Stealing Salmon

By Maisy Morley

Back at home, we live almost completely alone. Our house is tucked away on a windy driveway, pushed back into the forest so deep that you can barely see between the trees. Our neighbors consisted of a strange couple across the street and our three quiet chickens that rummaged around our yard, like New York pigeons. I have only interacted with that strange couple three times: twice when they pulled out of their driveway so quickly they almost hit my parked car, and once when they hollered at us to come pull the trapped silver salmon out of the mud flats. 

The day was warm when my brother, dad, and I raced through their yard and onto the beach. A big group of salmon had gotten stuck in a small pool when the tide had gone out. We all looked at each other eagerly. My dad eyed the salmon—it was illegal to take them. But the thought of perfect salmon fillets going to rot, of belly strips sinking into the sand made me ache. The couple watched us from the edge of the salmon soup. I glanced back at my dad one more time and then ran straight into the puddle of fish. My brother and I filled our arms with big beautiful silver salmon and started sprinting back towards our house. As we passed the neighbor’s home, we noticed a great quantity of salmon cut and cleaned, sleeping in big bins. Salmon skin and bones lay scattered throughout their yard, blood trailing into the trees. The strange stealers of starving salmon. 

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