Young boys, even the pair of bookworms I raised, like to DO things.
These were city boys, being raised in an apartment. The rural and small town tempo of life that they found when they visited their grandparents was foreign to them.
The small village their grandparents retired to had one tourist attraction. A spring fed pond stocked with rainbow trout filled a prominent spot along Main Street. Depending upon the year it could also be the home base for several pair of Mallards. We always walked down to “the pond” at least once during a stay with the grandparents.
One year as we walked around the pond admiring the number and size of the fish my oldest stopped, knelt down on the concrete curb, and put his hand in the water.
“What are you doing?”
“I want to touch one.”
I suspect I laughed at him. He was old enough and timid about falling in so that was not my concern. Pet a fish? I’d certainly never had the urge.
As we continued our circle he paused several times to repeat his effort. His younger brother and I looked at and talked of other things. It was a pleasant day. He wasn’t hurting anything.
Suddenly he jerked back and a fish jumped close. “I touched him.” Now tell me, who was more surprised? The boy or the fish?
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