Hamish, the fish, lived in a round fishbowl made of beautiful, clear, crystal. It was always sparkling clean. Inside the bowl was a gray, stone castle. It had a drawbridge, several windows, and if you looked real close, you could see gargoyles on the castle walls. Next to the castle was a rather large stone. It was brown with little silvery speckles in it. Some blue-marbled pebbles lined the bottom of the bowl and the castle stood on them.
Hamish loved his fish bowl. He was happy swimming around in it, going through the front door of the castle and coming out the back. He loved swirling around and around the large stone. Sometimes he’d swim up and put his face right up to the glass to look out and see what was going on around him. The curved bowl made his eyes look huge and googley.
Christmas was coming soon. Hamish could tell. Across from his bowl stood a tree, decorated from top to bottom with red, gold and green ornaments. He could see the reflection of his bowl in a gold one. Once he wiggled his tail back and forth and saw it in the ornament. He blew bubbles and laughed. Hamish wanted to put Christmas decorations in his castle.
One day, when nobody was in the house, Hamish took a big mouthful of water. He swam over to the edge of his bowl and used his fins to lean against it. He spit the water at one of the ornaments on the big tree. The red ornament fell off the branch and landed right in his glass bowl. Slowly, it sank to the bottom. Hamish smiled.
Using his fins, he rolled the ornament into the castle. It took up a lot of space, but Hamish didn’t mind. He swam around the red glass ball, looking at his reflection. He had so much fun with it that he wanted another one.
He swam over to the edge of the glass bowl and gulped a mouthful of water. He spit at the tree and knocked a green ornament off the branch. It tumbled into his bowl and sank slowly to the bottom. Hamish pushed it into his castle, using his tail. Now it was very crowded in there. He didn’t have enough room to swim in and out of the arched doorway anymore, but he had so much fun looking at himself in the glass balls that he didn’t care.
One more, thought Hamish. He wanted one more ornament. He filled his mouth with water, swam over to the side of his bowl, pulled himself up with his fins and spit the water at a gold ornament. It fell from the branch and landed with a soft plop, right in his bowl. It filled with water and sank to the bottom. Hamish looked at the gold ball. There was no more room in his castle. He would have to leave it sitting on the blue-marbled pebbles.
The crystal fishbowl was crowded. He didn’t have room to swim at all anymore. He had to stay in one place all the time, right next to the large stone. After a while, Hamish tired of looking at his face, fin, and tail’s reflections in the balls. He wanted them out of his fishbowl. He didn’t want to have any Christmas decorates in there any longer.
He tried to lift the gold ball up, but it was full of water and wouldn’t budge. He tried to push the green ball out of the castle, but the gold ball was in the way and it wouldn’t move either. Hamish didn’t know what to do. All he wanted was his castle back the way it was, empty and clear, so he could swim around like he used to.
Later that day, the little girl who lived in the house came to look at the Christmas tree. Since Hamish’s bowl was so crystal clear, she was able to see inside of it. “How did those ornaments get in there?” she wondered. She stuck her hand in the bowl and pulled out the gold ball. She dumped the water out of it and put it back on the tree. Hamish was happier. He swam around in the bowl. Next, she reached in and lifted the castle out of the water. The two ornaments were still inside of it. The girl dumped the water out and pulled the red ball and green ball from the castle. She then put it back in the fishbowl.
At last Hamish’s bowl was like it used to be. He swam inside the castle and out the other side. He did this over and over again. He swam around the large stone and blew lots of happy bubbles. From then on, Hamish was content to admire the colorful ornaments from inside his bowl and leave them on the tree where they belonged.
by Margo Fallis
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