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Today, my company held their annual picnic at The Farm in Snohomish. They had a great bbq spread, and all sorts of fun activities for the children. They had a small petting zoo, a hay ride, pig show, and hay to play in. Perhaps the most interesting activity of all was Trout Fishing.

Yep, you heard me. Real, honest to goodness, hook on a string fishing of trout in a trough that was about 4 feet wide and 30 feet long. It was practically jumping with fish. I have never seen anything like this in my life! It made me think of those hokey gold mining set ups that some amusement parks have, in which you can “pan for gold,” and come away with a couple flakes of what is probably pyrite. At any rate, I thought this novel idea was pretty neat, and Meadow was into it, too.

We tried a couple times to catch a fish, but as soon as we dropped the hook in the water, the trout just stole the peanut-buttery bait and swam away. Against Dustin’s ethical protests of us basically shooting fish in a barrel, literally, we tried a third time. We hooked it! I had to help Meadow and pull it out of the water for her as it splashed and thrashed about. She stared at it, wide-eyed as it wiggled on the line, trying to breathe. I felt a little guilty, and asked her point blank, “do you want to take this fish home, kill it, cut it up and eat it, or should we put it back in the water?” No response from her. I began to lower the fish back in the water with pity, when she started shreiking, “No! No! No, mommy!” So I pulled it back out, and handed it to the employee who didn’t bump the poor trout on the head, but rather just stuck it in a plastic bag and tied the end, thereby ensuring a slow tragic suffocation death for the fish.

Dustin, fly-fishing and catch-and release enthusiast, is rolling his eyes the entire time. He was concerned that Meadow would freak out about the death of the fish, and about the questionable ethics of killing animals like this. I felt the guilt of PETA on my back like a gorilla, which I quickly shrugged off. Hey, my kid had a blast. (*gulp*)

Meadow began to carry the fish in the bag, proudly. That is until it wiggled in the bag with one of its death throes. She dropped it and screamed, which was absolutely hilarious. She made me carry it to the car, while it wiggled spasmed every few minutes. The whole walk to the car she kept saying “mmm’mm! This is going to taste sooo good!” I told her it would die and we’d cut it up and cook it and eat it, and rather than getting freaked out or scared she kept saying, “yum! I like fish!” (Think I take her to sushi too often?)

We got home, where I proceeded to search youtube for instructions on how to clean and cook a trout. I only ever cook salmon, and I make my dad clean them for me because I truly suck at it. I sort of got the gist of it. Meadow watched curiously as I hacked off the trout’s head, pulled out the guts, and chopped out the bones and fins. (Am I raising a psychopath?) and about an hour later, we had two extremely tiny, mangled, rainbow trout fillets fried and on a plate.

Honestly, I had a hard time eating it. It creeped me out. I peeled off the skin and nibbled at what little flesh was there. Meadow, on the other hand, crammed as much as she could into her mouth – skin and all – and MOUED.

Later that evening I told Meadow, “it is so cool you won that fish and provided supper for us tonight! How neat!” She looked at me earnestly and said, “We were winners, mommy! But the fish wasn’t!”

She could say that again!

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