The Three Fishes

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The Three Fishes

An Indian folk tale


Once, three fishes lived in a pond. One evening, some fishermen passed by the pond and saw the fishes. ‘This pond is full of fish’, they told each other excitedly. ‘We have never fished here before. We must come back tomorrow morning with our nets and catch these fish!’

When the eldest of the three fishes heard this, he was very worried. He called the other fishes together and said, ‘Did you hear what the fishermen said? We must leave this pond at once. The fishermen will return tomorrow and kill us all!’ 

The second of the three fishes agreed. ‘You are right’, he said. ‘We must leave the pond.’

But the youngest fish laughed. ‘There is no reason to worry’, he said. ‘We have lived in this pond all our lives, and no fisherman has ever come here. Why should these men return? I am not going anywhere – my luck will keep me safe.’

The eldest of the fishes left the pond straight away with all his family. The second fish saw the fishermen walking towards the pond early next morning and left at once with all his family.

But still the third fish refused to leave.  He was sure that his luck would keep him safe.

Soon the fishermen arrived and caught all the fish that were left in the pond. The third fish’s luck did not help him – he too was caught and killed.

The moral of this story is that if you see trouble ahead and act quickly enough you can prevent bad things happening to you.