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Dear Reader:

A recent Sunday afternoon at the bridge at the Northwestern landfill:

The hooked fish swam glumly in the water below as the fisherman prepared his net. A small crowd watched the drama unfold.

Taking his time, the fisherman reached down through the railing and netted his handsome, coppery prize. Someone said it was a salmon. Without ceremony he unhooked it and turned his attention to his gear. Twice the strong fish flopped toward the edge, and each time the fisherman turned from what he was doing and shoved it back across the stony ground with his foot.

Perhaps a minute had gone by. The fish lay stunned, but it wasn't done struggling yet. With everything it had left, it performed a spectacular set of arched flips that sent it high and far and back to its home in the water.

The fisherman went about his business, hardly seeming to notice. "By the grace of the gods," my father said. "I didn't like the way he kicked it," one woman said as we walked away.

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