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Papa's Lessons: Nayla Goes Fishing

Nayla’s first fishing trip.

She was so excited to finally go fishing, as she had never been. Her father was cautious and knew Nayla was not quite ready for the adventure, the time had to be just right.

Nayla would pout and fuss and cross her tiny 7-year-old arms and stomp her tiny feet. “I’m a big girl Papa and I do have what it takes! I want to go fishing!”

Papa would hold Nayla in his arms, give her a tight hug, and say, “You will one day understand.”

She frowned, wth a crinkle in her forehead, Nayla began to explore her 7-year-old mind. What was he talking about?

Nayla with a shrug and reluctant sight exclaimed “Fine.” and left Papa’s arms.

Every Friday Papa would pack up his belongings and get his bait box ready for early morning fishing by the dock. This morning Nayla woke up bright and early and too gathered her belongings. She threw on her favorite purple shirt and jean shorts to match. Grabbed her small rod and went to the kitchen. Nayla was determined to show Papa she was a big girl, and she too could join fishing.

Packed and ready, Nayla sat at the breakfast table and waited for Papa.

Papa walked out of his room and into the kitchen to see bright-eyed Nayla sitting at the table.

“Goodmorning Papa!” Nayla cried.

“Goodmorning Nayla. Sweetie, what are you doing?” Papa questioned.

“Papa, I would like to go fishing with you today.” Nayla declared.

“Fishing takes great patience and stillness, I don’t think you are ready for that Nayla” replied Papa.

“I am too Papa! I have been practicing patience, I waited for you this morning!”

Papa released a half-hearted chuckle. “Okay Nayla, we will try it out this time and see how you do.”

Nayla hopped in excitement and embraced her father. “Thank you, Papa! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Nayla and Papa headed out to the dewy docks in the early morning midst and set up shop. Nayla swung her legs over the dock edge and grabbed the pole and line Papa set for her. Bait firmly secured at the end of the hook, Nayla was ready to learn the joys of fishing.

Papa would always come back from a morning of fishing in such a serene state, he seemed happy. Nayla liked to see her father happy, and she too wanted to know what was the secret that made him so happy.

“The most important rule of fishing”, Papa explained, “is to never give up. Be patient, and let the fish come to you.”

Papa cast his rod into the lake, and Nayla followed in suite. Both sitting on the edge of the dock, Nayla and Papa sat on the dock, sipping lemonade, eating tuna sandwiches, and waiting for the fish.

Nayla soon became restless and began to pout “Papa this isn’t fun anymore. We’ve been out here for hours and caught nothing.”

“I told you Nayla. You have to be patient and wait. Sometimes they come fast, sometimes they come slow, but you have to wait till the right time, and then you will have the perfect catch!”

Nayla sat quiet and pondered her father's words for a minute. With the help of her father, she filled her line with fresh bait and cast another line into the lake. Nayla sat patiently as the wise words of her father swirled in her head.

Nayla suddenly felt a tug on her line. “I think I caught something Papa” She gasped.

Papa rushed over and helped little Nayla reel in her catch of the day.

The sun began to settle high in the sky bringing forth a school of fish looking for their feed of the day. Nayla’s rod had the fattest, juiciest, slimiest worm the fishies had ever seen!

Nayla beamed with joy as she had caught her first fish of the day!

“Yay! Papa, I did it! You were right”

“I told you Nayla, good things come to those who wait” Papa replied.

Casting the slimy fish back into the lake, Nayla and Papa decided to call it a day.

Heading back to the house, Nayla now understood. It was not just fishing that Papa enjoyed, it was the overall experience. The feeling of success and victory after being patient and obedient to be able to catch fish.

Nayla was overjoyed and filled with happiness, she cherished most the time spent and the life lessons taught by her dear old Papa.

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