Keller: Companionship is a worthwhile goal

Published 10:12 am Saturday, March 14, 2020

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In 1964, I had the privilege of serving in the Louisiana State Legislature. I was a freshman legislator and a young father with three small children. (We were later blessed with another child.)

My priorities were not in a godly order. Success and recognition were most important to me. A friend of mine noticed the direction my life was headed and sent me the following poem. It stressed the importance of fatherhood. I wish I had taken the message more seriously, but maybe a few young fathers who read this poem will. If they do, their children will reap the benefits.


When God gave me a little boy I vowed that I’d ensure,
His every need and every want and make his life secure.

I set a pace that left no time for idleness or wishing.
No foolish squander of my time on wasteful things like fishing.

I felt quite proud of my results until one day he spurned,
My latest gift, a brand-new bike stood as I placed it, wheels unturned.

I searched for him until I found him sitting by the brook,
And passing time with an ill-dressed man and baiting up a hook.

I listened quietly as he spoke, “Hey Dad, you have a bite?
Gee, this is ever so much fun to have you here tonight.”

My puzzled heart turned cold inside; had someone filled my place?
I took another look to find the stranger had no face.

The boy had propped my fishing hat and coat up on a pole,
To take my place upon the bank of the old fishing hole.

I grieved to think that I had been replaced by apparition.
Then and there I learned the truth ‘bout boys and dads and fishing.

I took my place beside the boy, my heart welled up with shame.
“I’m sorry that I’m late,” I said. “I’ve no one else to blame.”

I donned the shapeless hat and coat and I felt relieved to find,
They fit a man who’d just grown up in stature and in mind.

“I hope you haven’t caught them all.” He looked at me with glee.
“No Dad, I’ve always put them back ‘til you could fish with me.”

-Day Yeager, Pennsylvania Angler, August 1961

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, or call (985) 652-8477.