19 Mar

Fish Tale*

Down below, in the cold waters of Lake Salina, there lived a school of beautiful fish. They were painted with the most brilliant colors you could dream up, and their tails were long and graceful. They danced every night to the songs of the water and enjoyed themselves greatly. In the middle of the night, in the middle of their dance, the fish would jump out of the water and fly through the air. Some say that on a well-lit night, you can see their colors glow in the moonlight.

One of these fish, whose name was Simon, was known for being a dreamer. His wife, Kaya, always scolded him for daydreaming and told him that the he thought too much. One night, while Simon was dancing with his friends, he jumped out of the water and noticed something he had never noticed before. Now the moon was especially bright that night, and Simon saw some parts of the dry world that he didn’t know existed. He started to dream, and he wished that he could, somehow, see more of this glorious world. The dance continued, and when Simon jumped out of the water again, he noticed that he wasn’t falling back in. He was flying! He couldn’t believe it, but he had wings and feathers. He flapped his new appendages and went higher and higher and flew across the land.

He was enjoying himself a great deal when he noticed how lovely the dry world looked. He especially noticed the large plants with lots of leaves. These were bigger than anything he had ever seen under water. Simon got to dream again, and he wished that, somehow, he could get to know these large plants better. He flew down to a branch and kept dreaming when, all the sudden, he became a tree! He was very excited to see how big his many arms were, and he began to talk with other trees, asking them what it was like being a tree. His companions didn’t say much – just, “it’s alright.” And so Simon went on being a tree. But it got tiring, and Simon found that life as a big plant wasn’t very eventful.

Then he saw a strange animal running across the land. It was a coyote, but Simon didn’t know that. He watched the animal run fast and free, and he longed to run and move freely. So then what do you think happened? That’s right, Simon became a coyote. For a few days, he loved it. He ran across the plains and yelled at the moon until something else caught his eye.

It was a man. He saw the man sitting alone, thinking, and wondered what it would be like to think like a man. Many times, he had seen men, but they were so powerful and dangerous that he never ever tried to get near one. He daydreamed about being a man and wished he knew what it was like when . . . Poof! He turned into one.

Simon thought he would be happy now, and he did many wonderful things. He used his hands to make tools, he used his legs to travel across the land, and he used his powerful mind to bargain in the cities. Then one day, he was sitting alone near the beach thinking, when he saw a fish jump out of the water. The fish looked very familiar, but he didn’t know how he could have known it before. It was painted with the most brilliant colors you could dream up, and its tail was long and graceful. He looked up and saw the moon emerge from the clouds. When he looked back down, his eyes beheld the most beautiful creature on earth. It was glowing in the moonlight! Simon reached out and caught the fish and held it near. He wished he could be as beautiful sight as that radiant animal. As he was holding the fish, he became struck with an amazing familiarity. He shrugged it off, though, thinking that there was probably an explanation for it, and he kissed the fish and threw it back in the water.

Simon closed his eyes there on the beach and dreamed. But when he opened them, things were different. He was swimming through the water, dancing in a whirl of color and grace, when he turned around and saw a familiar face. It was Kaya. “Welcome back,” she said, and kissed Simon on the cheek. Simon looked at his colorful body and long tail and jumped out of the water. He swam and swam and loved being a fish.

Down below, in the cold waters of Lake Salina, there lived a school of beautiful fish. They were painted with the most brilliant colors you could dream up, and their tails were long and graceful. They danced every night to the songs of the water and enjoyed themselves greatly. In the middle of the night, in the middle of their dance, the fish would jump out of the water and fly through the air. Some say that on a well-lit night, you can see their colors glow in the moonlight.

*just found this one. i wrote it in my “Fairy Tales and the Literary Imagination” class freshman year of college

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