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That time my daughter found Nemo–then ate him (A Freshly Pressed Encore by Ned Hickson)

Happy Monday!

You are in for a real treat today as my awesome blogger buddy, Ned Hickson, fills in for me. Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble. His book occupies a spot on my desk when I need inspiration as well as the magazine holder in the bathroom for when, well, when other things happen.

He’s a funny guy, a gracious friend and a fantastic writer. Today’s feature is his latest Freshly Pressed masterpiece honored earlier this year. Enjoy the first part provided below and then hop over to finish by clicking the link provided. Grab a cup of coffee, but keep your computer out of spewing distance…I’ve lost many a keyboard thanks to Ned.


That time my daughter found Nemo–then ate him

image50To say you could catch a fish from the kiddie pool at our local Outdoor Festival several years ago is like saying you could turn a few heads if you backed your SUV into a Harley during the Sturgis Rally.

My oldest daughter had just turned seven, and the pool was literally brimming with farm-raised trout that would’ve just as quickly latched onto a Milkdud as Powerbait. Given a window of 15 minutes of fishing for every dollar, most kids old enough to hold their own poles were standing gawk-eyed with a fish in their sack after less than five minutes. So, when my daughter landed her seven-incher, I asked if she wanted to keep it or throw it back in — hoping against hope that she would opt for the throw-back.

I think my exact words were something along the lines of, “Sweetie, do you want to keep the baby trout until he runs out of air, or put him back in the water with his family?”

“I want to keep him,” she said firmly, then turned to her mother and asked for another dollar.

At this point, as a parent, you come to that critical moment where you must decide between the following:

1) Forgo the obvious teachable-moment opportunity and just settle for another hot dog.
2) Exert your “Dad” authority and forbid the action completely (after asking your wife, of course).
Or 3) Clearly state the consequences to your child and be prepared to follow through with the consequences and valuable life lesson.

Taking a breath, I chose number three and explained to my daughter that whatever fish she caught she would also have to carry, clean and — most importantly — eat.

“OK, Dad.”

And with that, she dipped her pole and reeled in what proved to be a crucial lesson.

* * * * *

“They’re not moving anymore, Dad.”

Driving back home, I looked at my daughter in the rear-view mirror as she peeked into both sacks.

I could build on this.

“That’s right, dear. If you take them out of the water, they can’t live.”

She met my eye, then checked the sacks again. “Oh.”

I remained silent, letting her process this unsettling development on her own as I prepared myself for her response, which would probably involve some tears.

She’s a very sensitive child.

After a few minutes, she looked up and found me in the mirror.



Her expression was clearly troubled as she leaned forward and asked, “How do you cook ‘em?”

* * * * * *

Click here to read what happened next!

Spoiler Alert: Fish guts and life lessons ahead…

Comments here are closed so that you can weigh in on the mayhem over at Ned’s place.

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