“Hey, it’s your fish, Mazie. C’mon. Got yourself a whopper. Let’s bring her home.”
It’s as if her pride were at stake — retribution for all the insolence she received from her brothers. The fish was a fighter. So was she.
After much trepidation and reeling, she saw the large-mouth bass approach the boat. The more it flipped, the more it flopped.
With one fell swoop, I grabbed it with the net and hauled it aboard. Mazie kept her distance from the behemoth, thinking it might suddenly swallow her whole. Over the side it splashed, waiting to be displayed and ceremoniously photographed.
The boys were waiting with an impetuous grin. Their sister had failed to meet their mettle this one time. No crown was to be shared this day.
“I caught a fish — a big bass,” came a velvety voice from the boat. “Bigger than you caught.”
On this day, Mazie Grace was “Amazing Grace.” She caught her big fish and upstaged her brothers. Moments like these are meant to be preserved forever.
Writer and photographer Tom Vartabedian is retired from The Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.