Image via WikipediaOne of the benefits of being a fisherman was the fact that you knew how fresh the fish you were eating was.
Another benefit was that you could take home any type of fish you wanted, and any amount within reason.
So it was, when we had parties at the house I used to take home herring, prawns, and other white fish which made our parties very popular, with such good fresh fish dishes to be had. The other ingredients that make a party go with a swing were there too, but it was the prawn cocktails,(REAL FRESH PRAWNS, not the cardboard shrimps that supermarkets, and most eateries fob us off with now) pickled herring with new potatoes and butter, and the other dishes that I remember, not only because they made great eating, but also because I had to do all the cleaning of them before my wife cooked them. (fantastic fish suppers too if requested)
My wife at the time had a sister with two young daughters, one aged five, the other three.
One day at the fair they won a goldfish, which took pride of place in their home, sitting in a bowl at the centre of the table, where the girls would spend many a happy time watching it swim round and around.
The oldest girl Lorna, one day decided that it should have a bit more room to swim about in, so she emptied the bowl down the toilet, flushed the pan and ran to tell her mum of her generous deed, thinking the fish would end up in the sea.
She could not understand why her mum began to shout at her, when she was told of this deed, and even after it was explained to her that the fish was lost never to be retrieved, she was still unrepentant.
"It's all right mum" she said, patting her mum's back in a comforting way. "Uncle Donald will catch it and bring it back to us, he's a good fisherman."
Her mum could only smile, and I can only think it was seeing some of the fish I brought home that sparked the idea off in her mind.
I did for one minute think about buying a goldfish from a pet shop to replace it and confirm my nieces faith in my abilities as a fisherman, but then it crossed my mind that this might become a regular occurrence, and could cost me a pretty penny at the end of the day so I decided to spin her a yarn. (Me being a mean Scotsman ha ha.)
I told her that it had been cooped up in the goldfish bowl for so long, without seeing its mum and dad, that as soon as it entered the sea it swam away to find them, and one day while fishing I spied them swimming side by side happy to be together again.
"DID YOU Uncle Donald?" She asked, eyes agog.
Yes I replied, and your wee fish asked me to thank Lorna for sending it back to its mum and dad, then it wriggled its tail and swam away to join all the other goldfish in the sea.
Her reply left me quite stunned and speechless when she said, "Well we will have to rescue more fish from the fair,so they can join all the other goldfish in the sea."
Now how do you get out of that?