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NFC: Funny collecting story
In 1980, Kansas near Atchison, a friend of mine, Joe, my older brother,
John, and I went in search of the tasty crawdad with our trusty seine net.
Joe and I had been collecting most of the Summer, and it was a late August
evening when we decided to get a few more for the horde we were collecting
in the freezer. We were planning a School fish party at the end of the
month, so we needed about 2 more lbs of crawdads to make the party.
Joe and I grabbed the seine net poles and John had hold of our Coleman
lantern, and we started pulling through the small stream as darkness claimed
the area. Our first two pulls brought up a goodly amount including a
snapper - also on the menu as well as all the fish we caught that Summer.
By the third pull the sun was completely gone, and the stream, being tree
lined, was totally dark, with no moon to speak of.
This pull seemed to be a bothersome one as we got caught several times on
rocks, limbs, and muck. We ended up in a shallow area and decided to end
the rather lengthy pull. John moved to the front of us so we could see our
catch, as we lifted it from the water along the bank of a small rocky
outcrop. Joe and I pulled the net horizontal between us just in case there
was a snake (three of them also made the menu.) That way we could bounce it
back and forth until one of us could get hold of it. Water snakes are
fairly aggressive, so we always took precautions. There was one, a small two
foot water snake. But what we failed to realize is John is deathly afraid
of snakes, and upon the realization one was in the net, he promptly ran to
get away, taking the light with him. Joe and I frantically started bouncing
the net to keep the snake in the middle of it and away from us, as they do
bite, poisonous or not, and we hadn't a clue what we had. Of course, we
also started yelling at John to come back!
It took us a few moments to recover from John's reaction, but we finally
closed the net off by inching our way to the center, bouncing it, and
collapsing the net (also common practice.) The next few minutes we spent
coaxing John to return with the light, since we couldn't see to move up
the muddy banks. We coaxed, "it's safe, come back!" John kept saying in a
betrayed manner "you didn't say anything about snakes!" We tried to move
closer to the light, and John would move further away.
I guess it took a few moments for him to realize Joe and I had it under
control, and finally consented to move down the stream bank onto the rocky
shale shelf we were on.