Fishy Tale


I am not a recreational fisherman; neither in heart nor mind nor ability.  I did do some fishing in my youth and probably caught no more fish than could fit into a MacDonald’s Fish Burger.

Yet, I have a strong interest in fish.  I think that this is because this squirrel has a strong affinity to water.  It comes naturally like cheese and wine, Laurel and Hardy or as a duck takes to water.  Or as in this case, squirrel takes to water.  You might think this strange but I should remind you that my cousin the rat were well known seafarers, stowing on board all types of maritime vessels and spreading the plague.  I guess some of that seafaring spirit and watercraft rubbed off on me and that water ski-ing squirrel.

Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel (www.skiingsquirrel.com)

However, as any skittish squirrel knows, danger lurks everywhere and I had to start thinking about what lies beneath the waves. Some fish are just Weird and Wonderful, while the existence of some fish explain why I am Still Not Going Swimming Soon and recent discoveries give me More Reasons for Not Going Swimming Soon.

Recently, there has been a rash of fishy programmes on TV.  I think the first was National Geographic‘s “Megafish”, then there was “Monster Fish” and lately “River Monsters“.  All of these pandering to my peculiar obsession with Pisces oddities.

I personally had a run in with an unknown underwater denizen that shook me up while I was camped near a river in the rainforest of Endau Rompin National Park.  The full story is related in More Reasons for Not Going Swimming Soon.  This led me to wonder if there are creatures and dangers lurking in our waters that we are not yet aware of.

And so, I follow these documentaries with great interest.  The most fascinating one yet was the one on the “killer” Goonch Catfish of the Kali River in Nepal.  The photos below are from Animal Planet on Discovery Channel.

A 5 ft 7 in long, 41 in girth and 44 in wingspan, 161 pound Goonch Catfish
My, what big teeth and big mouth you have.

Mysterious disappearances of fishermen, ferry passengers, little boys and even buffaloes have occurred on the Kali River and some locals speak of the Devil Catfish as the cause.  The Hindu funeral practice of casting half burned bodies into the river is said to have made the catfish larger and to have developed a taste for human flesh.  Yah, I do not need any more encouragement to stay out of the water.  Fortunately, I have close to zero chance of finding myself in exotic Nepal.

I hope this makes you hesitate before you plunge into unknown waters for a swim.  Now, if you could excuse me, I’m off to see if I can get tickets for the recently released film, “Piranhas”.   It’s in 3D!

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21 thoughts on “Fishy Tale”

  1. If squirrels weren’t so small they could carry bigger spear guns when swimming. Then they could have their own show “Unknown killer squirrels of the deep that eat well”

  2. Oh my, such interesting posts LGS! I just read your Toman story to my husband- well told. I am going to remember that one next time we’re around the campfire sharing spooky stories. 🙂 There are tales of lake monsters here in Ontario and Canada. Every summer we swim in Lake Simcoe but I always think of the ‘lgopogo’ a lake monster, reported having a dog-like face. No one has ever caught it, but I kind of believe it exists…especially after reading your posts. I’m with Geewits – swimming pools are the best.

  3. That is some catfish! Be careful swimming, Mr. Squirrel! 🙂

    Our squirrels like for me to put water out for them, but ive seen no other evidence of squirrels enjoying the water. None on the lake so far. Of course, where we live is pretty dry, too.

    We have frequent squirrel visitors, & i put out food to greet them. I’ve lots of pics, too. We love our squirrels.

  4. Thank you, all material I need to make my point: I do not swim in that river!
    I know a man who was a fisherman in the Mekong delta, amazing stories he can tell.
    The rivers here made over the years a very good development, even the Rhine – which once (not too long ago!) was simply a dead sewer – has life in it today. So I guess, if there was any monster once, it surely is a dead monster now and today we have friendly ducks and small harmless fish.
    Genetic mutation?
    I once visited a museum of deep sea creatures in Hamburg, it gave me nightmares for the time coming. I can not look at these creatures.

  5. geewits,
    It would be sad to have one’s demise reported in the papers as “became fish food”.

    Mark,
    Howza bout “Unknown Killer Squirrels from the deep that eat well and wear killer bikini”. That ought to get good ratings.

  6. Laura,
    Lake Simcoe? That’s along drive from Ottawa but it is nice out that way. I envy you. I’d love to be able to camp out by a lake. In Malaysia, that is more equivalent to making blood sacrifices to the mosquito hordes.

    Kathryn,
    Thanks for taking such good care of my cousins out your way. As I said, a water loving squirrel is probably a rarity.

  7. Mago,
    In Europe,the monster fish is the Wel Catfish. It is found in Germany but it is in Spain that it is rumoured to be big enough to attack a human. I agree about deep sea creatures. You either admire their uniqueness or more likely, feel grossed out.

    SAW,
    Thinking about that large open mouth has reminded me of my dental appointment tomorrow. “Open Wide!”

  8. Yikes – am most glad we don’t have storm surges etc for who knows what came in with the ocean and lurks beneath the water…
    You asked if I live in Banff now – I live just outside Calgary a short distance away from Banff. We were on a day trip hence the photos 🙂 I’d love to live there too except it is year-round tourists as skiing is a big thing there now … also the city now screens newcomers – one must have x number of dollars in bank before being allowed to purchase property there.

  9. They caught a big one. Scary for a squirrel Fishing is quite popular here but I haven’t seen that size yet and not one with a moustache like that
    Arohanui marja

  10. Janice,
    That’s a beautiful part of the world. I hope you are happy and settling well. I hate the tourists too but how I wish I was one of them. 🙂

    Marja,
    My brave earthquake survivor. I like NZ lakes and rivers. I would like to think that nothing so sinister dwells there but I do recall that place on Milford Sound that shows dark corals. It was a bit strange.

  11. Didn’t that fish just star in a B rated Horror movie on the SciFy channel? LOL!

    Kisses Mr. Squirrel~
    =]

  12. I read that Steve Wozniak, original partner of Steve Jobs (Apple) is a sport fisherman who holds the world’s record for having caught the most species – over 1,000 of them, all over the world. To his credit, he has released most of them after they were photographed, but it seems like a particularly bizarre obsession to me.

  13. hearts,
    Ahhhh…..to be rich enough to have a hobby where you go round the world and spend tons of money to catch as many different species of fish and then to just release them. When you are rich, there is no point in having simple hobbies when you can have extravagant ones!

  14. Hi there, le Singe. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I have to admit that I would very much like to see Piranhas 3D cause I am a fan of B-grade horror movies! It’s a case of a movie being so so BAD that it is hilarious to watch. You know, like how it is fun to yell, “Look out! Behind you!” at those old Creature from the Black Lagoon classics.

  15. Wow! That’s some fish. I used to fish myself… in the olden days, on the Snake River in Idaho and Wyoming. But that’s ancient history. Perhaps the biblical fish that served all those people was the specimen in the photo…

  16. Jazz,
    Snake River? I have never been but have seen photos. My image of Wyoming is that of vast sky country……just oodles and oodles of space. Must have been a wonderful experience fishing there.

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