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L. E. Hughes

Away With Words: Minnows and Sieves
By L. E. Hughes
Jul 6, 2005 - 9:12:00 PM

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As I watched the daughter of a friend scoop minnows from the waters of Flagstaff Lake, it brought back memories of me doing the same along the shores of Moosehead Lake, a long, long time ago.

Katie scooped the minnows into her cupped palms, studied them, and then set them free. I scooped minnows with Mama’s kitchen sieve and put them in a quart Mason jar.

Mama never knew her sieve was being put to good use down at the beach where I played. She never knew because she had expertly trained us kids to "Put things back where you found them!" - a necessary thing to teach your six children who were, from dawn to dusk, all summer long, running around using things.

I faithfully put the sieve back in the cupboard where it belonged once my fishing fever had been satisfied, after I had used it to collect sand and little rocks and mussel shells and dead crayfish bodies from the lake bottom for the Mason jar bottom, my fish’s new home.

I was a good little girl; I always tried to do what was right, so I put it back every single time.

But for the life of me, I cannot remember cleaning it first.

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