by Randal Sumner
I was flipping through the channels last night looking for
something to watch that was not about bad celebrity behavior or presidential
politics or even my standard back up Home Fix-it TV.
I came across an old re-run of Kung
Fu, remember that show; Grasshopper. This is the one where a Chinese /Anglo/
Shaolin Buddhist Priest walks all over the Old West bare foot, carrying a purse
and beating the tar out of armed cowboys and best of all talking snappy far
eastern philosophical patter.
I’d forgotten all about, “ When you can take the pebble from my
hand grasshopper, it will be time for you to go.” You’ve got to love this
After the show was over I went to
bed and began to dream almost as fast as I closed my eyes. (And what did you
dream of Master?) Your thinking I dreamed of fishing aren’t you? No grasshopper
I dreamed I was a Cardiologist, that I quit my practice to raise Alpaca’s. It
seemed like the perfect life choice, no more hospitals or patients no more life
and death just me and my fuzzy Alpaca’s grazing on a perfect green pasture. It
was a bit strange that I had no shoes and wore a purse but hey, that may be the
Alpaca way, what do I know I’m a cardiologist.
At some point, the dream of Alpaca ranching went south. It was
winter and I had to hump bales of hay in the snow to a bunch of ungrateful
smelly hairballs and I still was barefoot. Yes, I began to miss the life I’d
left behind in medicine. One of the Alpaca’s whispered to me” be careful what
you wish for, grasshopper, you may get it,” A haunting dream experience to be
In real life I had a twenty-two
year run with the Pennzoil Co. of Houston Texas,
no cardiologist but a pretty decent job. I can remember
leaving work a little early to do some fishing once in a while, mostly during
the Blue Wing Olive hatch in the spring and fall. If someone from the home
office would call, my guys would tell them I was seeing Dr. Trout, that is what
is called workplace teamwork. Once in a while someone will ask me if I miss the
old job, and after some soul searching I must admit I do miss the use of our
big company dumpster. It was a beauty.
Back on the river I would see the fishing guides and their clients
gliding past, whoopping it up, having fun. This, I thought would be the life to
have, on the water with the sun on your back. As it has turned out I am
beginning my 7th season as a professional fly fishing guide and it
is true you must be careful what you wish for grasshopper, for sometimes that
wish is the perfect choice.