An Apologetic Letter

I received this very polite letter two weeks ago after the fiasco at the swinging bridge (see my previous post). 

Due to technical issues I was not able to post it until today. However this letter and my experience at the swinging bridge sparked an interest in me to learn more about humans. To my surprise the humans that I saw there on Monday night seemed interested in fish and not at all hostile. The above letter too is very respectful towards myself as a fish. This is contrary to all I know about humans so I decided to investigate the matter a bit more. 
Watch for my next post to see my interview with Warren Keedle, Manger of the Age of Fishes Museum. You won’t want to miss it.

What a Fish Thinks About What Happened in the River Last Monday

I have been silent on this matter for a week now, but no more! I am outraged. 
In fact my silence has been partly due to my wondering how to address this civilly. Let me tell you what happened last Monday night at my river.
My river is normally very quiet at night, even though the river itself is always moving, splashing along and talking to itself. The creatures around the river generally pause their noise at night. But last Monday night as I swam up the river in expectation of the event you human’s had told me was planned; I heard indistinct sounds, unfamiliar to the river. And as I swam closer the noises became more human. Most other animals of the river had fallen silent and hidden themselves away against the hubbub of you humans. You seem to have that effect on animals, don’t you?
Eventually I was a fins flip away from the bridge. I hesitated near the platypus’s den, not wanting to get too much closer, but I couldn’t see the Devonian fish at all from where I was. I could see a light shining from the bridge and I wondered if that was where he was going to enter from. My fins were tingling with excitement.
Gradually it got darker and darker; I wondered at the time why you humans were waiting so long to get on with it. As the suns final light disappeared I heard a shout, ‘Look! There it is!’
Without thinking I darted forward eagerly and peered through the water to spot the Devonian Fish, but I couldn’t see him. Cautiously I retreated.
The darkness continued creeping on and I thought it soon be too dark to see any fish, but the darker it got the more excited everyone got.
Soon everyone got off the bridge and were gathered around a man talking very loudly. Being the cunning fish that I am I seized this as the perfect opportunity to meet this fish for myself and to talk to him.
With no hesitation I courageously propelled myself towards the bridge and swam right up to where everyone had been looking.
I couldn’t see any fish anywhere.
I swam under the bridge and back three times and still couldn’t find this fish, even though the light was still being shone in the river, bouncing on the rivers back.
Suddenly I hoped that you silly humans hadn’t taken the fish out of the water to show everyone, sort of stupid thing human would do!
I was thinking about this, still under the bridge when above me I heard feet tramping above me on the bridge. By this point I wasn’t even scared, just angry wondering what you might have done to the Devonian Fish!
I waited to see if the humans above me would throw him back into the river, but they didn’t. Then I heard a young human shout, ‘Wow, there’s two of them!’
Then everyone was talking above me:
-‘They’re bigger than I thought!’
-‘Wow, that’s incredible, look at them go!’
-‘It looks like they’re chasing each other!’
-‘Amazing, they look like they’re really swimming!’(That was the comment that should have clued me in)
-‘It’s wonderful what modern technology can do!’
Frustrated that I couldn’t find the Devonian Fish in the river I wiggled further out to see what on earth or in river they were looking at. They seemed to be all pointing at the funny light. So carefully I swam under the light, careful not to make a ripple. Then I looked up and saw them!
Two ginormous Devonian Fish were swimming right above me! This is what it looked like:
A Devonian fish in my river.
I was so excited and started to talk as fast as a human jet boat. For a moment it was magical. One of them turned and I thought he was about to speak to me. I waited breathlessly.
But they never did talk to me.
It didn’t take me long to realize that it was some kind of human trick, I am not a stupid fish you know. This was just a picture of a fish, swimming around and around in a continuous loop!

I flashed my fins then and swam angrily away back down the river to my home, muttering things against humans not fit to be repeated and only now have I been able to compose myself enough to write this in a polite manner.
I was going to tell you all exactly what I thought of you, but instead I will just let you imagine the disappointment of one fish, alone with his crushed dreams.

