Class: The Writer’s Craft (EWC4U1)
Date: April 2008
The Assignment: Write about a memory involving your family.
Mark: 85%

I was nine or ten years old when I went camping at Martin River with my family. Of course, “Martin River” would’ve meant nothing to me then. I’m sure I knew we were at Martin River at the time, because I’m sure I would have asked a question like that. But it’s not the name that sticks in my mind, nor does the name have anything to do with the story.

Camping isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. I never realized it then, but all you could really do was eat, sleep, and fish. So fish we did. My brother would have been only seven years old, or so he tells me, because he distinctly remembers that year as the one where he wouldn’t stop singing that Meat Loaf song. I guess his young memory is much more accurate than my old faded one.

I do, however, remember fishing with my dad. But I mention my brother for a reason; he was only seven years old and much too restless to sit around on a dock all day, waiting for a fish to bite — especially on this particular day, when no fish seemed to bite at all. We ended up moving around, from dock to dock, shore to shore, bridge to bridge, hoping to get a bite.

After what certainly seemed like a very long time, but what was probably less than an hour, my brother and my mom headed back to our campsite while my dad and I continued to search for the perfect — or even an adequate — fishing spot. We hiked through the forest around the lake and finally found an opening onto the water. We stood on some logs that were floating on the edge of the shore, cast out our lines, and waited. And waited… and waited.

Suddenly, I felt a tug on my line. I’d never caught a fish before, but I instinctively knew this was a big one. Or maybe even “the big one”.

“Here — I can’t do it!” I cried, shoving the fishing pole into my dad’s hands. He grabbed the pole and started reeling it in. Unfortunately, he was so excited that his daughter had caught such a humongous fish on her very first fishing trip that he slipped and fell in. He was completely soaked and I thought it was absolutely hilarious.

After that, we decided it was time to pack up our fishing gear and head home. My dad started back up the hill and held out his hand so I could climb up. Unfortunately, it was then that I started into another giggling fit — and fell right into the water. I was completely soaked and he thought it was absolutely hilarious. And well, I guess it was. We headed back to our camp, empty-handed, but with quite an amusing version of “the one that got away”.