Goin’ Fishin’

By Tony Greenfield

Sunlight scintillated across the rippling Galilee surface as Jesus stepped into the morning air from his white-washed stone beach hut.
“What-ho?” he called to Simon Peter who was sitting on the sand, wiping grains from between his toes.  “And how was your catch this bright and merry morning?”
“Fuck-all” grunted Andrew from behind a large rock from where he had been having a quiet slash.
“Oh dear. What a shame. What a dreadful pity,” said Jesus.  “What rotten luck.”
“It’s more than that, you fuckin’ assole”, growled Phil.  “While you’ve been snoring on your sack, we’ve been out on a mad-mad sea, casting our nets and lines, since fower.”
“And that means,” said Mat, “that we’ve nowt for us snap and we’ve nowt to trade for us bevvy.”
“Dear dear”, said Jesus. “Permit me to ponder the problem.”  And he retreated to his stone hut.  “Back in five” he called, and shut the door.
In fact, Jesus had been up for two hours, watching Breakfast Time on his box.  Breakfast Time always amused him, especially when Sian Williams sat next to Bill Turnbull on the sofa, showing her shiny knees and her whimsical grin.  But there had been something special this morning.
The gang knew nothing about the box and he always hid it well.  It was a special nepotism from DAD for all the good work he claimed to be doing: healing and saving sinners and lashing money-lenders and all that.  He couldn’t let the chaps know about it because it hadn’t been invented yet.  And neither had April the first.  So who was spoofed when Bill the Bull showed a jazz-band on the bank of the River Dove, near Sudbury Hall?  It was Jolly-old-Jeez himself.   He was amazed; his brain was bally-boggled while Isaac the fisherman, surrounded by helpful jazz-men, hauled trout after trout after trout and more onto the shore.  He had played it over and over on his still-not-invented-and-therefore-well-hidden recorder.
“Thanks Dad,” Jesus muttered. “You’re a real brick.”
Jesus appeared on the door-step, holding his ukulele.
“Hurrah, he’s going to cheer us up,” said Phil. “But he’s still an assole. He may be able to give us a tune on that uke but we can’t eat the bugger.”
“Hang on a bit, old chap,” said Jesus. “And don’t be so demmed impatient.  The fish will soon be biting faster than the Vicar of Dibley ever will when chocolate is discovered.”
He stepped over the shingle towards the water, stopping when the ripples lapped over his sandaled toes.  He was delighted when he learned that 2,000 years later a cobbler nicked the design and called them ‘Jesus sandals’.
He struck a jolly tune:
Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Tha shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Tha shall hev a fishy when the boo-at comes in.
Twelve big and brawny fishermen gathered round on the shore of Galilee and joined him in song:
I like a drop mysel’,
When I can get it sly,
And tha, my bonny bairn,
Will lik’t as well as I.
Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Tha shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Tha shall hev a mackerel when the boo-at comes in.
May we get a drop,
Oft as we stand in need;
And weel may the keel row
That brings the bairns their bread.
Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Tha shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Tha shall hev a salmon when the boo-at comes in.
Jesus laughed.
Crowds of leaping fish guggled up the surface of the sea.
“Spread out, lads, along the shore and up to your waists,” he called.”Now cast your lines and get to work.”
After two hours of frantic efforts, they had landed 5,000 fish.
“That’s enough to feed the crowd I expect to join us for luncheon,” said Jesus.
“But they’ll want bread as well,” said Mat.
“Oh, they’ll have that too,” said Jesus.  “For nobody is better bred than I.”
“But hang on a mo.  I might have something round the back.”
Jesus scarpered through the front door, through the cottage to the back door where a Tesco van had just arrived.
“Big delivery,” said the driver.  “Five thousand bread rolls.”
“Super.  Thanks ever so.”
“No prob,” the driver said.


(More about Tony)


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