Wednesday, 30 November 2016

A Fishes Tale

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a farmer called Rupert who lived in a cottage by the edge of his farm. One day, as he was clearing his cupboard in the kitchen he found a small bottle containing dry yeast; the sort of little dry pellets which you dissolve in water to make yeast for bread. He thought it was a bottle of fish food which had been placed in the cupboard by his wife by mistake. He went out to the pond in his garden and emptied the bottle in the pond.

As he was standing there by the edge of the pond he noticed something moving fast in the water through the reeds and general vegetation. It was a small fish swimming frantically to and fro, having eaten some of the yeast. A moment later, there it was again. A quick flicker of the tail, but this time much bigger. Was it the same fish, thought Rupert. And yet again, but this time even bigger still. So much so that he could see a fish the size of his arm. And yet again ... but this time the fish seemed to be standing upright and trying to get out of the pond. It was now half the size of Rupert himself. Rupert pushed it back in the pond. It flickered its tail once or twice and stood up again, now it was as tall as Rupert. He held its slithery smooth wet skin and tried to push the fish back again in the pond. But to no avail. The fish was now twice as tall and as big and strong as the hapless man; and, standing upright, with a flick of its tail it sent Rupert flying through the air to land in a heap of manure nearby.

The fish, still standing upright, started moving forwards out of the pond. With each flicker of its tail it dug a furrow in the ground as it moved forwards. It walked upright, taller than a man, past Rupert lying dazed in manure, and it went through the wooden fence, sending splinters of wood flying through the air, as it made its way into the fields beyond.

Rupert could not believe what he had just witnessed. As he dug himself out of the pile of manure out of the pond came another fish as big as the first one, if not bigger. Standing very upright and following his leader's tail steps as they flickered to and fro. Then yet another fish came out of its natural home. And then another. And yet another. All standing tall like soldiers and following each other in a single file into the fields beyond. An army of fish all leaving the pond and marching through the fields into the distance.

Seeing all these fishes filing by gave Rupert quite a haddock. He realised this was no plaice for him to be. Not only cod he not believe his eyes, but he was the sole witness to what he thought was a bream. Suddenly, he remembered an old English tuna sang by Vera Lynn in WWII - "Whale meat again ... Don't know where, don't know when ... But I know whale meat again some sunny day!" He salmoned enough courage to get up from the pile of manure and run into the house. He was certainly not coi to tell others what had just happened. Something eel never forget!

Rupert phoned the police to warn them of what he had just seen. They would not believe him. "Is this an April Fool's joke?" they asked. "A fishy story indeed," they said. "Do you know it is an offence to waste police time?" "Do you expect us to swallow your tale, hook, line and sinker?"

Rupert could not convince the police that he was telling the truth. Even when he told them that Halibut, his pet cat, had witnessed the whole event and was now sitting up the curtains trembling with fear, thinking it was the revenge of all the fish he had eaten in the past. And Kipper, the dog, was hiding in the oven behind the remains of an old fish pie.

Rupert then rang a friend of his who was a manager at a fish cannery in the next town. The manager said he would order larger cans of fish so that he could can these fishes once he caught them. But first he needed a bigger fishing rod and hook, line and sinker.

In total despair, and not believing what he had just told his friend, and the police, Rupert went out again to check he wasn't dreaming ... or is it breaming? The fishes had stopped leaving the pond. But the tell-tale path of destruction witnessed to their existence all right!

The furrow in the ground, getting deeper as more and more fish followed where it led. The broken wooden fence at the edge of his garden. The washing line torn and lying on the ground together with his wife's washing all muddy and dirty on the wet grass. The stalks of wheat trampled and broken right through the field as far as he could see. Trees broken and tossed aside like match sticks.

Rupert followed the trail of destruction as he walked on the furrow as it got deeper and deeper until at one point it became higher than him. That's when he decided to get out of the furrow and walk beside it instead. He followed the fishy smell as far as it would go.

Where is it leading to? He asked himself. Are these fishes going to town? To protest to the Authorities perhaps about the price of fish and chips? No perhaps not. That's a different kettle of fish.

He continued beside the furrow until eventually it led him to the fishes' final destination. They had reached the sea where they jumped in and swam away happily.

They had now outgrown their little pond and went out searching for adventure in the big wide world!

How about you? Are you still a small fish in a small pond? Or do you need a boost of yeast to get you going to reach your full potential?

Remember, sardines never get bigger if they remain in their tin with the key on the outside.


  1. GREAT "fish tale (or tail), Victor! With a morale to top it off!

    1. So glad you enjoyed this story, Lulu. I must stop having anchovies on my pizza.

      God bless.

  2. Hi Victor! What a clever post! So many fish references, and you taught me a new word, 'bream'!
    What a great point about being locked in a tin with the key outside. Not to mention the yeast. I think yeast would have to be grace, right? That's the power we all need to move past our comfort zones and into the new and exciting day God has planned.
    Couldn't agree more.

    1. Thank you Ceil for reading between the lines of what I was writing. Yeast is mentioned often in the Bible. It is what spurred the little fishes to "grow" out of their comfort zone and go out and flourish into the new world.

      All the other fish references, (including bream - a European fish) are the result of my brain working overtime and going off at a tangent. Hence "Whale meat again ..."

      In olden days, tins of sardines had a little key on the outside. I never understood why sardines would do that. These days it is more likely to be a ring pull to open the tin. But yet again, it is on the outside. I think sardines are stupid.

      God bless.



God bless you.