General Fiction posted January 17, 2022

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Family Fish Story

The Big Cat

by Shirley McLain

My grandfather lived on The Mountain, which is the name of the area back up in the hills west of McAlester, OK.  This incident happened in 1924, and it was told to my mother, and then she passed it on to me.

Cleve, my grandfather, and his baby brother, Gib, decided they wanted to noodle some fish for dinner. They loaded the wagon with a few supplies and food, and headed for the South Canadian River, which was west about four miles from where my grandfather lived.

The day was perfect for a noodling trip. For those who don’t know what noodling is, it’s feeling under rocks and dips in the banks where the fish lay.

They had bright sunshine, and the fall day was in the mid-’80s. At least they wouldn’t freeze in the water. Cleve got in the water. He said the current was swift, so Gib tied a rope around Cleve’s waist. if he slipped, he wouldn’t be washed downriver. He began feeling under the rocks and next to the bank. Gib followed him from the bank above him to provide help if needed.

A large outcropping of rock came up, and Cleve went under the water to feel if a fish was there. He came back up out of the water, sputtering and yelling for Gib to help him. “Go to the wagon, get the hay hook in the back, along with some hay bale twine. There is a huge fish underneath this ledge of rock.”

Gib hurried back to the wagon and obtained what was needed.

When Gib returned, Cleve tied the hay hook to his wrist with the twine and went back under. He struggled to pull the fish out. He used the hay hook to hook the fish in the gill, and with Gib helping by pulling on the rope, managed to pull the fish with the aid of the current too low flat ground.

The fish they landed could swallow a man, they said. They noodled a 250-pound flathead cat (catfish). They’d never seen a fish that big before. It’s a family story that will go on forever about the big cat out of the South Canadian River.


~ Family Story ~ (fiction) writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
~ Family Story ~ (fiction)
Write a fiction story ~Read all rules!
400 word maximum
No vulgar words, sexual terms, murder, ghosts, or profanity allowed
No references to any political figures, past or present, such as same names or political parties/ideas such as Marxism--no warnings allowed
Story is to be about humans
No Christmas stories or adoption/birth of children, or a human in the hospital/hospice care with little time left to live
No writing, animation, music included with one picture allowed
Black font only

366 words
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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