The Three Fish
. Shanti Publications . Delhi
Shanti Pan 15 .
PK3741.P3 T35 no. 15 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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One of twenty in the series, found near the counter as we were settling up a large order of books. Sixteen pages with standard computer art. This version of the story has several elements different from those one can find in Ramsay Wood's telling in Kalila and Dimnah as well as other standard tellings, I believe. First, the main characters are identified only as first, second, and third fish, respectively, without proper names. The first believes in facing danger when it comes. The second believes in wisely taking action when needed. The third believes in fate. There is no river connected with the pond. Fishermen announce a plan to return in one day to catch all the pond's fish. The second fish gathers all the pond's fish-dwellers and recommends movement now. The first fish asks why they should run like cowards from their ancestral place. The second fish then leads some others out to another pond. That there is another pond was not mentioned earlier and is not utilized again in this telling. When the fishermen appear as promised, the first and third fish are trapped along with many others. At that point the first fish pretends to be dead and is thrown back into the pond. Third fish wishes he had listened to his friend. Fate also supports those who act wisely. The trick in this telling is to realize that the first fish faces danger only when it is upon him. The fable is caught, I believe, between establishing what that fish needs to learn and what the fate-dominated third fish needs to learn.