by Margo Fallis
Learn From the Past
The pond water shimmered in the
morning sun. The breeze, though gentle, sent tiny ripples across the
water. Pebbles and small plants lined the bottom of the pond. It was just
the way Kong, a young koi, loved the water. He was a funny looking fish
with big lips, orange, gray and white splotched, long, wavy fins, tail and
whiskers. He looked a lot like a catfish. Kong was also a mischievous koi.
Quite often, people would walk past the pond and toss in small pellets, or
pieces of broken bread. Kong found great delight in gulping a mouthful of
pond water and spitting it at the people when they weren’t looking.
One day, a small boy and his mother
walked by. Kong looked up through the water at them. The boy was wearing a
bright red, silky shirt and black pants. He wore a small round cap on his
head and had a lot of thick, straight black hair hanging out beneath it.
Kong started to giggle. He filled his mouth with water and when the little
boy’s mother wasn’t looking, Kong spit the whole mouthful at him. Water
splashed all over the boys face. He started to cry and his mother was
angry with Kong.
Kong thought it was very funny. He
giggled and giggled. Nuwa, Kong’s mother, had watched the whole thing. She
swam over to him. "Kong, you will end up being fried if you don’t stop
it," she said. Kong only laughed more. Nuwa continued, "Long ago, in this
very pond, lived a fish named Po Sin. He was as mischievous as you are. He
found great pleasure in splashing on the monks as they walked to the
temple. He often spat water at them, just as you did. He didn’t care who
it was. If they fed him, sometimes he’d spare them, but if they passed by
the pond and didn’t throw in food, Po Sin would splash on them. One
morning, the sun was shining brightly, as it is today. Po Sin splashed on
one of the monks as he rushed to the temple. He was in a hurry as the gong
was calling them to prayer. Another fish, Hua, warned him to stop, but Po
Sin wouldn’t listen. The monk wiped the water off his face and stopped,
just as he had passed the pond. He crept around the other side and snuck
up on Po Sin. He squatted down next to the pond and when Po Sin swam past,
he reached in and grabbed him. Po Sin squirmed and flapped his tail back
and forth, but it was too late. The monk took Po Sin to the kitchen on the
temple grounds and had him fried for dinner. Do you want that to happen to
Kong listened carefully to his
mother. He watched from underwater as several people walked by. Some of
them stopped at the pond to look at the koi. Kong didn’t want to be fried
like Po Sin, so from then on, he never spat or splashed at anyone else,
not even little boys who came with their mothers.
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