Important news: The perch are in.
I can't convey to you how happy A. is about this. The amazingly cold spring has meant that the water temperature in the lake has been correspondingly cold, and that meant that the perch have been staying away from the shore. Usually in late April and May, the perch and other panfish come right in to the shallow water in swarms, and A. and Cubby can go out and catch a dozen in a half hour from the village dock.
No such luck this year. A. bought minnows for bait and went out over and over, with no results. They just weren't there.
But in the meantime, we have this cooler of minnows sitting next to the house. The children, as you might imagine, have been all into that cooler.
Cubby checks it regularly for the inevitable one or two dead minnows that have floated to the top. He helpfully removes these. At first he threw them into the lilac bush for the cat to find and eat. But soon he discovered the joys of dissection. With his fingers.
He stands there squishing the minnow in his fingers, showing me the swim bladder and whatever other innards he thinks he's identified while I avert my eyes and make non-committal comments. He informed me that he is a scientist, and so he needs to look at the insides of the fish.
Right. I am not a scientist. I do not want to see the insides of a fish.
Nor do I wish to have a dead minnow placed on my bare foot. Or arm. Or hand. Or wherever Charlie tries to place his dead minnow, because you know if Cubby has one, Charlie has to have one too.
It's hard to say what is more repellent to me: a whole dead minnow on my foot or a mutilated dead minnow waved in my face.
A. took Cubby fishing in the canoe on Wednesday and found perch. Lots of them. They were in. So the hated (by me) minnows finally produced a nice catch of four big perch (A. had to leave for court, so they didn't have time to catch more). They brought the perch up to the house in the minnow cooler. While A. filleted the perch, Cubby manhandled the remaining perch in the cooler, carefully explaining to Charlie about gills and fish slime and whatever other great wisdom Cubby possesses about perch.
He has a lot of wisdom to impart, obviously.
Four perch--even large ones--don't make for very substantial fillets, so there wasn't a lot of fish for dinner that night, but the children very much enjoyed what there was. And I have no doubt there will be a lot more perch in our future. Because the perch are in. Finally.