Little tiny girl
With bright light
Captured in her shiny curls
Peering into a bucket of water
At the catfish her dad plans to slaughter
He was putting up a fight
When first caught
But now at the bottom lay still
His only movement the flickering of a gill
Knowing that far from sight
Is the freedom he sought.
She can feel the sadness
Radiating from the creature
His freedom stolen away
As he realizes his fate
She wonders if he had a mate
Did he promise when he left,
That he'd be back at the end of the day?
She begins to think his capture is outrageous
As his sorrow becomes contagious
When her dad gets up and leaves the dock.
She reaches in a little hand
Gently touches his soft rubber skin
Then with all her little-girl-might
Pushes the bucket in
Albeit a little awkwardly
He crashes back into the sea
She thought he would immediately dash from sight
But he paused and seemed to stare
At the little girl watching from the dock
Then he flickered and was gone
One moment he was there
Then he was not.
Then her dad was running back
Responding to the splash
Crying; "What was that crash?"
She said; "He gave the side of the bucket
One great big whack
Tipped it right over."
He sighed and shook his head
"Guess that's what I get
For leaving it too close to the edge."
But he returned to his fishing pole with a smile
As if he'd guessed at his daughter's guile.
On the next morning
She sits all alone on the shore
As the sun begins to rise
Little waves lapping at her feet gently
When she notices something out to sea
She wades out and meets it in the middle
In her hands she grasps a clear bottle
Inside there is a small note
On which she finds someone has wrote
"Thanks for setting me free."