a fish tale

the morning is quiet.  I sit on the sofa, drinking coffee, looking for copper wall ideas.  Finn sits across from me, looking our the window from his perch on the Lascaux-themed wing-back chair.    he turns his head and rests it on the arm, looks at me, and begins to breathe deeply.  his eyes droop to narrow slits.   he is going to sleep.

far off from another room is the calming trickle of a small aquarium.  a fish-tank .  both are precise descriptors, yet fish-tank reveals a more specific purpose.   it could also be a world.   a world in which a loach and an algae eater are the sole inhabitants.   there were others. there was a misnamed Shebunkin that was really a koi.

the gods called it a Shebunkin.

the Shebunkin came from the world of the Walton family –  enormous purveyors of cheap. On the day it arrived in the world, a different algae eater existed.  so did a pair of golden fantails.  Shebunkin swam upward touched the divine light.  it exploded into a spastic fury of convulsions, swimming diagonally downward in a corkscrew pattern.  it stopped and floated belly up to the surface, gills moving slowly.   it would be dead by morning.  no matter – the Walton’s would send us another.

in the morning, however, it lived.

it lived and lived, as though having touched the light of God it had found it’s purpose and went forth into the world.   the fish that had a seizure lived on and grew to be the size of a small trout.  it lived for a decade or more.   it outlived those fantails and that algae eater and came to dominate life in tank-world.

it had a destiny.


when it was finished living, it was buried in a place of honour, near the grave of Louis. Louis is a Siamese saint now, and may have been so in his life.    Undoubtedly he was.

But that is another tale, for an other morning.


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