CC Issue 48 / Literature

Bell Sinker and Hook


I’m a sturgeon, not a surgeon. The “T” isn’t a mistake. I’m sure you’d prefer me to be a surgeon. I’d cut out anything dangerous and wouldn’t that be convenient for you?

But no.

And I’m not the leviathan either as some humans have supposed. I am a sturgeon dragging my four barbels along the river bottom. It’s this four-organ mustache, ever feeling and tickling, that detects my prey.

Lately I’ve been eating snails.

I’ve been fooled twice in my lifetime, pulled to the surface by bell sinker and hook. The first time it was the scent of rotten pork that proved irresistible,something I’d never smelledbefore. That’s what they do, those tricky humans. They tempt with bait.

I know almost immediately when I’ve been fooled. I feel the sharp metal gouge and catch, then I ascend one brief pull at a time. That horrid thirty pound test line refuses to break. The only thing I want is to dislodge the hook but my fins and precious mustache fail me and up I go until I glimpse the nine foot rod, feel the strange vibrations, the air upon me, bell sinker glinting in the sunlight.

Three humans surround me. One of them dislodges the hook, they wrap their arms around me and engage in all kinds of odd behavior.

That first time it happened I thought I was a goner. It turns out they take pleasure in letting me go.

You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson, but the same thing happened again ten years later with rotten chicken.

Next time I’ll know better, right?

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