Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas The Night Before Christmas...Keys Style!

My wife Michelle and I saw this this morning on Keysnews.com and just had to put it on here!!! So true to a Holiday in the Keys.
Please click on the beautiful wreathes to visit chartworksart.com, artist Margorie Smith's warm collection of Keys inspired art.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Keys,
Most of the anglers were enjoying a warm ocean breeze.
The rods were all rigged by the transom with care,
In hopes that big fish will soon leave their lairs.
The beers were nestled all snug in the ice,
While visions of hookups soon would be nice.
And mamma in her 'kini, and I in my Crocks,
Had just cast off lines from our Key Largo dock.
When out on the flats there arose such a splash,
I sprang from the helm to see a bright silver flash.
Away toward the clatter I drove in a dash,
The outboard's high revs ate up more of my cash.
The sun on the glass of the calm ocean seas
Gave the luster of the Caribbean to the coconut trees.
When, what to my Costa-clad eyes should appear,
But a monster, bearded permit, and eight tiny Key deer.
With a little old remora, so shiny and black,
I knew in a moment it was Christmas Jack.
More rapid than wahoo his coursers they came,
And he jumped, and breached, as he called them by name.
"Now Snapper! Now Grouper, Now Lobster and Wrass!
On Marlin! On Sailfish! On 'Cuda and Sea Bass!
To the top of the tuna tower! To the top of the mast!
Now swim away! Swim away! Swim away fast!"
As Jim Cantore before the mild hurricane arrives,
Christmas Jack rattles his gills, as tourism dies.
Then Jack to his namesake Alabama's he flew,
With a sleigh full of fritters and a few snowbirds too.
And then, with stars twinkling, I heard on the ocean
The jumping and splashing of a fish fighting commotion.
As I drew in my line, and was turning my reel,
Among the sea grass Jack swam right by my keel.
He was dressed in all scales, from his tail to his mouth,
Christmas Jack is the most popular holiday fish in the South.
A bundle of toys he had flung 'round his gills,
He looked like a sailfish school sharpening their bills.
His eyes, how they twinkled! His belly, how yellow!
There never has been a more merry pelagic fellow.
His droll little mouth had nibbled my hook,
And the remora on his chin gave me a very cross look.
So I removed the hook held tight in his teeth,
And returned my rod to its waterproof sheath.
Jack had a flat rounded face, and silver, metallic side,
That shook when he laughed as he swam away with the tide.
His crescent tail took him quickly toward the Continental Shelf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know that gamefish aren't meant to be dead.
He spoke not a word, but swam right round the boat,
And a small self-conscious lump arouse in my throat.
And laying a flipper aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up into the air he rose.
He shook side to side, to his Key deer he did whistle,
And away they all swam like a happy holiday missile.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he dove out of sight:
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good fight!"

Wishing you the happiest of Holiday Seasons from my family to yours!!

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