One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish. About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach, trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.
"You aren’t going to catch many fish that way," said the businessman to the fisherman, "you should be working rather than lying on the beach!"
The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, "And what will my reward be?"
"Well, you could get bigger nets and catch more fish!" was the businessman’s answer.
"And then what will my reward be?" asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, "You could make money and be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!"
"And then what will my reward be?" asked the fisherman again.
The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. "You could buy a bigger boat and hire some people to work for you!" he said.
"And then what will my reward be?" repeated the fisherman.
The businessman was getting angry. "Don’t you understand? You could build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!"
Once again the fisherman asked, "And then what will my reward be?"
The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, "Don’t you understand that you could become so rich that you will never have to work again! You could spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!"
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, "And what do you think I’m doing right now?"
A man calls home to his wife and says, “Honey I have been asked to go fishing at a big lake up in Canada with my boss and several of his friends. We’ll be gone for a week. This is a good opportunity for me to get that promotion I’ve been wanting so would you please pack me enough clothes for a week and set out my rod and tackle box. We’re leaving from the office and I will swing by the house to pick my things up. Oh! and please pack my new blue silk pajamas.”
The wife thinks this sounds a little fishy but being a good wife she does exactly what her husband asked.
The following weekend he comes home a little tired but otherwise looking good. The wife welcomes him home and asks if he caught many fish. He says, “Yes! lots of walleye, some bluegill, and a few pike. But why didn’t you pack my new blue silk pajamas like I asked you to do?”
The wife replies; “I did, they were in your tackle box.”
One day many years ago, a fisherman’s wife blessed her husband with twin sons. They loved the children very much, but couldn’t think of what to name their children. Finally, after several days, the fisherman said, “Let’s not decide on names right now. If we wait a little while, the names will simply occur to us.”
After several weeks had passed, the fisherman and his wife noticed a peculiar fact. When left alone, one of the boys would also turn towards the sea, while the other boy would face inland. It didn’t matter which way the parents positioned the children, the same child always faced the same direction. “Let’s call the boys Towards and Away,” suggested the fisherman. His wife agreed, and from that point on, the boys were simply known as TOWARDS and AWAY.
The years passed and the lads grew tall and strong. The day came when the aging fisherman said to his sons, “Boys, it is time that you learned how to make a living from the sea.” They provisioned their ship, said their goodbyes, and set sail for a three month voyage.
The three months passed quickly for the fisherman’s wife, yet the ship had not returned. Another three months passed, and still no ship. Three whole years passed before the grieving woman saw a lone man walking towards her house. She recognized him as her husband.
“My good- ness! What has happened to my darling boys?” she cried.
The ragged fisherman began to tell his story: “We were just barely one whole day out to sea when Towards hooked into a great fish. Towards fought long and hard, but the fish was more than his equal. For a whole week they wrestled upon the waves without either of them letting up. Yet eventually the great fish started to win the battle, and Towards was pulled over the side of our ship. He was swallowed whole, and we never saw either of them again.”
“Oh dear, that must have been terrible! What a huge fish that must of been! What a horrible fish.”
“Yes, it was, but you should have seen the one that got Away….”