Fish and Wildlife

Drew 1957
I was trailing after my father on a path between tall pines, heading back to our cabin at Kentucky Lake. We’d hiked to the bait shop before anybody else had come awake so Daddy could phone Number One. Daddy runs coal mines down in the mountains, and Number One takes care of the coal yard in Lexington when my father takes me and my brothers and Louise fishing. Louise is my mother but she doesn’t like to be called that.

From where we were walking, I watched two slick-haired boys in black church clothes striding through the campground knocking on doors. Each boy had a box tucked up under his arm. When they came to a cabin, they stopped, looked one another over and smoothed their hair before knocking on the screen door.

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Deborah Reed Downing is a Kentucky native currently living in New Orleans where she serves on the English faculty of Delgado Community College. Her coming of age novel, Not Stopping at Mammoth Cave, nears completion.

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