Fishing with Jesus

The sunlight sparkled on the surface of the gently rippling Sea of Galilee dazzling Jesus as he stepped out into the fresh morning air from the darkness of his small, stone beach hut.

Galilea“What-ho, Simon Peter!” he called to his favourite disciple, who was sitting on the sand, wiping grains from between his toes. “And how was your catch this bright and merry morning?”

Simon Peter opened his mouth to answer his master’s question politely, but was beaten to it.

“Fuck all!” grunted the disconsolate Andrew from behind a large rock where he’d been having a quiet slash.

“Oh dear. What a shame. What a dreadful pity,” said Jesus. “What rotten luck.”

“It’s more than that, you fuckin’ asshole!” growled Phil. “While you’ve been snoring in your sack, we’ve been out on that crazy sea, casting our nets since fower o’ the morning.”

“And that means,” said young Matt, “that we’ve nowt for us snap and we’ve nowt to trade for us bevvy.”

“Dear dear,” mused Jesus. “Permit me to ponder the problem for a few moments.” He retreated into his stone hut, calling, “Back in five,” over his shoulder as he disappeared into the darkness. He slammed the door behind him.

In fact, Jesus had already been up for two hours, watching Breakfast Time on his box. The programme always amused him, especially when the lovely Sian Williams sat next to the beaming Bill Turnbull, flashing her shiny knees and her whimsical grin. This morning’s show had amused him even more than usual.

The gang knew nothing of the box and he kept it well hidden. It was a special nepotism from Dad for all the good work that he claimed to be doing: healing repentant sinners and beating up money-lenders in the temple and all that. He couldn’t let the chaps know about the box because it hadn’t been invented yet. Nor had electricity for that matter. As for April Fools’ Day, that was still hundreds of years into the future.

Jesus had laughed out loud when he saw who was being spoofed on the banks of the Tay near Scone Palace with a jazz band playing on the lawn in the background. It was Jolly-old-Jeezman himself! He was amazed. His brain was bally well boggled as he watched Dougie the fisherman, surrounded by helpful Scottish locals, hauling out trout after trout, salmon after salmon, onto the shore to the lively accompaniment of Jimmy Johnson and his Jazzmen. He played the television jape over-and-over on his still-to-be-invented video recorder.

“Thanks Dad,” Jesus muttered, eyes raised, respectfully, to the skies. “You’re a real brick.”
The door of the hut opened and Jesus appeared on his doorstep, clutching his ukulele.

“Hurrah!” cried Phil, sarcastically. “He’s going to cheer us up. But he’s still an asshole. He may be able to twang out a fair tune on that uke of his, bur we can’t eat the bugger.”

“Hang on a bit, old chap,” said Jesus. “Don’t be so damned impatient. The fish will soon be biting quicker than the Vicar of Dibley ever will when chocolate is eventually discovered.”

The reference, understandably, confused his disciples and it irritated them further.

He stepped gingerly across the shingle towards the water, stopping when wavelets broke over his sandaled toes. It was two thousand years later that he was delighted when a cobbler nicked the design and marketed them as ‘Jesus sandals.”

He struck up a jolly tune.

Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing.
Tha shall hey a fishy on a little dishy,
Tha shall hey a fishy, when the boh-at comes in.

The twelve brawny fisherman gathered round him on the shore of Galilee and joined his song.

I like a drop mysel’,
When I can get it sly,
And tha, my bonny bairn,
Will lik’t as well as I.

Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing.
Tha shall hey a fishy on a little dishy,
Tha shall hey a mackerel, when the boh-at comes in.

May we get a drop,
Oft as we stand in need;
And weel may the keel row
That brings the bairns their bread.

Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Tha shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Tha shall hev a salmon when the boh-at comes in.

Jesus laughed.

Shoals of leaping fish guggled up to the surface of the sea.

“Spread out along the shore lads. Wade out until you’re up to your waists.”

They obeyed their Lord.

“Now cast your lines out and get to work.”

After two hours of frantic activity, they had caught nigh on five thousand fish between them.

“That should be enough to feed the crowd that I’m expecting for luncheon,” exclaimed Jesus. “They’ll be able to scoff one fish each.”

“But they’ll be wantin’ bread as well, tha knows,” objected young Matt.

“Oh. They shall have plenty of bread too,” responded Jesus, “for there is nobody better bred than I.”

The lads gaped at him, wondering what miracle he would pull off next.

“Hang on a mo. I’ll be right back.”

Jesus disappeared back into his shack and slipped out of the back door.

The Ocado van had just arrived with the large order that Jesus had placed before he’d returned to the gang with his ukulele.

“Five thousand wholemeal loaves for Mister Jesus?” enquired the driver.

“Super! Thanks ever so.”

“No probs,” replied the driver brightly, as he delivered the bags of bread in through the back door of the tiny, darkened seaside cottage.

The picnic that followed in the afternoon was the biggest and jolliest that the land had ever seen.

About Lance Greenfield

Blog: email: I published my debut novel in December 2014: Eleven Miles. My second novel went live in February 2016: Knitting Can Walk!
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