My donkey and I were fishing off the old Montgomery bridge when a sharp yank at the line nearly sent me tumbling into the river. I threw my arm around my donkey’s neck and he grabbed ahold of my belt loops with his teeth, and together we slowly, gradually eased back from the edge of the stones and mortar. I squeezed that fishing pole with both my hands and held it steady, reeling it in, bringing it back, reeling it in, bringing it back. Went on for four hours. At last with the day beginning to peter off into night and the dusk falling down on the sky like purple powder, POW! out flies the fish and lands smack on the donkey’s back.

“Wait!” gasped the fish. “Spare my life and I’ll grant your heart’s desire!”

Well I ain’t never seen no talking fish before and wasn’t too crazy about the idea of a loquacious supper. But I was curious so I gave the creature the benefit of my immense doubt. “How’n you expect to do that?” I asked.

“Set me free and I’ll show you.”

So I untangled the fish, pulled the hook from its mouth, and plunked it over the side of Montgomery bridge.

Now one thing I abhor above all things is a fool, and a fool would surely pass up the chance to enjoy his heart’s desire. That’s why I’m still standing on the edge of this river waiting for that fish to catch his breath.

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