Zzziiing! Suddenly my fishing rod bent in half. My dad yelled in excitement—“You did it! Congratulations! You caught your first fish. Reel it in!”
It was fun to watch the fish jump and splash as we pulled it into our little row boat. “It’s a keeper,” my dad said as he gave me a big hug. “Because of you, we’ll have fish for dinner tonight.”
Not every 6-year-old knows how to catch fish, so I was proud of myself at first. But then, my prize fish started flipping and flopping around on the floor of the boat, struggling to breathe. As my dad tore the hook out of its mouth, my pride and joy quickly turned into sadness and shame. The poor fish wanted something good to eat, but instead it got a mouthful of pain and it was my fault. I was the one who hid the hook inside the worm to trick the fish. I lied. Now it was dying. I was a fish killer!
“Dad! Put it back!” I cried. “We have to put the fish back in the water! It can’t breathe. Let it go!”
“WHAT?” He said in a loud voice. “ We came out onto this lake to fish. We sat in the hot sun all day. And now that you have finally caught a fish, you want to put it back? What’s the matter with you?”
I started to cry. “Please! Look! Can’t you see? It can’t breathe!”
I didn’t have time to continue arguing with my dad. The fish rolled its big glassy eyes around and looked at me, begging for mercy. There was no choice. I had to make a quick decision! I leaned down and grabbed the fish before my dad could stop me, and threw it overboard. Splash! Dad frowned and stood in silence as he watched his fish dinner swim away. He was angry because he didn’t understand that, even though I wanted him to be proud of me, I needed to let the fish go. The weight of the world lifted from my shoulders when the fish began splashing the water happily with its tail. Fish killer no more!