The Fisherman


Daijun, was the eldest son of a prosperous fisherman in the small port town of Mancu. He had watched his father work the seas his whole life and wanted nothing more than to be a great fisherman in kind. When he was old enough, he told his father of his desires to follow in his footsteps and his willingness to learn the craft. His father was proud of the family tradition and set out to teach his son, just as he had been taught by his father and his father before him, for generations.

The next day, he sent Daijun to the harbor to work with the laborers scraping barnacles from the ships at dock. It was hard, tortuous work. When Daijun returned home, he complained of the hard work and questioned what it had to do with fishing. His father explained that to fish the sea, you must sail. And to sail, you need a boat. And to own a boat, you must know how to fix and care for it. Daijun could not argue the logic and continued his work at the docks.

He spent the next weeks teaching his son every knot, pulley, winch, and sail of the old trawler they owned. He became quite the proficient sailor, but in time, Daijun asked his father when he would learn to find and catch the fish. His father had seen his son become a proficient sailor and explained to Daijun that there was but one more important lesson to learn. He gave Daijun the daily task to take the small and unsellable fish by hand cart, up the long hill to the village and give the fish to the poor and hungry who lived there. Sensing the end of his training and the beginning of truly fishing in the near future, Daijun took to his task the first day with glee.

He returned at the end of the day feeling quite differently about his lesson. Muscles aching from pushing the laden cart up the long hill, smelling of rotting fish, and feeling beleaguered by the throngs of needy who so greedily took of their kindness, he asked his father what this could possibly have to do with fishing.

His father simply repeated his mantra, β€œTo fish, you must sail. To sail, you need a boat. To own a boat, you must know how to fix and care for your boat. And to take fish as a gift from the sea, you must first learn to give.”


25 Responses to “The Fisherman”
  1. beth says:

    this is so beautiful

  2. What a wonderful story for a parent to teach a child! As adults, we need these reminders of what humanity is all about!

  3. kristianw84 says:

    This is such a beautiful story, Brad!! A lesson many of us could learn!

  4. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    A truly great lesson indeed! Quite a lovely story my friend, very poetic I would say…
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Beautiful Brad. You are a magician 🌹

  6. Jim Borden says:

    beautiful story, Brad. I like your venture into short stories!

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    We may have a children’s book writer on our hands in addition to a poet. Great lessons from the father. Hopefully, Daijun learns these important and necessary lessons well.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I never thought of these stories as a children’s book, but I see what you mean. I may have to think of these in a different light. A little bit of re-writing and bundled together, it could be a book of parables for children. Likely easier to get published than poetry. Thanks for the greater perspective Pete! Something I will need to ruminate on.

      • petespringerauthor says:

        There are many books for kids that follow this approach. They tell a short story with rich vocabulary and always teach a lesson or two. If the language is too sophisticated for children, an adult could read the stories to a child because kids will understand the lessons. This story would be considered a fable if the characters were animals instead of people, though it works either way.

      • Brad Osborne says:

        If you have given me much to consider Pete. An avenue I had never contemplated. Thanks for that and all your support!

  8. jonicaggiano says:

    This is a beautiful story. We live in a culture in the US were so many young children feel entitled. This is a beautiful story and a wonderful story for all. Thank you Brad. Sending my love ❀️⭐️😘

  9. Joyce says:

    Indeed a great story

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