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Fishing Sandhill This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

By Oelania P, Brooklyn, NY

Sitting tall, beyond the vermilion reeds that scratched at my face, I could see the two bucktail wings against that dark, knotted alder branch reaching out of the water. I had feathered it in perfectly. It hovered in the current, dancing with its reflection. “Kerploosh!” Glittering water exploded in a halo of light.

THUMP THUMP … THUMP THUMP. My 11-year-old heart wanted to rip through my body and flop out into the stream. At the end of my line its weight was pulsing, angling, wrenching for freedom. I had set the hook.

“Fish on!” I yelled. My ears were greeted by the frantic whine of line being retrieved by my father’s reel as he took chaotic strides upstream. The graphite arc stooped low, quivering with each shake of the fish’s head.

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