Fisherman by Vane Kosturanov , via Writer’s Island 

THOSE who are lucky, quickly pass me by. Others, who choose to linger, often find it is too late; I reel in my catch before they know what is happening and have a chance to make their getaway.

It might look very calm and relaxing where I am, but you are not on this boat in the middle of this lifeless, fetid lake where only the lotus can grow. One fine day, the artist placed me here, able as he was to only see the rising lilies but unable to smell the noxious vapours that arise from the stagnant pool that lies below. Then he left me on this museum wall, with the lilies and the useless fishing rod on this rancid lake.

I have been here a long time, and putting up with the remarks of those who trickle in here, most often to escape the weather outside, has not been easy.

“How placid and serene! Lucky dog, to be in such tranquil surroundings!”

If only they could take my place!

Then, one day, I realized I could, after all, put my fishing rod to good use. So the next time a visitor came up and stood close by, taking in the ‘tranquility and the peace’, I cast my rod and reeled in his mind; I played with it till his thoughts had become mine to do as I pleased.

Things have been better since that day. Now I wait, shoulders slightly bent, apparently lost in a world of my own, which people find so appealing that it draws them unknowingly close.

But that, dear friend, as you are now near enough to know, is just a bait.