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HUNTING FOR FISH.
18,1. (The skipper): "Friend, don't be scared, for we are here on the water for a good purpose. Be it as deep as it may, we have nothing to fear. Now, take care! Throw the drag-net out! Where you see the water heaving, there is a huge fish. Quick, don't let us lose it!"
18,2. The two throw out the net and the moment it has spread out in the water, a monster of a fish rushes in. Unable to break the strong net, it drags the boat away with it, not relaxing for a moment, but with ever growing fury.
18,3. (The bishop, terrified, exclaims): "For God's sake, now we are lost! The monster is so huge that it fills the net with half of its head! Only God knows how deep its body reaches into the water. It may be three times the size of our boat! Even if we managed to kill it, what would we do with it? Oh, oh, it is dragging the boat with ever increasing fury and speed!"
18,4. (Peter): "Don't be childish! Let the fish rush wherever and as long as it likes! While its head is in the net, it cannot go under; that I know, as an experienced fisherman. And after a while, it will calm down. Then it will be easy enough for us to tow it to the shore. Look, the fish is rushing straight towards the shore, which will soon stop it bolting!
18,5. And have you forgotten what our beloved Master has told us? Look at Him, He is so calm. So we should be the same! But when He says, 'Follow Me; get to work,' then we'll have to get busy as directed by Him. For there is no greater Master than He in the art of fishing. But now watch out, we shall have to act in a moment!"
18,6. (Now I speak): "Peter, take the big hook and thrust it behind the fish's gill. And you, Martin, jump out onto the shore, take the rope, and pull the boat onto the sand; tie it quickly to the existing pole, board the vessel again, take the second boat-hook and do what Peter did, for the monster is now worn out and will not give any trouble. But be quick!"
18,7. The bishop hurries to carry out the instructions and having forcefully thrust the hook behind the other gill, the monster is fastened securely.
18,8. (And now the Lord orders): "You two go and get the big rope with the heavy and sharp throwing-hook from the shore. It is lying in readiness near the hut. Meanwhile, I shall drag the fish closer to the shore, where you will hurl the hook at the monster's head. And you, Martin, mustn't be afraid if the fish should struggle mightily. With the necessary courage and perseverance, everything will work out satisfactorily! Hand Me the two shafts of the boat-hooks and then do as I have instructed."
18,9. Everything is carried out as required, but when the heavy and sharp throwing-hook penetrates into its head, the fish starts twisting and struggling terrifyingly (for Bishop Martin), lashing up the water, throwing mighty waves onto the shore, which now and then cover up our new fisherman, Martin, who is all the more scared by the monster's huge jaws, with a thousand sharp teeth sometimes snap-Pwg at him dangerously close to where he is holding the rope. He is very frightened, but now even more for My sake, seeing that the fish with its mighty tail keeps lifting the boat out of the water and flinging it back again.
18,10. (Peter says to the bishop): "Hold fast, brother! Gather all your strength or the monster might drag us down into the depths!"
18,11. (The bishop): "Oh, brother, if I only were behind you! That beast keeps snapping at me, and the Master seems to be pushing it right under my nose. Every time it closes its mighty jaws with a snap, it discharges at least a hundred buckets full of water right into my face!
18,12. This is a desperately hard and dangerous task! It would be too much even for galley slaves! Oh, m-m-m-brr-ah-ah, another full load of water into my face! I'm going to drown if this happens a few more times! Look, the jaws are opening up again. No! I can't stand it any longer! The water is so terribly cold and I'm frozen stiff as if I were lying naked on ice! In a moment the jaws will shut again!"
18,13. (Peter): "There, take the spreader and prop up its jaws so that it cannot shut them."
18,14. (The bishop): "Let's have it! Fine! Now this is the end of your snapping, you beast! That was a good idea, but you should have had it a bit sooner. However, it's all right now."
18,15. (Now I speak from the boat). "Good, now fasten the hook-rope to a pole and board the ship. This fish is ours and won't get away. But we'll have to put out to sea without delay. Maybe we'll soon make another, even better catch."
