Summary of “The Bass, The River, and Sheila Mant"
By W.D. Wetherell
The narrator is a fourteen year old boy who tells about a summer when he met a girl named Sheila Mant.
She is several years older than he is.
The setting of the story is a river (Hanover River, in New Hampshire) where there are many summer homes.
The narrator asks Sheila to go to Dixford (a fictional town) to hear a band. Since he doesn't have a car, they go by canoe.
The narrator has brought along his fishing rod, and while paddling to Sheila's, he leaves the fishing line in the water.
After picking up Sheila and paddling toward Dixford, he learns that Sheila hates fishing.
When a huge bass (a kind of fish) strikes his line, he can't decide whether he wants to catch the bass or ruin Sheila’s opinion of him.
He chooses Sheila and cuts the line.
He hardly remembers the rest of the night, but he does remember that Sheila went home in another boy's Corvette, after telling the narrator that he was “a funny kid.”
He talks about going out with other girls over the years who thought he was unusual.
He never again makes the same kind of mistake – the mistake of choosing to act like someone he isn’t. of giving up what he likes.
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