Jamie awoke early on Christmas Eve and looked out of his bedroom window,the snow was still laying in the valley that covered his Farthers farm.He thought I'll have a couple of hours Chub fishing before coming back home to enjoy the festivities.
He dressed and went down into the kitchen and grabbed a crusty fresh loaf that his Mother had recently baked. Shouldered his tackle and stepped out the back door.The cold took his breath away,but once he started off to the river he knew he would soon warm up.
His Farther was working and called out "No later than three o'clock OK son"."Yes Dad" replied Jamie and he was off across the farm land and down to the river.It looked cold and totally uninviting from an anglers perspective.Enough to chill even the most keen of fisherman.
Where will the fish be today he thought ?He walked the river and settled in swim that had an old Willow tree with it's bent limbs trailing in the water.That is where the Chub would be today he thought.He put in two small balls of liquidized bread and tackled up.
He cast out a large lump of crust that settled on the rivers crease.Time went very quickly as it always does when your fishing and no action had been forthcoming.He was now getting cold and decided on one last cast.Putting on a large lump of crust,the bait landed softly and fluttered under the Willow tree branches.
Jamie did not have time sit back,and the tip pulled around.He struck and was into a good fish,he could feel the line grating on the underwater roots.But slowly he was winning the battle,a little like the Old Man and the Sea.Ready for netting then.........."Oh Christ" for Jamie had forgotten his landing net in the haste to get on the river.
He then heard a voice"Need a hand young man ?"Jamie turned to see another angler behind him."Yes please" he stammered. The older angler used his net and the mighty Chub was swept into the safety of the mesh first time.
"Wow" they both said in unison.Jamie weighed this leviathan and it went an ounce over 5lbs.A new personnel best.He then set up his camera for a celebratory photo,and wanted the other angler in it also,as in Jamie's eyes it was his too.Photo's taken and Jamie packed up quickly as it was soon time to be home.
The two anglers walked across the meadow chatting as anglers do like life long friends,and when they arrived at the farm gate,Jamie thanked the angler for his help and bid him farewell.He raced inside and regaled his parents of his days angling and his new found friend.
"Now son" said his Farther."Not a soul has crossed our land today"."It's true" said Jamie and he raced up the stairs to print out the photo of his prize.His parents put it all down to youthful exuberance and the excitement of Christmas.
Jamie came running back down to his parents,holding his prize aloft.His parents were dumb struck.For as well as Jamie and the Chub,also in the photo was Jamie's late Grandfather.They all raced outside and looked longingly down the lane,but of course there was not a sight nor sound to be heard.
"Let's get back inside as it's cold" said Jamie's Farther.Jamie looked back down the lane and shouted"Merry Christmas Granddad" and on the breeze as the snow began anew came very softly"And to you dear boy and to you".