Menagerie of False Truths: GrasshopperMay 25, 2011
Jack had the windscreen wipers on all the way from Hardy’s bach, where he had stayed the night before, to the pub. He wasn’t sure that Cherry would be at the Moana Hotel. She’d better be after all the trouble he’d gone to.
He opened the door. There she was. He walked past the other patrons, all of whom were gathered around the pool table, and sat on a stool beside her at the bar. ‘Hello,’ he said.
‘Well, why do you fish?’
Jack smiled. He had guessed that this was how Cherry would greet him, and he had already figured out an answer, a suitably detailed one that would surely make her change the subject pretty quickly.
Image Credit: inseasonflyfishing
‘The impetus to hunt satisfies many more complex needs than the basic necessity to eat, just as making love is about much more than procreation. I fish for the opportunity to interact with nature. For the exploring, hunting, finding, collecting, obsessing. It helps me maintain an awareness of my place in space, to love animals, plants, landscapes and waterways. I savour the complete absense of modern technological gadgets —‘
‘You must take a cell phone into the bush in case of emergencies, surely?’
‘Not on your life.’
‘What if you had an accident?’ she pressed.
‘I’ve had a few, particularly when rafting and wading fast rivers. You know, I never thought I’d get to be forty. I gambled and won. If I die tomorrow, I will still have packed more into my life than I ever hoped in my wildest dreams. Every day from here on in feels like a bonus. If anything, I want to push the boundaries further. I love the risk inherent in the fact that rafting, wading and tramping are not safe or secure, contrived or predictable, especially when I do them alone. When I fish hard, I feel as wild as a wolf.’
Image and Article: Men Who Fish With The Wolves
~ extract from Menagerie of False Truths by Greg French, author of the much-loved Frog Call, who grew up in a family that embraced the whole spectrum of autism disorders, and everyone had to do whatever it took to preserve their sanity.
Greg is well known in Australasian fly-fishing and bushwalking circles.