Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
November 5th, 2001

Trout Fisherman's Narrow Excape
By Ed Zern

Once upon a time a beautiful young princess, with cheeks like primrose petals and hair like spun gold, went for a walk in the forest. When she saw a toad hopping along the path, the princess said, "Oh, you ugly, warty creatures - how hideous you look!" It happened that two witches, one of whom was pretty ugly and warty, were passing nearby, and thinking that the princess was commenting on her appearance the ugly, warty one immediately cast a spell over the fair maiden, who thereupon fell into a deep sleep.

"Insolent snippet!" screamed the ugly witch. "You shall sleep until doomsday, unless perchance a handsome young price shall kiss your ruby lips!"

"You're letting her off pretty easy, aren't you?" asked the second witch. "You know how them handsome young princes are - the first one that finds her is going to figure he might as well kiss her, and bingo - there goes the spell."

"You're right!" said the ugly witch. "How's this: you shall sleep until a handsome prince with three legs shall kiss your ruby lips! That ought to hold her!"

"Don't be too sure, toots," said the second witch. "Ill admit most handsome young princes only got two legs. But just last week at the county fair I seen a chicken with three legs, and if it can happen to a pullet it can happen to a prince."

"That's a fact," agreed the warty witch. "Let's see now, how about this: you shall sleep until a handsome young prince with three legs and rabbit ears shall kiss your ruby lips. There, if that doesn't keep blondie out of circulation for a couple of aeons, I'll turn in my broom!" And the witches hobbled on through the woods, leaving the lovely young princess deep in sleep.

Pretty soon who should come along but a handsome young prince and his companion, a tall young duke. Both of them carried fishing rods, for they were on their way to angle for trout, and the prince carried a stout wading staff, as the stream to which they were going was swift and treacherious. "Hey, prince," said the tall yound duke, "you know what that staff reminds me of? A third leg, that's what! It's like you got three legs! Waddya know - a handsome young price with three legs! Haw, haw!"

But the prince paid no heed to his companion's jest, for he suddenly realized he had forgotten to bring his fly box. "Woe is me," he said sadly. "But perhaps I can find at least one fly stuck in my vest. Ah, yes- sure enough! Here's a No. 12 Hare's Ear - and by the Lord Harry, here's another!"

"Hare's ear?!" said the tall yound duke, who was a worm fisherman. "You got two hare's ears? Haw, Haw! A handsome young prince with three legs and rabbit ears! Ho, ho, that's a hot - Hey! Get a load of the dame!"

"Get a load of what dame?" said the prince.

"That one there," said the duke, pointing to the beautiful princess asleep on a couch of ferns and sweet grasses.

My word, she's sound asleep!" said the prince. "By George, I've got a good notion to slip her a kiss! Here, hold my rod a minute."

So saying, he was about to plant a lusty smooch on the princess's lips when the tall young duke, who was nobody's fool, shouted, "Hold it, Romeo! Don't do it!"

"For heaven's sake," said the prince, unpuckering his lips, "why not?"

"I'll tell you why not," said the duek. "I figure any time you find a good-looking chick in a deep snooze it's even money some witch has slapped a spell on her. Them witches are hell on good-looking dames - especially princesses, and take a look at the royal signet ring on her pinky. You go bussin' this blonde, buster, you're liable to break the spell."

"Well, why not?" said the h.y.p.

"Prince," said the duke, "you're a nice guy and all, but sometimes you don't think good. Lemme spell it out for you. You bust the spell, and Nembutal Nellie wakes up - she's grateful - she insists you gotta come to dinner and meet her old man - the first thing you know you're engaged - and all of a sudden you're married. After that, no more trout fishing - you got to stay home and put up the screens. No more deer hunting - your wife thinks they got such nice eyes. And besides, she don't approve of the guys you hunt with. No more beagles and bird dogs in the palace - she can't stand dog hair on the sofa. Pretty soon she'll be throwing out all your broadbill decoys to make room for a playpen. Get the picture, kiddo?"

"Holy smokes," said the prince, "that sure was a narrow escape! Let's get on down to the crick before the trout quit jumping." So they hurried on down to the Junction Pool, where they each caught their limit of browns. ~ Ed Zern

Credits: From The Best of Ed Zern, published by The Lyons Press.

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