The Liffey Lobster

“Can we go fishing can we go fishing?”daily she implored on the first rain free frosty day I conceded to this four year olds’ pleas .
“Fishingfishingfishing” she whispered the air exploding with peals of winter suppressed giggles as I too softened. Brought a Jam jar, off we strolled, hand in gloved hand and soon I joined in her skips as the cold air filled with 2 steam trails, hers – tiny puffs, mine emerging muffled from a scarf. Left to the Liffey, right at the junction singing “Remember one look for a safe place, two don’t hurry stop and wait”.
Thru the mist we glimpsed a swan’s butt, counted the seconds till its neck unfurled and pivoted its white plumage to upright. “The dinosaur wishbone is still here look in the rocks!” she shouted. Indeed there one was. We stalled to listen to the Liffey as a Pollaphuca tune swam over the boulders, bubbled a chorus and hastened to Dublin to serenade the city.
“I want to walk the wall!” she begged so I hoisted her up by the tiny hand to her squeals of delight and nestled her petite woollen coat encased body to my side . Her tiny feet, intensely focused on her every grey step, wobbled on the jutting stone wall and nimbly stepped over jagged turrets their gullies full of hibernating flowers. Swinging her carefully off the wall in a full circle ready for the flat repaired wall she carefully advanced over the frost. The thrill of the traffic light button awaited her push.
We peered through 1936 Droichead Conlaoc its silver river railings , semi horseshoe shaped bridge perfect height for 4 year old eyes to spy a tree trunk marooned in the river middle now throne to a preening drake. She squinted thru the board walk cracks. Her glides caressed the frost on the diamond glistening boards underfoot. Safe from the traffic we ran to the Liffey Linear park haven.
Three ducks whooshed past and landed splash on the liquid runway. “It is twirling in the tide” she yelled as the small drake swivelled into reverse pulled towards the bridge then with a half turn he paddled up to his raft of duck mates.
We skipped past the dripping trees and edged closer to hear the torrent of water massaging the rocks, murmuring with a slosh and gurgle we loudly imitated its notes. Perilously close to the Garrison Watergate we leapt over the muck safely on to the first of the trio of steps.
“What would a town for 1500 horses and 1000 men have? ““Sweet shops and barbers” was her instant answer by the gates which once washed and soothed all those horse hooves now a balcony perfect for mini Miss fishers.
Out came the string tied jamjar to a yelp of “A Lobter”. To a 3 foot 4 year old it surely was. The translucent crayfish teeny lobster sheltered below the bottom step, now to trap it. First I caught her coat as she lay flat face to face with the Liffey Lobster as she lured him into her lobster pot where once strawberries resided.
The glass jar floated and as the silt settled away we saw the Liffey Lobster magnified by her jamjar.
“I am fishingfishingfishing “squeals of glee echoed from the water pool. The more she tried the more he dodged her.
Till her blue lips quivered cold announcing time for home. Her tears welled up. “No fish not fair” she blubbered.
“Never mind darling If anyone asks just share “Its called fishing not catching!”