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The Park Rapids Enterprise wishes everyone "Happy Holidays" and a Happy New Year. May your sunsets be gorgeous and your lines tight over the holiday season. (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

T'was the night before ice fishing

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outdoors Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
(218) 732-8757 customer support
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

For you fishing folks, a little (altered) holiday tale.

T'was the night before Christmas and all through the fish-house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mousie (mousies look like a maggot but have a long tail. They work great for panfish).

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The gloves were all hung by the woodstove chimney with care, in hopes that a walleye soon would be near.

With I in my long-johns and Dad in his cap (boy it's an ugly fishing cap), the fishing's been slow so he took a short nap.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, gave the luster of midday to objects below. (Doesn't matter, we have lights in the fish-house).

When the rattle-reel shook there arose such a clatter, dad jumped from his bunk to see what was the matter. (It's an 8x16, beds were a nice add-on).

Dad set the hook swiftly, his muscles contracted, but this fish was a big one and the walleye reacted.

More rapid than eagles dad's curses they came, he whimpered and whistled and called the fish names; (SIGN ON THE DOOR; NO CURSING ALLOWED!)

"Dog-gone it, MY FINGERS, the skin has been cut! I'll land you, grand trophy", then pops fell on his...

But the fish was persistent as his rear hit the wall, he pulled the line tight, the fish soon made him fall.

So out from his mouth, those curses they flew, with his wrists wrapped in line, his ears and neck too.

And then in a twinkling, with dad on the floor, I heard a rap-rapping upon the front door.

As I drew in my head and was turning around, dad's boot kicked the wood stove and he shot from the ground.

He was covered in flames from his head to his foot and his Woolrich plaid coat was now turned into soot.

A pile of spilled minnows had stuck to his back, a few of them wiggled into his exposed...

Crack the door open, the C.O. quite mad, I hadn't been cordial, because of my dad.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work, he checked my current license then turned with a jerk.

My dad feeling heat from his flame-covered pants, let out more expletives, rages and rants.

The officer ran and jumped onto his sled, while my dad stop, dropped and rolled into a bed (remember the add-on bunk? Good idea).

His eyes didn't twinkle, his pants red as cherries, his dimples now absent were anything but merry.

He smothered those flames and still held the line fast, I wondered how long this battle would last.

The fish finally surrendered, dad got both hands around her, and it looked like it could be a nine or ten-pounder.

We snapped a quick photo; dad let her go back, then rubbed his slimy hands on his pants charred and black.

But I heard my dad sigh as the fish swam out of sight, "Thanks for the memory, thanks for the fight"!

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