"Thank you Mom, Thank you Dad," he said, giving them each a kiss.
"When can I go fishing?" he asked in earnest.
"You can go right after breakfast if you like," said Dad. He was very pleased that his
son was so happy.
After breakfast, Mom packed a basket of goodies while Jem and his Dad got the fishing
gear ready. Before long Jem was ready to go.
"Why don't you take your friend, Aelyn along with you?" asked Dad as Jem was
walking through the door.
"He doesn't even have a rod," said Jem. "And besides, I don't think he likes fishing
anyway." The truth was that Aelyn would probably love to go but, because Aelyn did
not have a rod, he would want to use Jem's. It was his present and he did not want to
have to share it with anybody. So off Jem went to the river, alone.
When he got there, he sat down underneath a shady tree and cast his line into the water.
It was a long time before he even got a nibble so he had some time to think about what
he had done. He discovered that he was not having a very good time at all and he was
very lonely without his best friend. Just when he was about to reel in the line, the float
ducked under the water and bobbed up again. Jem froze. The float disappeared again
and Jem yanked the rod as hard as he could. The fish was caught and gave a
tremendous struggle as Jem tried to reel it in. It leapt out of the water and came down
again with a tremendous splash. It was enormous and he wished Aelyn were there to
"Help!" he cried as he tried desperately to reel it in, but there was no one there. The
fish pulled Jem right to the edge of the water and with one last tug, Jem slipped and fell