"Once There Was A Fish" 
                      Doug Rosentrater

   Once there was a fish who lived in the great ocean, and because the water was transparent, and always conviently got out of his nose when he moved along, he reallly didn't know that he was in the ocean.

   One day this fish did a very dangerous thing: he began to think. "Surely I am a most remarkable being," he thought, "since I can move around like this in the missle of empty space." Then the fish became confused because of his thinking about his moving and swimming, and he suddenly had an anxiety paroxysm, and thought that he had forgotten how. At the same moment, he looked down and saw the yawning chasm of the ocean depths stretching below him, and he was terrified that he would drop.

   Then he thought desperately: "If I could catch hold of my tail in my mouth, I could hold myself up." And so he curled himself up the best he could and snapped at his tail.  Unfortunately, his spine wasn't quite supple enough, and so he missed.  As he went on trying to catch hold of his tail, the yawning black abyss below became even more terrible.  He began to slowly drift down since he wasn't swimming anymore, and the poor fish found himself on the edge of a total nervous breakdown.

   Just then a shark, who had been watching with mixed feelings of pity and amusement, said, "what are you doing?" The fish looked up, surprised to see the shark, and replied, " I'm terrified of falling, so I am trying to hold myself up, but I can't reach my tail." And with this he started nervously sobbing and drifting farther down.

   "well, if that is the case, then why haven't you fallen into the depths before this?" inquiored th shark in a slow voice.

   "Of course, I hadn't fallen down earlier, because...because I was swimming."

   "Oh," said the shark, "Then why don't you stop biting your tail and go back to swimming?"

   The fish gasped and suddenly realized that all of his fears were his own fault.  He started swimming and immediately came back up to the shark's level.

   "You know," said the shark, " the Great Ocean supports you all the time you swim.  But here you are, instead of exploring its length, breadth, and depth, wasting...absolutely wasting your time exploring nothing but your own end.  If you don't wise up quickly, then you might as well be a stone instead of a fish!" And with that the shark drifted off to find his lunch somewhere.

   From then on, the fish put his own end behind him (where it belonged) and set out to explore the Great Ocean, secure in the knowledge that as long as he swam, he wouldn't fall.