This story Rachel Ordway Smith has told her children many many times about her own childhood.
In the 1940's when we, Mother Thelma, Father Elmer, younger sister Ronna, and myself all lived down on the Columbia River in Skamania Washington. Dad was a fisherman, although Mom fished more than he did when we lived down there. One day Dad had caught a couple of Sturgeon that weren't quite long enough for the legal length. He was a pretty clever fellow though, because he tied them up with a string through their gills to the boat dock where we tied up our rowboat called "Skookum". It was in a little river that ran by our house into the big Columbia River. He fed them mash and food scraps till they became the legal length.
During the day while our dad was at work dumping logs off the trucks into the big river, us two little girls discovered these Sturgeon tied up to the boat landing. It sure stirred up our child curiosity. The fish seemed happy enough tied there to that dock but , "don't you think
they should go for a walk?" we said to each other. So me and my little sister, Ronna, untied the strings and each taking a fish in tow followed the path along the bank of the little river with the two Sturgeon swimming happily alongside.
When we got down to the beach, where the two waters met; we waded out into the big river to our knees with the fish swimming around our legs. I think 3 feet was the legal length in those days, so these Sturgeon were pretty close to that size and pretty big for two little girls like us. It could have been a real scary situation, but we didn't know that! So instead, we had a wonderful fun day out there playing in the water of the Big Columbia River 'walking' two Sturgeon on a string.
Who has ever heard of taking a fish for a walk?