The great one comes!
I notice that Goldie (my prize common long tail goldfish) was up swimming close to the surface the other night.  She seemed quite fixated on a spot high in the heavens.  I sat down next to the pond and asked her what she was looking at.

Unblinking from her vigil, she replied, “She is coming back!”

“Who?” I asked.

“The great one, she is coming back for us!” Goldie stated confidently.

“What great one, a bird? Is it a big raccoon? Who Goldie?”

“The great Gold fish, she is coming to take us, Down the rapids to a New World! Can’t you see her coming? We must be ready for her!”

“Goldie you are giving me fish phrases too fast, slow down!   What do you mean by “ Down the Rapids”?

This made Goldie turn away from the night sky and look me in the eye.  Very sternly she replied, “Down the Rapids is when a fish leaves and never comes back, some say they go to the Big pond, others say they find their way to the Sea. My Friends the Salmon say the Ocean is very big and you can get lost in it and never find your way back. Down the Rapids is to leave and be gone forever!  You remember I told you to “go up river” is to have babies? I think you called it spawning. When a fish goes Down the Rapids the rest of the fish feel they have died. “

“So what does this have to do with the Great Goldfish?  Are you sick? Are you going to die?” I was getting quite concerned now.”

“2000 seasons ago or more the great Goldfish came, but left us swimming in the ponds.  It was foretold by the elders that she would return and take us with her Down the rapids, just like the great flying dinosaur came and took all the prehistoric lizards, that used to feed on my fellow goldfish, away.”

I turned my head and looked up in the sky to see just what it was that Goldie was looking at. “Goldie, that is the comet Hale-Bopp! It is just a big chunk of ice and rock swooping around the universe!”

“It is the Great Goldfish, look at her long tale.  She must be at least 3 feet long! If I say your head is 6 inches across the Great Goldfish must be 3 feet long!  It is said when you see the great One in the North and the sharks of the deep eat the moon, the Great Gold fish is coming to take all here babies to a new Sea!”

Goldie made a few practice leaps at the north end of the pond.  Quickly I looked around to see what she was talking about! I had a crazed cult goldfish swimming madly around my pond looking forward to the Goldfish Heavens Gate! It was about this time that Franswa, her mate swam up to the surface too, sporting fine new tubercles on his gill plate.  I could tell Romance was in his blood tonight and a trip up river was all he was interested in.  “Goldie!” I started. “That great Gold fish in the sky is just a comet it is not coming any where near your pond.  The sharks are not eating the moon but rather there is an eclipse of the moon happening right now, caused by our planet crossing in between the sun and our moon, blocking the source of light to the mood.  I tell you what, why don’t you get Franswa to snuggle close to you during the eclipse.  If the great Goldfish comes during the dark of the eclipse, she can take both of you.  If you two are still here after the moon comes back, I think you should take Franswa “Up river” and tell him how sorry you are for being so silly!”  Franswa winked at me and smiled.

The morning came and I walked over to the pond. Both fish seem quite worn out.  In the shallows the plants looked like a crazed stick wielding maniac had thrashed them into the water.  From all the signs in pond, the Great Gold fish had not visited and taken Goldie Down the Rapids.  Quit the contrary, it seems Franswa did not wait till the eclipse had ended.  The matting of the rushes are quit clear that Franswa ushered Goldie Up River for a romp in the grass!

Mark Paulsen
Scenic Harbor Nursery