Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lesson From the Lamprey

The guys went fishing for red horse and suckers yesterday.  They had good luck, bringing home about twenty 4-5 pounders for pickling.

While the guys were back of our house scaling and cleaning them, I was in the house putting together a 250-piece mosaic computer jig-saw puzzle on  The puzzle pieces are cut in odd shapes and sizes, different than the usual jig-saw pieces that fit together.  Our backdoor opened, and hubby called in to me, "You gotta come out here and look at something."

Attached to one of the fish was this fiercely wiggling thing about 8 inches long.  Black in color, it was nasty.  Real nasty.  Even the guys were turned off by what we agreed looked like a lamprey.  I went back in the house to my computer and Googled the lamprey, and sure enough, that's what it was.  Ug...lee.

Lamprey attached to fish
We got the camera and snapped a picture, but it didn't turn out very good.  When the guys pulled it off the fish, they tried getting rid of it.  It was like wrestling the devil.  The more they tried, the more it fought.  In order to dispose of the slimy creature, they wrapped it in newspaper and lit it on fire.  There was no way a horrid thing like that was going to stick around and make its way into our local river.

Lampreys are 'harmful hitchikers' that attach themselves to other fish and suck on their blood and body fluids.  They leave round scars on the fish.  They are remnants of an ancient family of boneless and jawless fish that were here before the dinosaurs, some 400 to 500 million years ago.

Usually I can find something positive to say about all things in nature, but the lamprey is an exception.  I'd be hard pressed to identify one thing in its favor.  I debated with myself whether or not to write about it, but then I decided it would be wrong not to.  After all, nature is nature, and if it's part of nature, it's part of all of us.

I learned a lesson from the lamprey.  Life situations sometimes get such a grip on us that they suck the blood out of us, and we weaken and we struggle.  What we have to do is detach ourselves and get rid of those harmful hitchhikers that suck the life right out of us.  Just like the lamprey, our troubles are hard to get rid of.  Maybe what we have to do is mentally wrap our burdens in newspapers and set them on fire.