The Goldfish

Once long ago, in the small village of Shunde, a beautiful goldfish was passing by. It was a simple enough trip, all he needed to do was head down the river to get to Zhu Jiang pass.

Unfortunately, the local demons decided they wanted to play tricks on him. They changed the current, having it thrash around and go every which way but the way he needed to go.

“Look how graceful!” They all mocked and cackled.

The goldfish tried to keep control of himself and push past the tricksters. However, eventually with one fell swoop of water, he was thwarted back straight into a rock.

His mind was lost for who knows how long before he felt a strange sensation on his scales.

He immediately sprung up in order to get away from it but his senses came back to him and he was able to look around his environment.

“Hold still! Hold still!” said a concerned voice. And when he finally looked up, it was coming from a little girl.
She had herbal medicine and a cloth in hand. Then, a stinging sensation finally hit the fish and he realized she had been trying to help him.

“My name is Shui Meiyin,” She smiled, “I brought you to the pond near my home.”

A human trying to help him? It was something he had never seen in his all his years of living.

So, he didn’t protest when the girl finished wrapping the cloth and pat his head.

“Comfortable?” She asked then laughed, “I put medicine on you while you were asleep. It should heal that wound!”

If the goldfish could’ve smiled at her he would’ve. But he supposed he could instead offer her something else.

“My name is Fu,” He told her, a glowing scale appearing before her, “Thank you for your help.”

She was shocked at first, but blinked it away a second later, laughing.

“What about Shui Fu?”

That was how he met Shui Meiyin. A young girl with so much heart and so much tenacity. She lived with her grandmother in the village and loved helping out with whatever she could. He never saw her not running around.

However, within a month of living with the Shui family, his beautiful gift was found.

“My neighbors are asking for a scale…I’m so sorry I–“

“Don’t worry.” Shui Fu said reassuringly, as another scale appeared in front of her.

Her face lit up and she never mentioned it again.

That was until a few days later. Where she asked again because her neighbors had told other people in the village.

And then again.

And again.

And it continued for so long he lost count.

He was being drained psychically and mentally. But how was he able to say no to someone so good hearted? Meiyin meant well. He swore she did but.

It was so tiring.

Eventually, Meiyin noticed, but passed it as a side comment, “You’re not looking so well.” She said.

And then, he finally said something, “The scales. I’m sorry but the scales they’re…”

And then she had a moment of realization, “Oh,” she looked down, “Oh…”

She got up quickly from kneeling at the pond, rushing away. Shui Fu saddened, he knew it wouldn’t go well.
A few days later, Meiyin came back with a bag full of scales.

She put them in the pond, sitting quietly before finally speaking, “Fu…I know this won’t make up for what I did but, I got back all the scales you gave me. I’m really sorry. I just wanted everyone to be happy. I should’ve never asked for more.”

Shui Fu looked at the bag of scales and then back at her, “yes, it was wrong, yet,” he took the scales back, “you’re a good person. It was a mistake. I think, from now on, we should talk to each other about this kind of stuff. To not hurt either of us.”

Meiyin nodded, “Whatever else I need to make up to you I will.”

“Let’s start over, yeah? From the ground up.”

She smiled, “Yes, of course.”

So for the next few weeks, he could see she treaded carefully around him. No doubt still feeling bad about what she did. Yet she tried to get back to how they were before. Without conversations of the scales this time.

And they were wonderful conversations. And they did get along great.

It was a bump in the road, yet, they could move past it all.