The Story of the Shouting Fish
By sister-initiate Jean, Ottawa, Canada (Originally in English)
One of my sons loved his pet fish. He had a very large aquarium in his bedroom, in which he kept seven beautiful goldfish. He had bought the goldfish as “babies” and had watched them grow until they reached quite a large size. He fed the fish each day, and ensured that the water pump and aerator were working.
One summer, there was a major heat wave through much of Canada and the United States. Record high temperatures lasted for several weeks, putting a strain on the power grid. One day, in the scorching heat, the power system failed, leaving much of eastern North America without electricity.
Suddenly, all the conveniences we take for granted were gone. Stoves, air conditioners, lights, and even water sources were cut off from lack of power. Our house was in chaos. We were very hot, we had no running water, and the house was in total darkness all evening and night. In the upheaval, we forgot to check the aquarium.
The next morning, I went outside to meditate. However, after only a few minutes, I could not sit still. I felt like my son’s fish were “shouting” at me inside my head. I was determined to complete my morning meditation. I tried to ignore my agitation and my repeated thoughts of the fish. “I will look at them when I am done,” I told myself. But the “voices” of the fish came more and more loudly into my brain. Finally, I could sit no longer. I had to check the aquarium.
As I hurried into my son’s room, I felt a wave of anxiety sweep over me. When I reached the tank, I realized why. The fish were “shouting” at me because they were dying! Having no electricity, the water pump and aerator were not working. The fish had no oxygen in their water. All seven of the fish were up at the surface of the water, gasping desperately for air. Two fish were very close to death.
I quickly got a bucket and put some water from the aquarium in it. Then I stood about three feet above and poured the water back into the tank, creating a “waterfall”. Air bubbles appeared at once in the water. I continued for a long time, until the fish once again began to swim. My son helped me repeat this many times throughout the day until power was restored several hours later. Although two fish did not survive, the remaining five quickly regained their health. They became even more beautiful with the passing time. Thank God I finally listened to my shouting fish!