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YOU HEAR LOONS CALLING
Mason Smith
June 23, 1975
The voice of the wild—and a summons to adventure—was in the haunting lines of the wonderful old canoes
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June 23, 1975

You Hear Loons Calling

The voice of the wild—and a summons to adventure—was in the haunting lines of the wonderful old canoes

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So it was the only thing to take us down this river. We couldn't bring hackwork or plastic or aluminum up here. Suppose we met a troll, or a snowy egret or some other Representative of the Owners? "Riding in something that just does the job, huh? Needs no care, huh? Only cost you a week's wages, huh? No fishing."

"Look!"

Alders dipping into the water at the inside brink of a rocky bend made a sort of shady veranda for a houseful of gaudy trout. One, two, three, four, five, too many to count, mature brook trout well over a foot long moved out and paraded downstream beside us, fully exposed in the sun, their red and blue and gold spots, their black and white and red fins piercingly displayed.

"Did y————! How m————! What do you call that?"

"There they are again!"

As we moved through the tail of the bend we met them going back indoors. What sauce. We stopped. But it must be that I still did not believe we deserved them. "We'll never touch them," I said.

"Why do you say that?"

"Never touch them." I put on a Royal Coachman, dry.

"Why the pessimism?"

"It isn't pessimism."

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