Some death rattles are cute.

June 29, 2010

When I was very young, our family lived on a small farm in eastern Kansas.  On the farm was a catfish pond that we spent many hours fishing from.  I was the only member of the family to ever pull a fish from that pond.  It was one of the most exciting moments of my young life.  After carrying the fish back to the house, we ran into one small problem.

It wouldn’t die.

We put it in the kitchen sink before it was dead.  Once it was in the sink, the angle made it impossible to deal a fatal blow – and the fish was large enough that we couldn’t get it out of the sink again because of it’s erratic thrashing.  I remember watching my father hit, stab, and even shoot that fish with a bb gun.  But most of all, I remember the fish crying.

Yes, crying.

Some varieties of catfish can produce squeals, groans, and moans.  I don’t know if these noises were it’s frantic death rattle, or just an attempt to create an everlasting guilt in the young boy that caught it.  Either way, it was a long and drawn out process that I’ve never been able to forget.

Worst of all, I found out that night that I didn’t like the taste of catfish.  I still don’t.

At least the ones that cry.

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