Once upon a time there were ninety fish. The fish caught wind of a fine glass enclosure which they wanted to live in instead of the ocean.
As the fish were crossing the dry land they came across ten rabbits. They decided the rabbits would be useful in doing work around their new home. So they rounded up the rabbits and took them with them.
When the hundred animals reached their new home, they found it empty.
"It's beautiful," said the fish, "But we should fill it with seawater so we can be comfortable."
"We'd rather it stayed dry so we can be comfortable," said the rabbits.
But there were ninety fish and only ten rabbits, so the fish got their way. To add insult to injury, they even made the rabbits do the bulk of the work filling up the glass enclosure with seawater so that it would be more comfortable for the fish.
The rabbits had to find a way to live in their new home, so they paddled away, forever exhausting themselves just to stay afloat. They had to compete with the fish for the same food the fish ate, but of course a rabbit learning to dive is no match for a fish born to the water, so the rabbits had great trouble getting enough food. The rabbits were constantly struggling and barely scraping by.
The fish, by contrast, were having a delightful time of it. As they had suspected, the glass enclosure (now an aquarium) was a infinitely superior to the ocean. They had no trouble finding food, and frolicked about all day. You see, the fish were totally unaware of the water they were swimming in, and the advantages it gave them, and the disadvantages it gave the rabbits.
Over time things grew gradually better for the rabbits. They adapted, such as they could. Their legs became fin-like. They began to breathe through blowholes. The rabbits became dolphin-like creatures, better adapted to a life in the water. At that point, the fish no longer even acknowledged the issues of the rabbits.
When the rabbits would complain that they breathed air, not water, the fish would shrug and pretend like it wasn't an issue. After all, they breathed water. And if living in a watery environment put the rabbits at a disadvantage, well, they would just have to be the ones to continue adapting. The fish couldn't even see the water that they breathed, and that it drowned others.
And how does the fable end? Well, I hope. I hope the fish stop denying that they live in water. I hope the aquarium becomes a better place for the rabbits. But I can't be sure. We're writing the ending now.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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