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Part 4 of Trout Fishing in America

Written by: Richard Brautigan | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 THE AUTOPSY OF

 TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA



This is the autopsy of Trout Fishing in America as if Trout

Fishing in America had been Lord Byron and had died in

Missolonghi, Greece, and afterward never saw the shores

of Idaho again, never saw Carrie Creek, Worsewick Hot

Springs, Paradise Creek, Salt Creek and Duck Lake again.
The Autopsy of Trout Fishing in America: "The body was in excellent state and appeared as one that had died suddenly of asphyxiation.
The bony cranial vault was opened and the bones of the cranium were found very hard without any traces of the sutures like the bones of a person 80 years, so much so that one would have said that the cranium was formed by one solitary bone.
.
.
.
The meninges were attached to the internal walls of the cranium so firmly that while sawing the bone around the interior to detach the bone from the dura the strength of two robust men was not sufficient.
.
.
.
The cerebrum with cerebellum weighed about six medical pounds.
The kidneys were very large but healthy and the urinary bladder was relatively small.
" On May 2, 1824, the body of Trout Fishing in America left Missolonghi by ship destined to arrive in England on the evening of June 29, 1824.
Trout Fishing in America's body was preserved in a cask holding one hundred-eighty gallons of spirits: 0, a long way from Idaho, a long way from Stanley Basin, Little Redfish Lake, the Big Lost River and from Lake Josephus and the Big Wood River.
THE MESSAGE Last night a blue thing, the smoke itself, from our campfire drifted down the valley, entering into the sound of the bell- mare until the blue thing and the bell could not be separated, no matter how hard you tried.
There was no crowbar big enough to do the job.
Yesterday afternoon we drove down the road from Wells Summit, then we ran into the sheep.
They also were being moved on the road.
A shepherd walked in front of the car, a leafy branch in his hand, sweeping the sheep aside.
He looked like a young, Skinny Adolf Hitler, but friendly.
I guess there were a thousand sheep on the road.
It was hot and dusty and noisy and took what seemed like a long time .
At the end of the sheep was a covered wagon being pulled by two horses.
There was a third horse, the bellmare, tied on the back of the wagon.
The white canvas rippled in the wind and the wagon had no driver.
The seat was empty.
Finally the Adolf Hitler, but friendly, shepherd got the last of them out of the way.
He smiled and we waved and said thank you.
We were looking for a good place to camp.
We drove down the road, following the Little Smoky about five miles and didn't see a place that we liked, so we decided to turn around and go back to a place we had seen just a ways up Carrie Creek.
"I hope those God-damn Sheep aren't on the road, " I said.
We drove back to where we had seen them on the road and, of course they were gone, but as we drove on up the road, we just kept fellowing sheep shit.
It was ahead of us for the next mile.
I kept looking down on the meadow by the Little Smokey, hoping to see the sheep down there, but there wasn't a sheep in sight.
only the shit in front of us on the road.
As if it were a game invented by the spincter muscle, we knew what the score was.
shaking our heads side to side, waiting.
Then we went around a bend and the sheep burst like a roman candle all over the road and again a thousand sheep and the shepherd in front of us, wondering what the fuck.
The same thing was in our minds.
There was some beer in the back seat.
It wasn't exactly cold, but it wasn't warm either.
I tell you I was really embarrassed.
I took a bottle of beer and got out of the car.
I walked up to the shepherd who looked like Adolf Hitler, but friendly.
"I'm sorry, " I said.
"It's the sheep, " he said.
(0 sweet and distant blossoms of Munich and Berlin!) "Sometimes they are a trouble but it all works out.
" "Would you like a bottle of beer?" I said.
"I'm sorry to put you through this again.
" "Thank you, " he said, shrugging his shoulders.
He took the beer over and put it on the empty seat of the wagon.
That's how it looked.
After a long time, we were free of the sheep.
They were like a net dragged finally away from the car.
We drove up to the place on Carrie Creek and pitched the tent and took our goods out of the car and piled them in the tent.
Then we drove up the creek a ways, above the place where there were beaver darns and the trout stared back at us like fallen leaves.
We filled the back of the car with wood for the fire and I caught a mess of those leaves for dinner.