Swimming with an Ancient Fish.

As I was thinking about what to say about your latest project in my river, I was finding it very hard to know what to say, which is a very odd circumstance for me.
I admit that I have always been rather intelligent; however I never pretended to be very interested in humans’ doings and know very little about them. If, on the other fin, you wanted to know anything at all about my river or my opinions on anything else I would have ample supply of them!
But as only a mere, lowly fish I find it hard to understand what you mean by ‘3D animated image’ and ‘will be projected into the Belubula River’ and harder still to be called on to comment on. But never let it be said that Augustus has ever been at a complete loss for something to say!
I will address the general idea of it, which sounds fascinating. As you told me;
“The long extinct Devonian fish will once again swim in the local river.”

Ever since I was a young fishling (none of this fry business, which I find extremely poor taste.) I have wished that I could talk to fish from past generations. To compare notes, as you say. You see fish have always passed on certain traditions to our young, even fish like me who don’t live in schools. So I would love to know how close our traditions today are to the fishes of ancient times.
Now I am told that this long cherished dream will become reality! This fish from long, long ago will be swimming again in his river, my river. I guess you humans are good for some things after all. (And very bad for others, but let’s not go into that yet.)

I am awaiting the event with great expectations. Some questions I have in mind are:
  • Has the river changed much since your time?
  •  Have we always lived here or did some of our ancestors come from a different place?
  •  Do you remember the start of the tradition of meeting every fourth Monday night for a family gathering? Why did we start doing that? (Silly idea if you ask me, we’re  splashing into each other all the time anyway.)
  • What was your favourite food? Are the myths true about a certain kind of delicious insect that used to be here in the thousands, long since extinct?
Those will do for a start, although I suppose once we start talking we’ll never stop! Yellow Bellies are known for having lots to say. At least, my branch of the family is.
So you may not see me at the river next Monday night (I like to keep a low profile around humans) but I’ll be there, watching him swim the river once again and having a little chat.
By the way, I noticed that it is possible for all my readers to add their comments to mine below this, so if any of you (humans or fish) can think of any further questions for me to ask my ancestor on Monday, I beg you to let me know below and I will give them my consideration!

A Strange Invitation.

I was having a nice snooze in the current when I heard about this; I was abruptly awakened by a noisy magpie squawking about something.

Magpies aren’t often known to eat fish so I stuck my head out of the water to see what he was fussing about, since I couldn’t sleep anyway with that inconsiderate racket.

“The humans at the fish museum want a fish to write a blog post for them to put on the internet!” squawked the magpie as soon as I surfaced, jumping around on one leg.

I eyed him bemusedly.

“A… what?” I asked. My unusually high intellect wasn’t working quite as well as usual, just having woken up so rudely and all.

“A blog post! You know, writing about a topic on the internet!”

“Riiight. And are these weird shenanigans any reason to wake me up from a most enjoyable rest?”

“I haven’t any idea what you just said but I need to find a fish to write about science week for the humans!” said the magpie flapping its wings impatiently. “Hey! You’re a fish, (bright creature) you can do it!”

“I? I want no dealings with humans, bloodthirsty creatures!” (No offence).

“Come on!” Said the magpie, eyeing off a bug passing by, “you talk good; I bet you’d have lots to say! Besides I haven’t got all day.” He pounced on the bug and snapped it down. Disgusting.

Although he did have a point, I am a fish with lots to say. I must admit I have not always admired humans. Most fish are terrified of humans. I myself have always been slightly nervous of them. Ordinarily the only time a human wants to see a fish is at lunch time. Clearly something must be done. Someone must speak out.

So with this in mind I accepted your offer to discuss various things with you on your ‘blog’. To give fish everywhere a voice.

Allow me to introduce myself; I am Augustus.