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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)

TITLE: The Parable of the Sselfissh Elf Fissh!
By Donna Haug


In a crystal clear blue ocean far away lies a coral reef teeming with life. Of the innumerable varieties of ocean life to be found living on or around this particular reef, there is none more beautiful than the elf fish. From the time the little baby elf fish hatch from their eggs, their entire family takes over looking out for them. There is not much privacy, but that had never seemed to be a problem. Every day they would swim around like a little blue and yellow swarm of butterflies, flitting from one reef outcropping to another. The older fish would protect the young, and together they would hunt for the elusive little S bugs, their favorite food.

The family rules were deeply ingrained in the pre-school teaching: 1) Always look out for the fish beside you. 2) Always share any S’s you find with the whole family. 3) Don’t go anywhere alone. The rules weren’t so difficult really. But, now that Essie was becoming a teenager, she discovered that she didn’t really WANT to obey all those rules anymore. She resented having to be always surrounded by her family. But her pet peeve was the rule that said she had to share the most delicious food in the entire world with everyone. That was so unfair! Day by day the reluctance to give up her precious S’s grew.

One day, Essie had a plan. She kept her eyes wide open and hung out at the back of the school as they swam. Out of the corner of her eye she spied an S just sticking out of a little hole in the reef. She glanced around quickly and saw that no one was looking and quickly snuck around the corner allowing everyone to go on without her. There it was! And it was all hers! Puckering her wide lips, she sucked as hard as she could until the big S popped out of its hole. She munched and munched. It was so good! And she could keep it all to herself! Now, if sshe could just ssneak into the back of the sschool, no one would even notice. Ssure enough, sshe managed to sslip unnoticed behind her old Uncle Josseph who was half blind anyway. No problem. No one will ever know.

Ass the day went on, Essssie noticed that her fissh family sstarted looking at her in a sstrange way. What were they looking at? Could they know? Sshe ignored their sstaress and ssoon was looking for another opportunity to ssneak out of the crowd again. Jusst one more little SS. No one would know.

Jusst when sshe thought sshe had found the perfect opportunity, her father appeared at her sside. “Essssie, we have a problem.” Essssie looked at him in amazement.

“How did you know, Dad?”

“Be ssure your ssin will find you out, ssweetie! When an elf fissh becomes sselfissh and keepss all the SS’ss to hersself, the whole family feelss the effectss of it. Haven’t you noticed that no one elsse in the family hass had anything to eat today? Baby SSalissa hass been crying for the lasst hour. We’re all hungry. But no more SS’ss will be found today becausse ssomeone didn’t sshare. Would you like to talk about it?”

“Oh, Daddy! I didn’t mean to hurt anybody. I jusst love SS’ss sso much and I got tired of ssharing,” Essssie cried.

“Everyone gets tired of ssharing ssomtimes, Essssie. But you need to undersstand that every time you are sselfissh, you hurt other people. The Creator taught uss long ago to think of otherss before oursselvess. Don’t you think He knowss what’ss besst for uss elf fissh?” Daddy’ss fin cuddled her closser as Essssie thought about that. Sshe knew what sshe had to do. Daddy sswam clossely beside Essssie ass sshe turned to face the family.

“I have ssomething to ssay. I was a very sselfissh elf fissh today. I kept the S bug I found all for myself. I was wrong, and what I did made you all go hungry today. Please forgive me?” Her family swarmed around her assuring her that she was forgiven. Suddenly, Essie spoke up again. “Listen, everyone! I know where there is the perfect spot to find S’s. Just follow me!” As Essie led Baby Salisa and all the others to her hideout, her heart was so light. She knew her Creator was very wise. Thinking of others more then yourself makes for happy elf fish.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 02/21/05
I liked the story. it had a good moral to it. The "ss's" wre a good idea and made for an interesting creative way of keeping the interest.
Christine Rhee02/23/05
Sweet story!!
Karen Treharne02/24/05
This was a delightful story with a fine message about being selfish - right on target with the theme! May God continue to bless you with your writing, and I do hope you are planning to reach out with this story (and hopefully many others) to the children of the world. I can almost see the book, now!! In Christ's name, ladybug Karen
donna robinson02/24/05
I liked the sss too, make me read it like a fish talking under water! Cute story!
Amy Davis02/25/05
This was so cute! Good job.