Chebar sometimes wished he was less competitive and aggressive in trying to outdo his neighbors, and those times generally occurred when he’d failed at his goal. One day he saw his neighbor return from a day on the sea with a fish near as big as he was and knew he had to catch a bigger one.
Chebar asked what the secret was to catching such a humongous fish, and his neighbor replied, “The bigger the bait, the bigger the catch.” Chebar took this advice to heart.
He went down to the market and purchased a goat for his bait. For a hook, he took his pitchfork to the blacksmith, who heated and bent the three tines into sharp hooks. Chebar tied a lengthy piece of braided rope onto the treble hook and then wound it onto a hand-cranked drum, which he affixed to his boat frame. Chebar used a millstone as a weight to sink his big bait, the dead goat, to the bottom of the sea.
Chebar spent the better part of two weeks, time and pay, preparing for his fishing day. The village gossip was of nothing else but Chebar and his attempt at catching a record-setting giant fish. When the big day came, the townspeople all gathered on the shore to see Chebar off on his quest to catch the biggest fish of all time. He had big bait, after all.
Chebar rowed for several miles on the calm sea and dropped anchor when he tired of rowing. He poked the pitchfork tine hooks through the goat’s chest and tossed it and the millstone over the side. He unlocked the ratcheted winch, and the drum rapidly spun as the rope played out and the big bait sunk to the bottom of the sea.
Chebar felt sure that he’d bring up a fish the likes of which no one had ever seen. He was correct. An enormous monster squid grabbed hold of the goat bait with its many tentacles and refused to relinquish its prize during the time it took Chebar to crank in his catch.
He knew it was a monster! It didn’t fight much nor make any runs; it was just dead weight, like hauling up a sunken ship. Chebar was drunk with excitement as he cranked the giant fish in, and he couldn’t wait to see it.
The super-sized squid held on for the ride to the surface, and when its eyes breached the surface and looked at Chebar, it released the little goat. It wanted the big bait.
Mars Nobody is a sixty-six-year old, retired widower, living in the high desert of central New Mexico, where one can wash their car, and never worry about it raining later that day. Mars is a new writer using a pseudonym so as not to embarrass his family.
Image – Wikimedia Commons
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