How to tickle a trout up for supper

from How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

“The river was not very wide, only about twenty feet, but so clear you
would see every inch of rock through the bubbling water, and so full
of fish that nobody thought of using a rod. My father taught me to
tickle trout up on the flat rock down by Mrs. Tom Jenkins’. Hour after
hour we have sat there, dropping stones to frighten little ones

First you would have to roll back your sleeve sometimes up to your
muscle, and put your arm right in the water, holding your hand open
and steady. Of course, the river would be so cold sometimes, it would
almost make you shout to have it in, but no matter, if you wanted a
fish you would have to suffer. Then the old fish would come along very
soft and quiet, and you would almost feel inside you that he was
thinking to himself, watching your hand, and knowing that something
was the matter and not sure what. Of course, you would not move a
fraction, even your eyes, while all this was going on, because a good
and sensible trout will swim back out of reach and stay there to laugh
at you. Indeed, that is true, for I have seen them do it. Well, then,
if he was so silly, he would come up to see your fingers and nose
round them, and rub himself against them. Then it would be your turn.
Quietly, you would bend your fingers to smooth him under his stomach
and tickle his ribs. Sometimes he would flash away and you would lose
him, but oftener he would stay on. Then you would work your fingers
along him until your little fingers was inside his gill. That was
enough. Give him a jerk and pull out your arm, and there he would be,
flapping on the rock. And there is good fresh trout is for supper.”

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