The Osprey

Today was the opening of the fishing season and I went into the shed and rigged up a rod with a lure and went down to the dock. I made some casts and thought about the better fishing that was over in the channel, and all the good spots that I had fished as a boy and young man. But I didn't have a boat to get over there and now someone else owned that property and it would be trespassing to walk onto it. So I continued to cast out into the very weed-less waters around the dock.
I could see I would not catch anything. There was no activity in the water. The lake was brown and dead. It was a late thaw for the ice and it had gone out only two weeks before. Spring had begun on the land and the birds were active and building nests and the trees were budding and the animals had returned from winter, but under the water the spring had not yet come. None of the underwater plants had started to grow. The water was still to cold. The fish were in some other place. They were not yet ready to spawn. I did not know where they were.
Across the lake I watched a great black bird soaring back and forth over the water. The bird was hunting the water for something. I saw the angle in his wing and his white head. It was an osprey. He must have been six feet across in the wings. The great osprey stopped in the air, flapping its wings dramatically, and held itself over the water, studying it. Then he soared high and dove, crashing through the surface of the water and then flapping out of the water, he soared along the height of the pines, hunting the lake.
The osprey had seen something. I didn't think there were fish yet but the osprey was hunting them. The osprey again hovered on beating wings and dove and crashed into the water and he came out and gliding low across the lake and towards me on the dock and soaring over me, I saw in his talons he had one, he had a fish. The osprey had caught one. It looked like a little perch. The osprey circled back and showed me again the perch he had caught and I watched him soar along the tree line and down the channel. For the great hunter the spring had come.

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