The Great Fishing Story

a poem by Linda Bates Terrell, USA

Oscar, Tim, and Gregory... back in 1953 became one of the most well know town celebrities. Not even Nate or Clyde with their expertise sporting abilities could compare to these old guys. So here is a view of that great day back in 1953.

One sunny mid September Saturday morning Oscar, Tim and Gregory ventured on foot just a pace from grandpa's place. A little stretch of water called Red Vally lake, to fish a spell. To make the hot days go quicker, as they fished each had their own amazing fishing stories to tell.

"Hey Oscar, did I ever tell you about the time me and ole Greg-ry caught that turtle that weighed 194 pounds, but slipped away." Says Tim.
"You old coot there ain't no turtles in this here area that weighs that much." blurted Oscar.
"Oh yes there is. Ain't that right Greg-ry." Tim spouted.
"What did you say?" Gregory reached to turn up his hearing aid.

Now Tim speaks slow and clear, "I said Oscar... Me and Gregory did too catch that 194 pound turtle back in 45, and it got away. You remember! It was just after you got out of the war, and come home to find that sly old two-time'n gal of yours was date'n my wrinkly old uncle Bart." Said Tim to Oscar.
"Oh ya, that was when you was married to Matte... for a short spell. Wow, she was a grouchy woman... if I do say so." Spouts Gregory.

He never really answered Tim just nodded and went back to casting his line again. All three old gentlemen fished till the sun shown high above their heads.

"I'm gettin hungry," Said Oscar.
Just about that time Oscar got a bite on his hook, nearly pulled him into the lake. He braced his feet on the boat seat, just directly in front of him. He tugged, he pulled, he yanked, as all three watched in dismay the commotion in the water, on that warm September day. Oscar pulled longer and harder to get what ever kind of giant fish it was to the surface, while a few times it nearly pull'n him in.

"This fish is a dreadful sin." He shouted. Then they all began to grin. There it was, that old turtle, poking his big old head above the water to look old Oscar right in the eye. There on that turtles wrinkly old green foot was the fishing line, and all tangled up. Each old line was from all those who told their tales of (just about... catching him) over the years.
Whooo hooo, that's him. It's that big old turtle, a huge one for sure." Yelled Timothy.

Oscar finally believed the story of the huge turtle in Red Valley lake, it was right in front of him.
"Must be 1000 pounds or more." Tim yells.
"Yet it's a sin, for you to pull him in, poor old turtle." Said Gregory, with a sly yet happy grin.

Old Gregory was hoping he'd let him go so he could have one more chance to catch him some other hot summer day.
"I did it. It looks more like at least 75 pounds to me." Yells our now most famous gleaming Oscar.

Oscar pulled and tugged some more. They pulled that turtle from the water and Oscar climbed onto his shell. Just as he did that turtle took a turn to grab him by the knee. Flipped him out of the boat and the turtle went free.

This was the story they told on grandpas porch most Sunday afternoons, of the time the three caught that 496 pound turtle, or so they say, at Red Valley Lake and the time it got away.

That was nearly 20 years back and the tale is still flourishing of how three men caught a 1000 pound turtle down at the old Red Vally lake. Last week the mine sold that delapodated property. The new owners want to put in a subdivision.

Folks said they had to drain that lake and what do you supposed they found. A huge skeleton of a giant turtle in the mud, at the end of that hot summer day, so some say.

by Linda Terrell
April 29, 2009 8:03 A.M.

Rewritten and corrected Feb. 19, 2012

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