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The Big One


Mark Jacobs and his grandfather always went fishing at Grose Lake. Mark loved visiting with his sophisticated grandfather during the summer. While fishing, Mark's grandfather would reiterate stories of his flamboyant life which included war stories, among others. Mark's favorite stories, however, were those regarding Old Bentor, a humongous largemouth bass that inhabited Grose Lake.

In Grandpa's stories, countless encounters transpired between the old man and the legendary largemouth bass. In one story, Grandpa was fishing in aboat and hooked Old Bentor. The fish's enormous size caused the boat to capsize, and Grandpa was forced to swim back to shore losing his rod, reel, and tackle box.Needless to say, the fish got away.

Another story had Grandpa and two other men fishing from the bank when George Martin hooked the bass. After much fighting, the fish was pulled in toward shore. The three men couldn't believe the size of the fish, and in a futile attempt to unhook the big bass, it managed to escape the men's dexterity.

Mark secretly wondered if the stories his grandpa told were fact or fiction. He had never heard of any bass growing to such a monstrous size.

In any event, Mark loved to accompany his grandpa on these fishing excursions. There were times when both Mark and his grandpa caught several fish. There were also times whenthe fish just weren't biting. Still, the trips were fun and broke the monotony of just sitting around.

The years passed by, and Mark matured. He continued to visit Grose Lake, although his grandparents had passed on many years before. When Mark went to the lake and cast his line into the water,his grandpa's stories would recur to him.

On one Saturday afternoon, Mark was sitting alone on the bank fishing when he got a bite. It seemed like nothing out of the ordinary. When Mark attempted to reel the fish in, he encountered some difficulty. At first, Mark thought he might have hooked some underbrush, but underbrush wasn't known to pull back. The line got tight.

"What if this is Old Bentor?" Mark thought.

He attempted to erase all thoughts of this legendary fish. Mark felt Grandpa was merely having fun relating those fictional accounts to a little boy. That was so long ago. If Old Bentor had existed, he wouldhave certainly passed on by now. Yet, Mark's line pulled extra tight. Mark reeled in some line. Just then the bass breached from the water.

Bill couldn't believe his eyes. There, before him was the largest bass he'd ever seen. Mark reeled in again. The line snapped, and the adventure was over. The fish had gotten away.

Could this have been Old Bentor?