The art of fighting trout
Sunshine has obviously given up the idea of dying, at least temporarily. He has returned to his old self and so, at 2:45 this morning, he woke me up howling extremely loudly in an effort to scare away the ginger cat that sometimes comes in the night to stare through our kitchen windows.
He woke me from a dream.
In the dream I had learned that people had fish all wrong. They do not live in salt water, they make salt water. I stood in a laboratory while a fisherman explained all this to me. He explained that if I intended keeping a trout at home as a pet I should keep it in distilled water. It would inhale the fresh water and exhale salt water. If I put it in salt water, as the naive do, it would surely die, because the water would soon get too salty.
He also kindly explained that, in the wild, shoals of fish gravitate towards the less salty areas of the ocean and hang out there breathing out salty water, until the water gets less attractive to them and they swim elsewhere in search of fresh, distilled water.
I didn’t know that, I said.
He then showed me a large trout on a bench. “How long do you think that is?” he asked. “About half a metre”, I replied. “No, no, no”, he said. “It’s at least two metres. People don’t realise this, but trout are almost always bigger than they are. Its an ability they have. However big a trout is, its bigger than that.”
I went back to sleep and got woken up later to find myself attending a trout defence lesson. Another fisherman had taught me how to defend myself if I found myself under attack from a trout. I had to bend my elbow and hammer it repeatedly into the trout’s snout, “bearing in mind that the trout is bigger than it is”.
Apparently the trout interprets a bent elbow as an unfeasibly large gill, and flees, fearing that anything with a gill that size could kill it in an instant.
I learned a lot last night.