They were small and dark and cold.
The autumn was good to us.
When we got back to our camp, I saw the shepherd's wagon down the road a ways and on the meadow I heard the bellmare and the very distant sound of the sheep.
It was the final circle with the Adolf Hitler, but friendly, shepherd as the diameter.
He was camping down there for the night.
So in the dusk, the blue smoke from our campfire went down and got in there with the bellmare.
The sheep lulled themselves into senseless sleep, one following another like the banners of a lost army.
I have here a very important message that just arrived a few moments ago.
It says "Stalingrad.
" TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA TERRORISTS Long live our friend the revolver ! Long live our friend the machine-gun! --Israeli terrorist chant One April morning in the sixth grade, we became, first by accident and then by premeditation, trout fishing in America terrorists.
It came about this way: we were a strange bunch of kids.
We were always being called in before the principal for daring and mischievous deeds.
The principal was a young man and a genius in the way he handled us.
One April morning we were standing around in the play yard, acting as if it were a huge open-air poolhall with the first-graders coming and going like poolballs.
We were all bored with the prospect of another day's school, studying Cuba.
One of us had a piece of white chalk and as a first-grader went walking by, the one of us absentmindedly wrote "Trout fishing in America" on the back of the first-grader.
The first-grader strained around, trying to read what was written on his back, but he couldn't see what it was, so he shrugged his shoulders and went off to play on the swings.
We watched the first-grader walk away with "Trout fishing in America" written on his back.
It looked good and seemed quite natural and pleasing to the eye that a first- grader should have "Trout fishing in America" written in chalk on his back.
The next time I saw a first-grader, I borrowed my friend's piece of chalk and said, "First-grader, you're wanted over here.
" The first-grader came over to me and I said, "Turn around.
" The first-grader turned around and I wrote "Trout fishing in America" on his back.
It looked even better on the second first-grader.
We couldn't help but admire it.
"Trout fishing in America.
" It certianly did add something to the first- graders.
It compleated them and gave them a kind of class "It reallt looks good, doesn't it?" "Yeah.
" "There are a lot more first-graders over there by the monkey- bars.
" "Yeah.
" "Lets get some more chalk.
" "Sure.
" We all got hold of chalk and later in the day, by the end of lunch period, almost all of the first-graders had "Trout fishing in America" written on their backs, girls included.
Complaints began arriving at the principal's office from the first-grade teachers.
One of the complaints was in the form of a little girl.
"Miss Robins sent me, " she said to the principal.
"She told me to have you look at this.
" "Look at what?" the principal said, staring at the empty child.
"At my back, " she said.
The little girl turned around and the principal read aloud, "Trout fishing in America.
" "Who did this?" the principal said.
That gang of sixth-graders," she said.
"The bad ones.
They've done it to all us first-graders.
We all look like this.
"Trout fishing in America.
' What does it mean? I just got this sweater new from my grandma.
" "Huh.
'Trout fishing in America, " the principal said.
"Tell Miss Robins I'11 be down to see her in a little while," and excused the girl and a short time later we terrorists were summoned up from the lower world.
We reluctantly stamped into the principal's office, fidgeting and pawing our feet and looking out the windows and yawning and one of us suddenly got an insane blink going and putting our hands into our pockets and looking away and then back again and looking up at the light fixture on the ceiling, how much it looked like a boiled potato, and down again and at the picture of the principal's mother on the wall.
She had been a star in the silent pictures and was tied to a railroad track.
"Does 'Trout fishing in America' seem at all familiar to you boys?" the principal said.
"I wonder if perhaps you've seen it written down anywhere today in your travels? 'Trout fishing in America.
' Think hard about it for a minute.
" We all thought hard about it.
There was a silence in the room, a silence that we all knew intimately, having been at the principal's office quite a few times in the past.
"Let me see if I can help you," the principal said.
"Perhaps you saw 'Trout fishing in America' written in chalk on the backs of the first-graders.
