Losing Morfar

Once upon a time, an old Norwegian fisherman took his granddaughter out in his fishing boat. His boat was not the pleasure craft one sees so often today among men who call themselves fisherman. Rather, it was an old workhorse of a boat, a no-nonsense assemblage of nets crusted with salt amid ropes carefully coiled in their proper places on the deck.

Only an hour into the trip, the girl had become impatient with the cruise and began to complain.

“Morfar, let’s go back home. I’m bored. There’s nothing to do here but look at the water.”

The old man, his gentle eyes resting on the girl’s beautiful blonde hair, replied in soft words meant to sooth and calm her growing discontent.

“Datterdatter, the water gives you the life you live. The sea’s bounty is lifeblood for your mother and me and, now, you. There are far worse things to do than look at the water. But, don’t worry, soon there will be more to do than look at the water. Soon, we’ll begin casting nets and, if fortune is our friend, pull them in, laden with fish.”

“Well, I am not interested in fishing, Morfar, so let’s go back home. I have more interesting things to do than catch fish.”

“Ah, we will go back home in good time. First, I will show you how I catch fish. Next, I will show you how I sell some of the fish I catch to put pickles and vegetables on our table. Finally, when we are back on shore, I will show you how I smoke fish to make the meals we eat.”

[This began as a children’s story. What? John writing a children’s story? Yeah, but you see he gave up midstream. I’m not so good at allegory. I may finish this some day, well before I become a Norwegian grandfather.]


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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