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stings the Fish along with the pain of the Hook, but is there education there too?
Surely the fish, if at all sentient, has learnt a huge moral lesson.
Now consider the Piscador. It may well be impossible to know what goes on in the
mind of the Fish, but the Piscador must try. Information on the mind of the fish has
been reduced to simple modulations of the tension in a string. Somehow two
creatures, with completely different brains, connected only by a thread, are
transferring complex notions such as fear, tenacity, free-spiritedness, the will to
survive. The data are processed, reduced to changes in the tension in the line,
expanded and processed again in an interactive process. This is just part of what we
call “Fishing”.
Ambrosius lost interest and flicked through the pages once more. He spotted
several sections on Good Fishing Practice and Hooks, Baits and Lines which he
mentally noted and earmarked for future reading. The leaves flipped past until he was
only a few pages away from the end of the book. Something caught his eye.
“The One That Got Away
Every Fisher has experienced it. The tentative nibble. The bite. The Game. Then,
without explanation, the line goes slack: the Fish has got away. Much lore exists
about this phenomenon, but perhaps the most common story which young Fishers
hear is the tale of the Progenitor. According to legend, the Progenitor is a giant
Infinity Fish the colour of alabaster which taunts Piscadors by taking their bait,
playing with them for hours on end, then either breaking the line or somehow
unhooking herself. Some say the Progenitor strikes when the planets are in a special
alignment, some that only sinful Piscadors are so teased, and some even say that all
cases of a fish escaping are due to the same fish. It is unlikely that the true nature of
the Progenitor will ever be discovered. Some say that this fish is the archetype of
Fishiness created by God before the universe came into existence; the very same fish
who first brought the seed of Fish to Expiscor.”
More codswallop, thought Ambrosius. As far as Ambrosius was concerned fish
were fish. All else was dangerous misdirection. He flicked back to the start of the
book and started reading.
Chapter 5 – Preparation
Idiot. It was the word that struck Ambrosius like a hammer as he suddenly awoke
with a jerk from his sleep. He could see through the open doorway to his shack that
the evening was stealing in and the daylight slowly fading. He had read a good way
through the A Piscador's Companion before his unintentional slumber, certainly far
enough to refresh his memory concerning the theoretical underpinnings of fishing.
Why, then, had this accusatory little word popped into his consciousness. He was
offended by it, and rubbed his hand through his hair in consternation. Surely he was
well educated - all the more so for today's studies - yet still it had come to him
through the ether. Idiot. How could anyone call him such? More to the point, how
could he call himself such? He could read the most high-brow books, work out the