For the short story reader. Updated every Monday.

The Short Form

“A Creature in the Bay of St. Louis”

Barry Hannah


This morning we had already had a good trip as the sun began coming out. The croakers swam in a burlap sack tied to a piling and underwater. The sacks were free at the grocery and people called them croaker sacks. When you lifted the sack to put another croaker in you heard that froggy metal noise in a chorus, quite loud, and you saw the cats on shore hearken to it too. We would have them with french-fried potatoes, fat tomato slices from my uncle's garden, and a large piece of deep sweet watermelon for supper

It made a young boy feel good having the weight of all these fish in the dripping sack when you lifted it, knowing you had provided for a large family and maybe even neighbors at supper. You felt to be a small hero of some distinction, and ahead of you was that mile walk through the neighborhood lanes where adults would pay attention to your catch and salute you. The fishing rod on your shoulder, you had done some solid bartering with the sea, you were not to be trifled with.

We read it in High Lonesome.