this journey many times before, and he knew where the fish were and where the ice was thin. The trees stood on the banks; their branches bare. Their leaves lay on the ground, stripped of nutrients, and left for dead by the trees who had deemed them useless. The snow on the surface of the lake crunched under Boris’ feet as he walked, and the cold snap of the air hit his face and pierced through his threadbare clothes. Boris, along with his cat Lev (meaning lion, given for his striking similarities to the wild cat) came here every day — Boris for fun, Lev for the fresh fish. There is a log in the middle of the lake — which Boris’ mother cut and moved for him — where he sits, right in front of his favourite hole. Boris’ only toy is his fishing rod, which his grandfather made for him before he died. Sometimes he wishes that his grandfather were here, to help him carry the big drill, and to comfort his grandmother, who Boris knows is feeling lonely. Wiping the log free of ice, he pulled the drill over to the re-frozen hole and stood it upright on the tip. The drill towered over Boris, and he had to raise his hands above his head and stand on his toes to reach the top. Twisting the drill, Boris struggled to break through the thin layer of ice that had formed over the hole. It was hard work, but he was determined to bring back a fish for his grandmother’s dinner tonight. Letting the drill fall, he sat on the log and put his rod in the water. Lev went over to the bank to chase rabbits, with Boris watching him carefully. Whenever Lev got too close to a rabbit, Boris called out so Lev would look at him, allowing the rabbit to escape. Boris was worried for the rabbits, because he though they needed to take care of their grandparent rabbits who would die without them. Then, Boris felt something on his rod. He knew that the fish weren’t on yet, and he needed to wait for the third bite. The tip of the rod jolted again, signalling a second bite. On the third bite, Boris yanked the rod up, hooking the top of the fish’s lip. Boris felt elated, a feeling he only got from fishing. Lev had sensed he had caught something, and went up to Boris, pawing his legs and begging. Boris gave the fish to Lev, who began munching on it contentedly. Now that Boris had caught one fish, he felt he would catch many more before the day’s end.