By Andy Anderson
As a teenager, in my high school years, I hunted and fished all the time. I had a good friend and hunting buddy that we did everything together: fishing, hunting, rodeos and working odd jobs for a little pocket money. Jake and I were always up to something, especially when it came to hunting and fishing.
In our junior year of high school, Jake and I had shop class together. Shop class was the best. We got to build all kinds of things for our hunting adventures. We also got out of school early under the work program. We both had about an hour or so before we had to be at our jobs, so we would usually grab some lunch from the one stop and head down to River Bridge, a small one lane road that crossed the Trinity River. It was an old bridge, long since replaced, but during the time Jake I would frequent the river, it was an old bridge that groaned as cars passed over and was painted with various types of graffiti. We always had our fishing poles in the back of our pick-ups, and we would soon find ourselves sitting on the river bank near the old bridge, with a line in the water while enjoying a burger and coke.
This particular spot had a large oak tree that had fallen from the river bank some years back. It was partially submerged and had a large limb that extended out of the water to reaching out to about the middle of the river as it curved back down to the water, like a big finger pointing to a particular spot. The old tree was black from years of exposure to the elements, yet the wood was hard and very dense, providing a good platform to fish from.
One particular spring day, Jake and I arrive to our favorite spot only to find an extremely large cotton-mouth lying up on that old tree sun bathing. He had to be four and half to five feet in length and as big around as a Louisville slugger baseball bat. Had a head on him like a pit bull, just mean looking and not worried about anything. You could tell he was used to having his way on the river.
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