When two species that inhabit totally different environments and are bio-engineered completely differently happen to meet for the first time in either one’s experience, it can be hilarious. One such meeting occurred on my daughter’s family vacation.
Capt. Tiffany Vague (my daughter) packed up her husband, two teenage sons, her teenage niece and Humphrey, the family dog, and took a dream vacation.
They drove across this magnificent country of ours to visit Capt. Tiffany’s daughter, Vivy, who lives in North Carolina, where she is going to school to study nursing.
The trip took a week each way because they stayed at Airbnbs adjacent to rivers, lakes and ponds where everyone could fish and roam. They stayed in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and a couple of states that I’ve forgotten.
Most of the time, they were catching bass, though there were some hookups with pike, catfish and others.
It was on the way back, in Arkansas at a picturesque lake with woods all around it, that Humphrey took an interest in fishing.
Tiffany had hooked a nice bass and was skillfully bringing it to shore. When the fish was in the shallows just a couple of feet from shore, it splashed and caught the attention of Humphrey.
Humphrey focused on that fish, now in just a foot of water and fighting along the shoreline. Tiffany reached in the water and lip-gripped the fish, lifting it out of the water. Humphrey put his nose right up against the fish to take a good sniff. The fish wiggled and Humphrey was fascinated.
At one point, Humphrey opened his mouth and put it over the fish gently, not biting, but more like just feeling and tasting. That fish knew all about mouths trying the swallow it because that’s what fish and other critters do to each other.
The fish bucked and wiggled with all its might, slapping Humphrey with its tail. The dog had a look of shock and awe and almost took off running. He decided against mouthing the fish again.
Tiffany held the fish a moment longer, then reached down and put it back in the water, releasing it from the mouth hold. The fish held still for just a moment while Humphrey held his snout less than an inch above the water directly over the fish.
Then that fish made a powerful tail slap, splashing Humphrey’s nose and took off for the depths, with the dog snorting, barking and running back and forth along the bank trying to find the runaway fish.
The entire family enjoyed a great belly laugh, and I’m pretty sure the fish was laughing, too.
Humphrey however, failed to see the humor, and just repeatedly licked his wet snout and snorted the water from his offended nostrils.
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.