Vacation Time

by Edgar Guest

Vacation time! How glad it seemed
When as a boy I sat and dreamed
Above my school books, of the fun
That I should claim when toil was done;
And, oh, how oft my youthful eye
Went wandering with the patch of sky

That drifted by the window panes
O’er pleasant fields and dusty lanes,
Where I would race and romp and shout
The very moment school was out.
My artful little fingers then
Feigned labor with the ink and pen.

But heart and mind were far away,
Engaged in some glad bit of play.
The last two weeks dragged slowly by;
Time hadn’t then learned how to fly.
It seemed the clock upon the wall
From hour to hour could only crawl,

And when the teacher called my name,
Unto my cheeks the crimson came,
For I could give no answer clear
To questions that I didn’t hear.
“Wool gathering, were you?” oft she said
And smiled to see me blushing red.

Her voice had roused me from a dream
Where I was fishing in a stream,
And, if I now recall it right,
Just at the time I had a bite.
And now my youngsters dream of play
In just the very selfsame way;

And they complain that time is slow
And that the term will never go.
Their little minds with plans are filled
For joyous hours they soon will build,
And it is vain for me to say,
That have grown old and wise and gray.

That time is swift and joy is brief;
They’ll put no faith in such belief.
To youthful hearts that long for play
Time is a laggard on the way.
‘T’was, oh, so slow to me back then
Ere I had learned the ways of men!

Advertisements

The Fish We Toss Back

Two fishermen stood on a bridge one day
each dangled their line in the swell
hoping to catch a fat fish for their lunch,
a size that would fill them up well.

The first man caught several smaller fish;
and dropped each one into his sack.
“Better than nothing, I guess,” he declared.
Sniffed the other, “I’d toss them all back.”

“I’m a hungry man,” the first replied.
“They’re a little more work to de-bone,
but these ones will make a half-decent meal.
Now I’d better be hurrying home.”

“Well, I’d never settle for these little guys,”
the second man said, then he spat
as he tossed back another unworthy fish.
“My appetite’s bigger than that.”

The first man went home and fried up his catch;
they made him a right tasty dish.
The second still casts his line from the bridge
in hopes of the right size of fish.

The Old, Old Story

by Edgar Guest

I have no wish to rail at fate,
and vow that I’m unfairly treated;
I do not give vent to my hate
because at times I am defeated.
Life has its ups and downs, I know,
But tell me why should people say
whenever after fish I go:
“You should have been here yesterday”?

It is my luck always to strike
a day when there is nothing doing,
when neither perch nor bass nor pike
my bated hooks will come a-wooing.
Must I a day late always be?
When not a nibble comes my way
must someone always say to me,
“We caught a bunch here yesterday”?

I am not prone to discontent,
nor over-zealous now to climb;
if victory is not yet meant
for me I’ll calmly bide my time.
but I should like just once to go
out fishing on some lake or bay
and not have someone mutter: “Oh,
you should have been here yesterday!”

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
c. 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

Word Press daily prompt: none

Holiday Adventure Surprise

It was all Shanz’s idea that we take this scenic trip through the hills and spend a few days at Pineridge Lodge, a great “wilderness adventure” he’d read about. Boating, swimming, fishing, all gear for rent at lowest rates. Sounded like a great plan! And after all, we guys hadn’t taken time for ourselves or gone anywhere special for at least five years. Time we took ourselves off for a relaxing male-bonding holiday.

Shanz sweetened the prospect considerable by showing us an ad in the Turnbull News Herald where the Barnum & Willsby Railroad was offering a bargain rate. “Tuesdays and Thursdays only, special discount fare to Catfish Bay with connections to Pineridge Lodge.” So Shanz, Lester, Nate and I reserved a “Three-day Lodging-plus-Meals package” and we each bought B&W Rail’s bargain ticket, leaving on a Thursday.

For the next few weeks we carried on like little boys headed for a Disneyland holiday. Sad to say, though, Nate had to cancel out on Monday ‘cause his in-laws showed up for a surprise visit. He almost shed tears when he told us about his change of plans.

The rest of us boarded the train this morning expecting to ride all the way to Catfish Bay. But we found out when we got here that there was some fine print we never read. You see, the Lodge is six miles out of town. And the fare, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, doesn’t cover those last six miles.

The agent said we could wait over ‘til tomorrow afternoon, when the local train that does go out to the Lodge hits town. But by the time we got there we’d almost have to turn around and go home again.

So what do you do if you wanna get there today? Hire a taxi for an additional $50? Nope, not us. We got more energy than money.

Too bad Nate couldn’t make it. He’ll be downright grieved missing out on this adventure.

Walking the tracks