Fishing and

by Tim Conley


I was supposed to go fishing but had not brought a rod. My friend explained, as our little craft made for the deepest regions of the lake, that there was no cause for worry. I would softly speak to the fish, close to the water's surface, and convince them to surrender themselves. Unfortunately I found their counterarguments so compelling that I eventually found myself trying to hurl my friend into the waters. It was all he could do to get us ashore. He and I have not spoken since.


It's on account of my cousin. My cousin one time he was saying you can pick up an owl no problem if it's asleep. Ah shoot I said to him, but real interested. So help me, my cousin said, but of course the trick is not wake it up. And it happened my cousin knew of this owl that liked to hang around in this deserted barn down the highway if I weren't scared. So there I was creeping up the steps to it nothing but the sound of my breathing and real real gentle I done picked it up, lifted him up trying not to look too hard at anything but the wings, not the closed eyes not the terrible fierce claws but all the same. And all that concentration must of been why I didn't see my cousin below bring out that busted old bugle of granddad's.
My cousin he has what they call a real sense of humour.


Tim Conley's essays, fiction, poetry, and reviews have appeared in journals in six countries. He is the author of, most recently, Whatever Happens (Insomniac Press, 2006) and, with Stephen Cain, The Encyclopedia of Fictional and Fantastic Languages (Greenwood, 2006). He is Associate Professor of English Literature at Brock University.