I’m not much for learnin. Mrs. Pickle Wickle says I have what’s called the wanderin eye, on account of the fact I get to dreamin and lookin out the window while she goes on and on about some guy named Columbus. Who far as I can tell, discovered someplace already discovered by the Injuns. If I were an explorer, I’d try and discover somethin that were never discovered before. I said this right aloud during what Mrs. Pickle Wickle calls diss-cu-shen. She turned so red, she went purple. Then she made me stand in that damn corner again, wearin the idiot hat.
Well that just got my blood to boilin so, till I took off that old idiot hat, and pulled it down right over the old Pickles head! The other kids got to laughin so hard, some of ‘em fell right outta their chairs. The Pickle chased me around the room, but couldn’t catch me. She ran out into the hall and started screamin for the principal like I were some kind of criminal. Right then I figure time is precious, and why not go down to the river and do some fishin. So I jump out the window and say goodbye to school, Mrs. Pickle Wickle, and Columbus.
The river is a quiet spot. I took my shoes off and rolled some tobacco I stole from my father. I lobbed my fishing pole into the green water, and pulled up another one of them fish with the three eyes. I would have thrown it back in but I was powerful hungry. It cooks pretty well once you get over the third eye. Why I’ve even heard it said that a third eye were some kinda special power. I felt kinda bad thinkin on it, eatin a fish with special powers and all.
Well, after I’d eaten and had a good smoke, I decided to take myself a nice, long nap, when I hear suspicious footsteps cracklin in my direction.
“You can’t fish here.” The man said. “You cookin on a fire?” he asked, annoyed. “You can’t do that either.”
It made me powerful angry. I’d been fishin this spot for near two years. The third eye kinda just sat on my plate, lookin up at me. Well I figured right then that I needed to come up with a plan to lose him. To my mind he was outta his wits. Everyone knew that the first rule to fishin was fishin, and cookin was the logical conclusion. Course they say its best not to rattle crazy people with too much common-sense, on account of the fact that they live in their own made up world, and get awful anxious when you tell ‘em the way of things. My friend Tom had an uncle what went to the nuthouse thinkin he was Jesus Christ. Course he was real good at, so I suppose that’s alright. I wouldn’t have minded fishin with him anyhow.
I asked the man where I could catch fish if it weren’t from the river, but he just went on and on about how the river were off-limits now, said that some old man had bought up all the land and was fixin to turn it into a golf course. Then I wished I’d stayed in school, leastwise to find out how the story of Columbus ended.
Well then I decided to make a great show of grabbin my things and bein real angry like, and sayin with a whole lotta indignation, how I’d never visit this water-hole again for as long as I lived. Then I walked a ways and hid behind an old oak tree, till I saw the old goat walk off mightily pleased with himself. When he was out of sight, I went right back to my spot and resumed my nap.
I woke up round midnight, and realizin that since Pa would be given me a hidin anyway, that I might as well stay and watch the stars into mornin, maybe catch me a good sunrise. No doubt that old Pickle had gotten to the principal by now. I figured I’d most likely be suspended again, so there was no need to go back to school. After the hidin I got from Pa, I’d be free to sneak out and spend the whole day fishin again.