Squall, 1986, by Andrew Wyeth
Mack looked forward to heavy weather. Whipping wind, lashing rain--the elements were his element. It was no good hanging around inside all day. He had to admit he was getting a little old, a little stiff. But he revived at the touch of salt spray whenever he went out with Jem on the troller.
He'd seen those city slickers, trying their luck at sport fishing. Sure, they looked bold and smart as they pulled away from shore. Out at sea, though, their thin skin showed. In a real squall they absolutely went to pieces. Mack was stalwart, impervious.
Mack would do anything for Jem, of course. They'd been working together for years now. No words were necessary as they sailed, set the lines, hauled in the catch. Mack moved with Jem, always supporting, protecting him. They were a perfect fit, like good partners should be.
There was one thing Mack did not understand. He had been with Jem through thick and thin. He was no fair weather friend. He'd endured the worst storms that the sea could throw at a boat, without a tear or complaint. After all that, how could Jem call him "yellow"?
Mack didn't ponder the question long as he hung from his hook. He watched the sunlight slide across the whitewashed wall, across the scrubbed floor. He felt the breeze through the open door, and set himself to figuring when the next squall would blow in, when Jem would take him out again.