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Children's Stories
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 you?"

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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