The Prized Catch By Joseph Antretter

The Prized Catch

By Joseph Antretter

I thought I caught magic once, at the bottom of an old clam rake, a rusted family heirloom. As the sands of Shinnecock Bay sifted through the bent tines and I lifted the basket out of the water by the weathered wooden handle, it suddenly appeared: a seahorse. It was not frantically flapping for freedom, it just lay there giving me a dignified stare, through what looked like one crying eye as salt water splashed over it. At first I was taken aback, as I thought these were exotic creatures from tropical places. My next thoughts were how cool it would be to have as a memento mounted on my wall or in my bookcase, just another prize for a house filled with trophies. But as our eyes met I could not help but be overwhelmed by the magnificence of this tiny four inch marvel that looked so much like one of his brethren, the unicorn, who I surely knew to be a mystical creature.

So, I set it free and I felt like a god that gave a gift back to the world.

And now all these years later, when I think back upon it, the magic I thought I caught once.

I catch once again.