Updated date:

A Fishing Child (I)

Endy is a lover of and a practicing writer. He is always learning ways to improve while spilling his gut. He sees writing as life.


Stanza I

At five or six or something about that age,
An age so tender and young,
Age when a child plays with building blocks and toys
Or playing in the sand as common to most African children
The fishing child had his own path lined
Lined with herculean job of diving and plunging in rivers
His task is to make for himself a mean
A mean which passes through the depths of waters
Cutting short lives of fishes whether big or small
A mean unto a golden dream and a future unknown


Stanza II

Jumping in his canoe and taking a seat on the canoe’s deck plate,
He paddled slowly, and gently, and tenderly, and steadily
He navigates his way through the seas unto the deeps,
The deeps of the seas and the rivers deepest parts
But as every canoe paddler already knows,
Canoes sometimes capsids and one who can’t swim gets drown
Does the five or six years old fishing child know how to swim?
Ah, I won’t let you wonder that all alone and all by yourself,
I’ll be here to wonder and figure it out all and with you


Stanza III

Deep in the heart of the sea and ready to make a lunch,
The fishing child move swiftly to the canoe’s middle stern
And as the sun take advantage of the bluish sky because the night is gone
So the fishing child takes advantage of a training and father’s trade
For they have been fishing partners for many months running
That’s a mystery worthy of a wonder to adorn with imaginations
The fishing child knots his net unto a long bamboo stick,
And lowering the bamboo into the depths of the seas,
He anchors his net as a sailor would dock his ship on the harbour
With paddle on one hand and the other to paddle and sail,
The fishing child begins to lunch his net for a catch

Training a Child

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Stanza IV

Lunch and paddle, lunch and paddle, and on in a row
The child made his way through the still quiet sea with his net
First making curve like a rainbow but without the rainbow’s colours
O’ he had made a beautiful bowl with his net along a circumference
And back to his anchored bamboo stick standing middle-way in sea
He drag and pull as his net’s floaters float and buoyancy and float
Ah all the fishes in the inside of bowl are perhaps going to be his
He made a catch of mackerels, tilapia, herring, and perch
Fishing child made plenty a catch and made his way back home for a roast
The fishing child is skilled and a great little kingfisher
He can swim too—he learnt that at about age of four or five



The fishing child is a poetic presentation of a childhood experience in a riverine. Fishing is the trade the fishing child learnt from his dad at the tender age of about four or five. By the time he was six or seven he had a good mastery of the trade and could go all alone. One good thing about this childhood experience, which in modern days could be termed 'child labour', is that it is capable of creating a man in a child's body.

Yes, that early training and experience of following a dad, becoming a dad's partner, and learning a dad's trade make a lot of difference in adulthood.

I had this same childhood experience which is still valuable for me to date. Each time I had an opportunity to visit my small village, Odeke, and our farm's stead, Arah, fishing is one of the things I do. It remains the most practical trade to me, and I do it happily at the slightest opportunity.

I'll soon be visiting my village, and that filled me with happiness and great excitement because I am going to remember the good old days. I love fishing, and I say it with pride.

Now I want to pass the baton to you by asking the question: 'What trade do you learn from your mom or dad as a child?'

Opinion Call

Training the Child

“Everything a child experiences, either by way of indulgence or the self-restraint you impose, is preparing him for the day when he will mature into a responsible, moral soul. Somewhere on that road of development, each child will graduate to commence his full accountability. That child then stands alone before God, “without excuse.” It becomes his day of accountability.”

— ― Michael Pearl, To Train Up a Child: Turning the hearts of the fathers to the children

Opinion Call: Personal Self-evaluation

© 2017 Ajodo Endurance Uneojo

You can share you opinion below.

Ajodo Endurance Uneojo (author) from Lokoja, Nigeria. on August 16, 2019:

Thank you, Mary...

Your experience in Brazil is similar to what is obtained in most parts of Nigeria. I have participated in the cassava peeling in the past.

Interestingly, I am writing a master thesis on cassava, but this time on cassava seed oil precisely. Cassava is such an amazing root crop and there is a lot most people don't know about cassava and its products.

On teaching life skills to children, I think it's the best way to help them grow-up. We never can tell what those skills will mean to them on the long-run.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and helping me to reconnect with a part of my childhood memories.


Mary Wickison from Brazil on August 14, 2019:

I found this very interesting. Where I live in Brazil, children are raised differently than in the States, where I'm from.

For example I joined a local family when they harvested their cassava. The women, myself included, all sat around a pile of them including a girl of about 5. She, like all of us, was wielding a sharp knife, peeling the cassava.

I've seen young girls break up dog fights with nothing more than a flip flop and a few sharp words.

So many necessary life skills aren't taught by parents in many 'developed' first world countries. Children need to be taught life lessons, so they can cope. Living in a nanny state doesn't benefit the population, it only makes the population controlled and fearful.

Ajodo Endurance Uneojo (author) from Lokoja, Nigeria. on December 16, 2017:

That's great Manatita. Teaching children to love God is a great thing and I think that is what sustains every other endeavor.

We possibly can't rule God out of children's life. If you can teach them to love God and serve humanity. Then you have finish the task there is.

Great Point!

Thanks for the addition.

manatita44 from london on December 15, 2017:

Yes, I saw it metaphorically as the six year old then the young man; then the father with his son as the training continued.

Yes, life teaches us and the first port of call, I suppose, is our parents. I learnt fishing from them too, not at the seafront, that was with the 'boys' but in the Ocean, yes.

When the devotee's eyes are open to the Higher Light, he wishes to teach this to his children. That is my wish or trade to pass on, as you call it. Love God; serve mankind. For me all else is secondary.

Related Articles