Mr. Jumble was a kind and forgetful man. He loved to go fishing. One day, Mrs. Jumble, his wife, was having her sister over for dinner and asked him to go and buy some fish so she could prepare a special dinner. But Mr. Jumble said, ‘I shall go fishing instead, darling.’
His wife put on a face that told Mr. Jumble that she was considering the offer. Then her face broke into a wide smile and she said ‘Okay, it will save some money too. But for goodness sake don’t do anything silly.’
‘Of course I won’t do anything silly!’ said Mr. Jumble indignantly ‘What do you take me for? A goat?’
‘Yes, I think you could say that,’ mumbled Mrs. Jumble under her breath.
So after putting on his hat – for it was a hot, sunny afternoon – Mr. Jumble set of to the pier. Once there, he set up a chair so he could sit comfortably and put bait on his hook of the fishing rod. He threw the line into the water. After rather a long wait, he caught three kippers and two salmon. He also caught a lot of oversized sardines.
Soon he began to doze off in the hot afternoon sun. He was just dreaming about how pleased his wife would be when the fishing rod tugged at his hand. He woke up with a start, thinking he got a big fish. He quickly reeled the line up but to his greatest disappointment, it was just an old fisherman’s boot.
He cut it off the line and put it down beside him. Then, thinking it was the boot, he threw his fishing rod into the water. After ten minutes he thought that he should go back home, so that his wife would have time to cook the fish. He picked up his basket of fish and put the boot over his shoulder. Then he hurried home.
‘I’ve brought the fish dear. ’ said Mr. Jumble.
‘How many?’ asked Mrs. Jumble.
‘Three kippers, two salmon and ninety sardines.’
‘Gracious!’ exclaimed Mrs. Jumble ‘I’ll cook the kippers for now, for lunch, the salmons for supper and the sardines for tomorrow. Breakfast you know! Now keep your fishing rod in its place, give me the fish, wash your hands and come to the kitchen.’
Mr. Jumble kept the fish basket in the fishing rod’s place, the old stinky boot on the table and went to wash his hands. When Mrs. Jumble saw the boot on the table she gave out a yell. ‘Jumble I told you to keep the fish basket on the table not this smelly old boot. Anyway where did you get this old boot from?’
Mr. Jumble who was now standing next to his wife was astonished. Then he began to understand things. The more he understood, the more frightened he got.
Then he explained everything to his wife. She began to laugh. ‘Well throw this boot away while I get the fish basket. As for your rod, forget about getting it back. It will be high tide soon.’
Soon they were eating food. ‘Promise me that you’ll never do anything like that again,’ said Mrs. Jumble.
‘I promise,’ said Mr. Jumble putting salt on his ice cream, sugar on his fish and pepper in his lemonade…