Felina Goes Fishing

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Felina walked along the edge of the large pond, feeling sad and brave at the same time. I wonder if there are any fish in this pond? she thought to herself. She knelt at the edge of the pond and dipped her hand into the water and felt around. Something grazed her hand and she quickly pulled back, but then cautiously put her hand back in and closed it around the body of a fish. She pulled the colorful fish from the water, astounded that she caught him so easily.

“Were you looking for a fish like me? Because I’m a good example of the type,” the fish said.

Felina shook her head in disbelief, “I didn’t even know fish like you existed.”

“I’m quite rare. I’ve never met another talking fish either.”

“Why did you let me catch you so easily?”

“I’ve been waiting for someone like you to come along. Someone hopeful enough to stick their hand in murky water and pull out a lonely but extraordinary fish.”

“Astounding!” Felina exclaimed to the fish whom she now held gently in both hands. She carefully placed the fish back into the water, where he stayed near the surface and swam around while talking to her about many things. They talked for hours, as he swam in circles near the surface, and he made her laugh with his shark impression. She listened and then told him about her own life, and he listened. When she put her feet in the water, he nibbled her toes and made her giggle.

“I must say, I didn’t expect to meet such a special fish today. Or ever, for that matter.”

“I knew I would eventually meet a lovely woman. I only hoped she’d be silly enough to talk to a fish.” He flipped his caudal fin to send a playful splash her way. “I see many fish each day, but alas, they are all non-speaking varieties.”

Felina nodded because she understood. “I was a bit sad when I arrived at this pond. You have made me smile and laugh more than I have in a long time. But it is getting late and I must be going.”

“Why? Why can’t you stay and smile and laugh some more?”

“I would love to, except I have responsibilities, things I need to take care of.”

The fish swam back and forth, but did not answer.

“I have a home, and I left the doors open. The fire is not lit. I have a little cat that will be hungry.”

The fish swam back and forth, but did not answer.

“You wouldn’t consider me lovely if I neglected my cat.”

The fish finally answered, “I’m worried you won’t come back.”

Felina laughed at the absurdity. “You silly fish. Isn’t it obvious how much I enjoy your company?”

The fish floated on his side while considering the question. “But what if you are walking home and you meet a talking fox? Or a talking squirrel? Or a talking bird.”

Felina thought for a moment and said, “I met a talking fish today, and it has been amazing. If all the animals start speaking to me, it would be a tragedy. That would imply that I’ve simply gone mad. Then you wouldn’t be special at all.”

“Hmm,” said the fish. “I think I see what you mean.”

“Besides, today might be the day you find another talking fish in that pond, and then I won’t seem nearly as interesting to you.”

“I want you to come back.”

Overwhelmed by the vulnerability expressed by the fish who didn’t have the ability to come to her, Felina promised,  “I will come back. I could not possibly stay away from a fish such as yourself.”

“I’ll be here.”

Felina walked home and did not meet a talking fox, or squirrel, or bird. When she got home, she said ‘hello’ to her cat who answered with a hungry meow. So I am not crazy. I actually met a talking fish, and I already miss him.

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