I wonder how it got there.
" We couldn't help but smile nervously.
"I just came back from Miss Robin's first-grade class," the principal said.
"I asked all those who had 'Trout fishing in America' written on their backs to hold up their hands,and all the children in the class held up their hands, except one and he had spent his whole lunch period hiding in the lavatory.
What do you boys make of it .
.
.
? This 'Trout fishing in America' business?" We didn't say anything.
The one of us still had his mad blink going.
I am certain that it was his guilty blink that always gave us away.
We should have gotten rid of him at the beginning of the sixth grade.
"You're all guilty, aren't you?" he said.
"Is there one of you who isn't guilty? If there is, speak up.
Now.
" We were all silent except for blink, blink, blink, blink, blink.
Suddenly I could hear his God-damn eye blinking.
It was very much like the sound of an insect laying the 1, 000, 000th egg of our disaster.
"The whole bunch of you did it.
Why? .
.
.
Why 'Trout fishing in America' on the backs of the first-graders?" And then the principal went into his famous E=MC2 sixth- grade gimmick, the thing he always used in dealing with us.
"Now wouldn't it look funny, " he said.
"If I asked all your teachers to come in here, and then I told the teachers all to turn around, and then I took a piece of chalk and wrote 'Trout fishing in America' on their backs?" We all giggled nervously and blushed faintly.
"Would you like to see your teachers walking around all day with 'Trout fishing in America' written on their backs, trying to teach you about Cuba? That would look silly, wouldn't it? You wouldn't like to see that would you? That wouldn't do at all, would it?" "No," we said like a Greek chorus some of us saying it with our voices and some of us by nodding our heads, and then there was the blink, blink, blink.
"That's what I thought, " he said.
"The first-graders look up to you and admire you like the teachers look up to me and admire me, It just won't do to write 'Trout fishing in America' on their backs.
Are we agreed, gentlemen?" We were agreed.
I tell you it worked every God-damn time.
Of course it had to work.
"All right, " he said.
"I'll consider trout fishing in Ameri- ca to have come to an end.
Agreed?" "Agreed.
" "Agreed ?" "Agreed.
" "Blink, blink.
" But it wasn't completely over, for it took a while to get trout fishing in America off the clothes of the first-graders.
A fair percentage of trout fishing in America was gone the next day.
The mothers did this by simply putting clean clothes on their children, but there were a lot of kids whose mothers just tried to wipe it off and then sent them back to school the next day with the same clothes on, but you could still see "Trout fishing in America" faintly outlined on their backs.
But after a few more days trout fishing in America disappeared altogether as it was destined to from its very beginning, and a kind of autumn fell over the first grade.
TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA WITH THE FBI Dear Trout Fishing in America, last week walking along lower market on the way to work saw the pictures of the FBI's TEN MOST WANTED MEN in the window of a store.
the dodger under one of the pictures was folded under at both sides and you couldn't read all of it.
the picture showed a nice, clean-cut-looking guy with freckles and curly (red?) hair WANTED FOR: RICHARD LAWRENCE MARQUETTE Aliases: Richard Lawrence Marquette, Richard Lourence Marquette Description: 26, born Dec.
12, 1934, Portland, Oregon 170 to 180 pounds muscular light brown, cut short blue Complexion: ruddy Race: white Nationality: American Occupations: auto body w recapper, s survey rod arks: 6" hernia scar; tattoo "Mom" in wreath on ight forearm ull upper denture, may also have lower denture.
Reportedly frequents s, and is an avid trout fisherman.
(this is how the dodger looked cut off on both sides and you couldn't make out any more, even what he was wanted for.
) Your old buddy, Pard Dear Pard, Your letter explains why I saw two FBI agents watching a trout stream last week.
They watched a path that came down through the trees and then circled a large black stump and led to a deep pool.
Trout were rising in the pool.
The FBI agents watched the path, the trees, the black stump, the pool and the trout as if they were all holes punched in a card that had just come out of a computer.
The afternoon sun kept changing everything as it moved across the sky, and the FBI agents kept changing with the sun.
It appears to be part of their training.
Your friend, Trout Fishing in America



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