Amber smiled contentedly. She had arrived at her favourite observation point. None of her siblings were around and the water in the stream was just at the right height to cover the pebbles and leave her unseen. From this vantage point she could watch and listen. “Plop,” she heard the sound of a small object dropping into the water. Darting forward she found the struggling body of a caterpillar that had dropped from the overhanging branches. “Success,” she smiled, sucking up the struggling body with relish. Turning she returned to the shelter of a large pebble in wait for the next victim. Only she had realised how productive this small stretch of bankside water was for food and she hadn’t told any of her siblings because she was not in the habit of sharing. That would come later when she had her own brood to look after.
Unbeknown to Amber a young man was crouching low on the bank above her. He had been scanning the water’s surface and immediately spotted the silver body and bright red fins as Amber had moved forwards. The angler knew that this was his chance. He gently cast his line and the hook with it’s single maggot landed on the water with a single splash in exactly the place where the caterpillar had met it’s fate.
Amber darted forward, hardly believing her luck. Grabbing the maggot she lazily returned to her resting place, only realising her mistake when she suddenly felt a sharp pain and some unknown force appeared to be pulling her into the bank. She shook her head in the hope that the pain would disappear but could only feel the tugging at her mouth getting stronger. She turned to swim away and in panic made a dive for a patch of weeds to her left. Feeling herself being pulled backwards she swam in a circle around a broken branch that lay on the riverbed. Instantly the pain in her mouth stopped and she was able to swim back to the middle of the river. She decided that it may be a good idea to return and join her family, perhaps visiting this hunting spot tomorrow when the pain in her mouth may be less.
On the bank the young angler looked at the broken line from his reel, bemoaning the loss of his float and his bad luck in losing the largest rudd he had ever seen on the river.