Hank Shelley

Column: Dealing with car troubles

A pale blue sky arches over branches of silver lace.

Old Fred makes his way along the trail, down to the lake, among weeds and grasses silvered into wands sparkling in early morning light. He loved his ice fishing.

Each day he would head to Crescent Lake, lunch, cooler, gear, drill several holes, and wait till the crowd showed up.

Soon everyone was making their way onto the ice.

Now, Fred would holler, hold up a large fish, then lay it on the ice.

Pretty soon a small group gathered around Fred asking if they could fish close by. Children too became excited. A young lad and his sister, the one with a blue bunny snowsuit and moon boots wanted to be shown how to fish like that.

Fred brought another beauty the ice. One chap who had walked past Fred’s old clunker van, said it smelt like old burnt paper under his hood and his black lab sniffed around the tail pipe.

The excitement grew, as everyone enjoyed the day.

Many anglers began fishing close to Fred’s spot in hopes of catching big trout too! But as the sun began to set, folks slowly meandered off the lake heading for home.

It was time to put his fish in his cooler and head home too.

Arriving at his place, he proceeded to put the three small salmon back in the freezer along with the ones he caught each fall.

Being a hunter and fisher all his life, he wanted to use the fish each season to educate young folks to enjoy ice fishing and the all outdoors.

Next day Fred stopped at the local garage to check on the engine smell. The mechanic, Rolf said each time Fred drove through town, all the local mutts would follow the van. So under the hood, Rolf found a squirrels nest and fir cones on the top of the engine block.

Next day at lake, the smell continued, and family dogs would hang round Fred’s van. Back to the garage.

This time, Rolf did another check, and discovered squirrels had been packing stolen Kibbles and Bits from neighboring homes and storing it in the van’s resonator. On returning from Judy’s cafe from having a piece of pie and coffee, Fred was shown the goodies.

Rolf said, squirrels pack sunflower seeds, wheat and rabbit pellets into air breathers too, so the dog food was a first. Finally all the local hounds finally stopped following Fred’s van around town.

Fishing Report: Ice angling has slowed on most local lakes, which is common for this time of the season. Wildlife: With heavy snow it will be tough on deer, especially younger animals to get enough to sustain them. Next week, a novel solution in resolving land Claims.

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