18,16. The two do as ordered, although Bishop Martin scratches his head for he has had quite enough with his first experience of fishing; however, he does as instructed.
18,17. Both have boarded the ship, which is sailing out to sea as swiftly as an arrow.
18,18. (Meanwhile, I remark to Bishop Martin): "Friend, you should never allow things to annoy you here. The man who tackles a task morosely, seldom succeeds. Therefore, patience, courage, and perseverance; joy will come after an accomplished task.
18,19. Yes, my dear friend, in the spirit world, your Requiescant in pace (May they rest in peace), often rattled off in the world, doesn't count; but instead, 'Work while it is day! It is sufficient to rest during the night when nobody can work!' When it was night for you, you had no job; but since the day has dawned for you, you also have to work, for the realm of God is one of work and not one for idlers and breviary-worshippers. Therefore, take heart!
18,20. Look towards the north where the twilight is still heavy on the waters. There the sea is heaving heavily, although there is no wind anywhere; Consequently, there must be some big fish there. So let's hurry and get busy; this fish shall be worth our efforts."
18,21. (Bishop Martin): "Oh, friend, this fish might finish us off, with the help of the devil! But what are these big fish for in the spirit world? Is there a fast when only fish may be eaten? Or could it be that here, too, the flesh and fat of fish is traded?"
18,22. (Say I): "Quickly now, take a sword, each of you, for this is a ten-headed hydra! The monster has noticed us and is heading straight for us! You, Peter, already know how this type of fish is caught. But you, Martin, do as the brother does. As soon as the hydra bends its serpent-heads into the boat, you start cutting the heads off until all ten have been severed from its long serpent- body, and I shall do the rest."
18,23. Look, Peter, with his sharp sword, cuts one head after another from the black scaly body of the terrifying monster, or rather off its necks, for out of the body grow ten necks, each holding a head. But our bishop is somewhat at a loss as to where to hit because sheer terror has his eyes more closed than open.
18,24. Peter has just severed the tenth head from its neck, and streams of blood are gushing from the monster. The sea around is red from blood and heaving wildly from the ravings of the headless serpent, whose body appears to the bishop to measure over a hundred fathoms in length, as well as in girth!
18,25. (I again address the two): "Peter, put the sword back in its place and pass Me the big boat-hook, which I shall thrust into the monster's body to drag it toward us. And you, Martin, take the rudder, set it at the seventh degree east, and we shall soon have reached the shore with this excellent haul."
18,26. Everything is carried out as directed and the boat, with its catch in tow, is soon swiftly sailing toward the familiar shore.
18,27. As the shore is approaching, the bishop scans it for the first big fish, but to his astonishment, he can't see a trace of it.
18,28. (Bishop Martin): "But what has happened? After all the trouble we had catching it and getting it here, we have now lost it! 1 did have a feeling as if we hadn't secured it safely enough.
18,29. Oh, what disappointment! Now we have nothing to show for all the danger and trouble we went through! Dear friends, we'll have to fasten this new catch more securely, otherwise we might lose it too if we put out to sea again."
18,30. (Peter): "Don't worry! The first fish has been taken care of. You see, there are more workers here who know exactly what to do with our hauls. Since we have now reached the shore, jump out and fasten the boat, and I and the Master will pull our spoil onto the shore."
18,31. Bishop Martin, somewhat bewildered, does what he has been told, while we do, before his eyes, as Peter has said.
18,32. When the second haul has been secured, I speak: "Since this catch has been so successful, we have accomplished one of our main tasks. So, let us now lift the smaller fish from the water with the drag-net and put them on the shore. We have hunted down the two big monsters, of which species there are no more in these waters. Therefore, we can now get on with the lighter work. Let's board the ship again and try our luck with the smaller fish."
18,33. As directed by Me, the two lower the drag-nets into the water and I steer the boat. The work progresses well, and after every pull the fish from the nets are flung onto the shore. However, the moment they hit the shore, they disappear.
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