Henri and the Cormorant

Henri stood at the shore of Lake Pontchartrain with a stout deep-sea rod in his hands. The reel was letting out 6 pound line at a steady clip.

Offshore, a cormorant circled back and forth over the water. Then the bird plunged. Splashing in and out, the cormorant emerged with a large fish in his beak.

“Merci, chien sauvage,” Henri murmured to himself, as he reversed the reel and wound in the line. Pulled by an invisible hand, the bird flapped spastically as he winged to the shore. With a baleful glance at Henri, the great feathered fisherman was landed on the cement barricade of the lake.

Henri reached down and took the fish from the bird’s beak. He tossed the fish in a nearby cooler, then picked up his bird of prey, roosting it on a large leather gauntlet that covered his left hand and wrist. The cormorant flapped back at Henri a bit, but calmed down as Henri flicked excess water droplets from his wings.

He inspected the surgical tubing attached the bird’s leg, and the connection to his fishing line. Everything was in order and the bird pulsed in satisfaction.

“Now go get one for yourself,” Henri whispered, and released the bird.

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