I am overcome with such rage that I start to hit the back of the driver’s seat with my feet.
“Stop!” my dad commands. “Your sneakers are wet and dirty.”
Out of spite I hit the back of the driver’s seat even harder with my legs. It is my fish and I will not give it to anybody!
I was never as unhappy as I was during this last month of the summer.
As before, we went to the bay. My dad and other fishermen managed to catch something, but as for me not even a bite! It was as if some evil sorcerer put a spell on me.
I often cried at night. Not knowing whom to ask, I directed my prayer to Francis of Assisi. “Oh Holy Francis! You help all unfortunate souls, even frogs and crabs. Why don’t you want to help me? Why isn’t any fish biting?”
The homeless alcoholic did not return. My father said that he was probably undergoing treatment in some hospital. “After treatment he will get assistance with his living situation. It’s doubtful he will return here anymore.” That is too bad! To be honest, the salt marsh looked empty and boring without him. Nobody fed the birds anymore, or sang songs to the crabs, or trained the wildcat.
Moreover, I felt guilty that I did not give him my fish then.
That autumn morning the weather was marvelously warm. Dad and I walked on the lane to our spot at the shore of the salt marsh.
When we passed by the tramp’s tent I saw smoke swirling on top of the huge bonfire and smoldering firebrands, and a wildcat suddenly jumping out of the tent and disappearing into the bushes.