The high point of our canoeing adventure today, I think, was when we were attacked by a fish. Well, may attacked isn't quite the right word. Challenged? Charged? I'm sure I heard a bugle playing the cavalry charge as that big, fierce catfish skittered away from our canoe across the mud flat, whirled around, and then swam toward the canoe at warp speed, as if to say, "Get away from my mud flat!"
It was not a bad mud flat as mud flats go, but we weren't really in the market for a mud flat so we posed no credible threat. Why would we want to paddle our canoe across six inches of water when there was a perfectly good two-foot-deep channel stretching before us upstream? All we did was pause at the mouth of an inlet to watch some catfish messing around in the shallows, but this one big fat fierce fish decided that we were a threat.
I'll bet charging our canoe gave him pretty good street cred. (Creek cred?) I'll bet he went back to the school and bragged about how he showed that big red fish who's boss.
Meanwhile, we went paddling up a stream so serene and unpeopled that we could have slipped unknowing into a previous century. Early this morning we followed an osprey up Forked Run Lake, and then at the top of the lake we ducked under a tree and followed the feeder stream into a quiet wood where goose down bobbed on the still water and bullfrogs croaked in the reeds. We felt like sovereigns of a lost world--until that pesky fish had to charge up and challenge our sovereignty.
I hope that fish relished his moment of power. At least he'll have a big fish story to tell--a story about the one that got away!