How’s this for a fishy tale

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Once up a time there was a fish … Isn’t that how some fish stories should start because they lean toward the fantastic? In fact, they are often akin to a fairytale when the storyteller gets going and the fish begins to gain in length and weight. So, I suppose you should take these tales with a grain of salt. However I’m about to tell you a fish tale that is entirely true and there are pictures to prove it.

It began Sunday morning when my husband and I sat beside the lake enjoying a rare cool summer breeze. As we talked, I noticed ripples in the shallow water followed by an occasional splashing sound.

Curiosity got the best of me and I walked over to look. What I saw was a bunch of fish ranging in size from tiny to maybe four or so inches long. They darted in and out of the grass growing in the water.

“I’ll bet if I give them a few bread crumbs they will swim up and eat them,” I said.

“They might,” my husband answered.

So later that day, I made that suggestion to my two granddaughters and we set out with bread in hand. Sure enough, the fish were there so we tossed bread their way.

One or two swam up, gave a nibble and rushed back into the grass. I sat down on a board that was part way in the water to get a better look. Now here is where this fish tale takes off into the unbelievable.

Suddenly this beautiful green tinted fish swam up in front of me and stopped.

“Hannah, that fish is looking at me,” I said to my youngest grandchild. “Let’s see what he does if I put my finger in the water.”

What he did was stay right in front of me appearing to give my hand a good looking over.

“Gran, how neat would it be if he ate some bread out of your hand,” Hannah said.

So I tried it and the fish nibbled at the treat I offered. Then I eased my hand further into the water. After a few minutes, that fish swam over and brushed against my finger. On its next pass, I kind of stroked his side. Hannah was thrilled. I was amazed.

“You want to try?” I asked Hannah. She said yes.

We swapped places and for more than an hour, Hannah petted the fish while the other fishes watched. The little bugger even did a kind of shimmy dance brushing his tale against her hand.

Hannah said he was flirting and I think she was right.

“We are going to call Hannah the fish whisperer from now on,” my son said, as he eased up and snapped a picture.

Early Monday morning I returned to the lake’s edge to see if the fish were still there. Not only were they there, but our friend was also in the same spot, probably waiting for Hannah (I think he liked her best).

I stuck my hand into the water and he hurried up ready for more petting. And his friend, one that watched the day before, swam up to my other hand, brushing my outstretched fingers. I shook my head in disbelief.

So what is the moral of this tale — because all good stories have a moral, right? Well I’m not sure, but for Hannah the experience put an end to any plans for going fishing.

I guess it confirms for me that all living things share a connection, even if some breathe air and some live under water.

Oh and it means fish is off my menu possibly forever. I mean, how can I eat the friend of a friend.