September 17, 2021
A young fisherman landed only one small fish after a day of trying but it turns out to be the catch of his life.
Jack Marlow was a keen fisherman, he just wasn't very good at it. However, that didn't stop him. Every Sunday he'd be out on the pier casting his line hour after hour.
While the other fisherman (sitting right next to him) pulled a bounty of fish out of the ocean, poor Jack just sat there. He tried everything. He changed the type of bait he used, the lure, the line, and the sinker, but nothing worked.
Then one Sunday, something extraordinary happened. Jack got a bite! He was overwhelmed with excitement when he felt that first gentle tug on the line, then the stronger pull that told him a fish was hooked.
Jack let out a cry: "I have a bite!"
Immediately the men around him jumped. "Jack's got a bite!" one shouted. "The fish are really desperate today!" cried another. "Watch out, boy, it's a big one!"
A flushed, excited Jack fought the invisible fish at the end of his line. It was definitely a big one, judging by its strength! Slowly Jack reeeled in his first catch of the season glowing with triumph.
But when he finally hauled the fish out of the water and into his net, his face fell. It was tiny! The silvery fish flapping angrily in his hand-held net was scarcely bigger than his hand!
Immediately the men around him started hooting derisively. "Jack's caught a whale!"
Jack blushed, but he was determined to take his catch home, so he started gutting and cleaning his fish. To his surprise, when he stripped out the guts, he heard a faint metallic chink.
There was something in the fish's stomach. Jack was surprised to discover a ring covered in blood and bile. He rinsed it in his bucket and found himself holding a beautiful diamond ring.
On the inside was written: "To my dream girl, love forever." Jack was intrigued. He was sure the owner of the ring must be heartbroken at its loss. He had to find her -- but how?
Jack took a photo of the ring and printed out a few fliers with his phone number on it that he dropped off at several of the town's shops. Surely 'Dream girl' was a customer at one of them!
A week went by and no one phoned. Maybe the owner of the ring had been a tourist just passing through. But one day, as Jack was chatting with the grocery store owner and mentioned that no one had claimed the ring, the man looked at the flier again and called his daughter.
"Diddy, do you recognize this ring?" The girl walked over and glanced at the flier.
"That looks a bit like Fran's ring... Maybe it's hers. She's been staying at her grandmother's house for the last two weeks. It's the third house on Sycamore Street. Little pink cottage? You can't miss it."
So with the ring in his pocket, Jack set out to find 'Dream girl.' He knocked on the door of the pink cottage and a tiny old lady answered. "Hi," he said, "I think I have something that belongs to your granddaughter?"
He showed her the ring and the woman called out, "Fran, your ring's come back!" A slim young woman with long dark hair appeared. She didn't look at all pleased to see Jack or the ring.
Fran looked at the ring sparkling in Jack's hand and frowned. "How did you find that?" she asked with an angry tone in her voice. "I threw that into the sea!"
Jack was astonished. "You did?" he gasped. "But why?"
Fran flushed angrily. "Not that it's any of your business, but the man who gave it to me is a lying cheat!" she said. "I threw it away, and I swore it I would never wear another engagement ring as long as I lived!"
Jack was looking at her lovely unhappy face, and his heart turned over. He held the ring in his hand. "I'll hang on to this until you're ready to wear it again," he said.
"Never," cried Fran, but she didn't know what a patient man Jack was. He'd sat for years on that pier waiting for his fish, he would get his girl. And he did. Two years later, Fran and Jack married, and on her finger was the ring the sea had given back.
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