Jean Sot Goes Fishing

Retold by S.E. Schlosser

A Cajun Tall Tale
Jean Sot was sitting gloomily on the dock of the marina casting a fishing line into the Bayou when his friend Boudreaux (Boo-dro) walked by. “Why are you so gloomy, mon ami?” Boudreaux asked his friend.
“Oh Boudreaux, I had a terrible dream,” Jean Sot said, waving the tip of his fishing pole for emphasis.
“What was your dream?” asked Boudreaux sympathetically.
“I dreamt I stepped on a rotten board and a huge nail went right through my foot,” Jean Sot said. “The wound got infected and the doctor had to take off my foot with a great big saw.”
“That is a terrible dream,” Boudreaux said. “From now on, you should sleep with your boots on. ”
“I never thought of that,” said Jean Sot. “Thanks mon ami. I will take your advice.”
Boudreaux said: “But, Jean Sot, why are you fishing on the dock? Why don’t you go out in your new boat?”
“I can’t go out in my new boat,” Jean Sot said. “It sank.”
“What do you mean it sank?” asked Boudreaux.
“I was paddling too close to an alligator nest and the Mama gator, she took a bite out of the hull,” Jean Sot said gloomily. “If I hadn’t hit her with the oar, that Mama gator would have gotten me too.”
“That’s too bad,” said Boudreaux. “Why not come fishing with me today? I’m renting a fishing boat.”
Jean Sot grinned. “Merci, mon ami! Gladly I will come.”
Boudreaux and Jean Sot drove the rented boat deep into the bayou. They had a lucky day. They caught big fish and small fish. They caught bass and crappie and catfish and crawfish. They caught pogies and redfish and freshwater eels. They even caught a baby alligator, but Boudreaux threw him back into the lily pads before the Mama gator came after Jean Sot again.
Sundown came too quickly for the avid fishermen. As they prepared to leave, Boudreaux said: “Jean Sot, you brought me good luck today! Let’s come back here tomorrow and catch us some more fish!”
“I dunno, Boudreaux,” Jean Sot said. “This cove looks just like all the other coves in the bayou. How are we gonna find it again?”
“We’ll find it, don’t you worry,” said Boudreaux. “I’ve put a big X on the bottom of the boat to mark this fishing spot.”
“You’re a smart man, Boudreaux,” Jean Sot said admiringly. “But what will we do if the marina rents us a different boat?”
“Don’t worry, Jean Sot. I will tell the manager that we need to rent the same boat tomorrow,” said Boudreaux.

Author retelling: This is a unique author retelling of this folktale. This version of the story is copyrighted to S.E. Schlosser. See the author’s Reprints and Permissions page for further information.

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