Long, long ago, in a land far away, there was a chubby little first-baseman who enjoyed sourdough biscuits and fried fish. Like you, his family changed. His daddy disappeared.

DEAR SEAN:

We just moved to Clovis, New Mexico. I really miss home and all my family are in Florida. I am nine years old… My parents are divorced. And I am a very good artist.

I was wondering if you could tell a story about our situation. …If you don’t mind, I would like you to use words kids understand (but still a make it funny and emotional).

Your friend, KAYLIE

DEAR KAYLIE:

I have a story.

Long, long ago, in a land far away, there was a chubby little first-baseman who enjoyed sourdough biscuits and fried fish. Like you, his family changed. His daddy disappeared. And when that happened, the first-baseman’s world turned black.

One day, this boy went walking in the woods—for it is well-known that first-basemen love forests—and he found a creek near the river.

It was filled with magic catfish who talked to him in small voices, saying:

“No fishing poles you use,
Nor trotlines will ever work,
You will never catch us,
You chubby little jerk.”

This made the boy angry. For who were catfish to talk this way? The first-baseman had been fishing since before he played first base.

So, the next day he visited with a fishing rod. But as it happened, the boy had lost all faith in himself after his daddy died. Because of this, he caught no fish.

The catfish teased:

“Try and try,
You dumb pup,
You’ll catch us never,
You’ve already given up.”

Their singing displeased the first-baseman, for he knew the mystical scum-suckers were wrong about him.

So, the next day he fished again. Nothing.

And the whisker-fish sang:

“Fish, ye, at sundown,
Fish, ye, at sunup,
It won’t work, ye young fool,
Because you’ve given up.”


Now the boy KNEW the fish were mistaken. Mainly, because poets quit using words like “ye” after the invention of the monofilament lightbulb.

Thus, the little boy shouted, “You’re wrong about me! I won’t stop trying!”

Then, he remembered a song his daddy once sang. And so he recited in cut time:

“I will work all day,
I will work all night,
And though I may fail,
I will try and try,

“For I am strong,
Though humble I may be,
To give up is wrong,
For someone believes in me.

Then, magic.

The first-baseman felt his pole bend. And I am pleased to report that he caught a catfish the size of an NFL player’s torso.

He carried the creature home where his mama made fried catfish and sourdough biscuits. And they ate saturated trans fats happily ever after.

Kaylie.

I know life is tough. I know you miss your home, your friends, and your daddy. I know how hard it is to keep going. But don’t give up, sweetie.

Don’t ever.

Because I know a first-baseman who believes in you.

12 comments

  1. Sandra Marrar - February 12, 2017 2:33 pm

    So touching!

    Reply
  2. Cynthia Myers - February 12, 2017 2:39 pm

    I believe that is one of the most important lessons we can learn. The enemy will whisper in our ear all manners of lies but there is someone who believes in us.

    Reply
  3. Regina - February 12, 2017 2:44 pm

    This one may be the most heartwarming story I have read. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Lisa - February 12, 2017 3:28 pm

    I’m a new fan/reader. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Linda Lewis - February 12, 2017 5:12 pm

    Wow. Did you deliver on Kaylie’s request! What a wonderful thing you did for her. I shared your post, along with your URL, on my blog today. Not only did you give Kaylie hope and courage, it spilled over to help all of us.

    Reply
  6. Anne - February 12, 2017 6:58 pm

    This MUST be made into an illustrated children’s (and adult’s) book!!!!!!!!!! I am a recent fan by way of my cousin in Greenville, Alabama. Although I have lived in Indiana all of my life, your stories have reawakened my southern roots (Sylacauga), and I am grateful!

    Reply
  7. Wendy Boston - February 12, 2017 8:08 pm

    ❤️

    Reply
  8. Carol DeLater - February 12, 2017 8:43 pm

    Lovely. PERSIST Kaylie. And keep your eye on the ball.

    Reply
  9. Susan piszel - February 12, 2017 9:02 pm

    I agree…. Needs to be a children’s book and I’m thinking Kaylie “the good artist” should illustrate it!

    Reply
  10. Joyce - February 12, 2017 9:47 pm

    Best ever because every fisherman can believe in one another doesn’t matter size of the fish . Just have to believe!

    Reply
  11. Kathleen - February 13, 2017 2:28 am

    Another amazing story!

    Reply
  12. Cherryl Shiver - February 13, 2017 10:44 am

    Tell Miss Jamie, she is one lucky lady. You, my dear, just movd over to my hero list. WOO HOO !!!!!!

    Thank you.

    Reply

Have your say