Can’t sit still in a shady nook where I come from. Oh no!
So I’m swimming along, looking for some weed for the wife (It’s a delicacy down here. Hey, not the kind of weed you’re thinking of, though!) and I come across this beautiful stretch of riverbank. I mean, beautiful. Glistening with dappled light like you wouldn’t believe.
P’raps it’s difficult for you to think of a fish feeling like that, but I tell you, it stopped me in my wake.
I edged towards that tranquil place, thinking that I might get a few moments of float - a fishy version of a human doze – when…Whoosh!
I’ll say it again. Louder. WHOOSH!
A swirling of sediment and the whole riverbed is moving, while a big fish turns to look at me, a big green and brown striped Pike, a silvery streamlined monster.
Must be at least 3 foot long, this Pike, snout like a bird’s bill (and they don’t half send shivers through yer gills!) and two huge eyes, gleaming through the murk.
He was there waiting, that killer. In a peaceful, idyllic spot, waiting for his dinner to swim by, the lazy get! They never chase you. They just wait. Then. Snap, his jaws have sliced you in two. Filleted and down the hatch.
Pikes are cannibals. No less. Why, the female will often eat their mate after they’ve had it away with them. For dessert she’ll even try the kids!
Well, I wasn’t sticking around, no, not this little Stickleback. I mean, I’ve got a wife and kids waiting for me back in the canal. Not much meat on me for a whopping great Pike, but all the same, I might just make a tasty appetiser.
I dived down low, into the sludge and shook a bit, like I’d seen a John Dory do in a colour supplement, disturbing some more of the dirt and clouding the river water even more.
Yes, that’s right, a colour supplement. The people who deliver those free papers that you lot like to read - or line budgie cages with - they usually dump a few hundred in the canal. We all race over to read ‘em before they disintegrate. Yes, I can read and write (how else did you think I was telling you this story!)
Anyway, so there’s loads more sediment in the water, and I can tell that the Pike’s having trouble. His eyes are so big you see. Big eyes, more surface area to be irritated by the filth. And by this time I’m totally hidden in the mud.
He’s on the move now, that Pike and I can feel his slippery scales rubbing over mine as I lay in the river bed. Now it’s my turn to wait.
Didn’t have to wait long, though. He was gone. Like I said, they’re too lazy to take the trouble to hunt for you.
That’s enough from me. I’m off to listen to the latest Baroness album – the Blue Album. They’re a sludge metal band you see and all this talk of muddy riverbeds has whetted my appetite.