I used to enjoy fishing with my father. Well, he took care of almost everything, while I simply enjoyed sitting quietly next to him, chatting to him from time to time and watching the bobber moving. When he became ill and could not move even a finger, I figured out that if I go fishing with my younger brother and return with some fish – and, more importantly, a story about how it was – it might cheer him up a bit. Of course, I overestimated myself and we didn’t catch a thing. But, just as we were about to give up, there was a sign of a fish. It seemed to be a very experienced one, since it chewed on our poor worm for about ten minutes, without touching the hook, so we were expecting a big old wise carp, at least. But it turned out to be a very small ruffle, only the size of my palm. We immediately decided to let it go. I took it into my hands to take the hook out, but the fish had swallowed it. There was no way to remove it, nor could we keep the fish alive with the hook inside it. The fish was still flapping heavily in my hands but I knew it was almost dead. I told my brother. He remained silent. I removed the hook and we carefully dropped the fish – which was still trembling – back into the water. My brother thought that, since the fish was still moving, it might recover. I knew it wouldn’t. I knew that if it had had a chance of recovering, it would have swum away immediately – not remained right in front of us, opening its jaws, as if trying to catch its last breath. I think my brother knew it too. I felt so overwhelmingly sorry: sorry for the dead fish, sorry for my ten-year-old brother for witnessing this, and sorry for my sick father. On the way back, we didn’t say a word.


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