The Tale Of Zoarin
The Tale Of Zoarin
There is a sea in the mid-east of Bolivia. Surrounded by trees, it is home to a few aquatic animals. The sunrise is so beautiful that it is said that all the aquatic animals that live in the river rise to the “Ocean skin” to watch this sight. The sea is always warm like it is sun-kissed. It so happened that this sea was the home of Mandarin fishes. Mandarin fish swam across the sea only in a shoal. You couldn’t find any mandarin fish swimming alone. The head of the shoal was called Zoarin. He led the shoal always, and they used to blindly follow him.
But unfortunately, the lake was also occupied by some predators, the Killifish. These Killifish often used to feed on the other aquatic animals.
Zoarin, being very smart, always took the Shoal to places where these Killifish weren’t present. Sometimes he used to take long routes to avoid being caught. Sometimes he used to bring his Shoal in the afternoon to the Ocean skin to get the sunlight and food. There were days when they never used to come out as Killifish roamed around the place they resided. Zoarin preferred to live in a safe and secure place, rather than get his life under risk by picking up combat with the Killifish. He knew very well what their strength was. One Killifish could easily swallow up ten of these fishes.
Days passed and then years. The other Mandarin fish was tired living that lifestyle. One day they urged Zoarin to go and talk to these Killifish and make a pact saying that they would offer the dead to the Killifish every week if their Shoal was spared. But Zoarin knew that the head of the Killifish, Mirzin was too cunning and proud to even look at the other kind. As soon as he sees Zoarin he would simply swallow up without even allowing him to say a word.
Zoarin tried his best to explain his Shoal that it wouldn’t be so easy to just walk up to Mirzin and talk. But the Shoal was not ready to listen to him. After some time, they got frustrated and declared that whoever goes and talks to Mirzin will become their next leader. But no one had the guts to do so. After a lot of thinking, Zoarin built up his courage to go up and speak to Mirzin.
One fine morning, he swam across 4 KM to meet Mirzin. It was easy to track this lot. Killifish were always surrounded by bones. He found them near a bunch of rocks. They just had their supper and were resting.
Mirzin was laying lazily pricking his teeth. He knew Zoarin was before him but did not bother to give a look. Zoarin stood there for a minute, took a deep breath and spoke in a very low voice,
Even though Mirzin heard, he understood Zoarin was too meek and a coward. So, he took this opportunity to boast about himself and scare Zoarin.
“What?”, he yelled.
Zoarin brought back his guts and said a little louder…
“Hello Mirzin, I am here to talk to you…”
“What the hell do you want? I never ate anyone from your lot. Thanks to you for hiding them…”
Another killifish from the shoal shouted sarcastically.
“Not very long though… we are going to eat each one of you. Starting from you…”
The other Killifish started laughing. Mirzin too gave a laugh and looked at Zoarin. Zoarin was trembling with fear. He was cursing himself in his heart for coming there.
“Don’t worry. We like to hunt. We don’t kill those who come willingly”, said Mirzin.
Zoarin understood and took a u-turn.
“You didn’t come all the way to look whether we are alive…right? Now what is it?”, shouted Mirzin.
“I just wanted to make a pact with you so that my Shoal can roam around easily”
“A pact?”, Mirzin looked at Zoarin curiously
“A pact? Then why were you going back?”
“You just made it clear that you like to hunt. But my pact is all about you not hunting us…”
“I am listening…”
“We will offer you our dead ones every week. So that you can spare others in my Shoal”.
“Haha… seriously kid. Are you kidding yourself? Now how many of you are going to die in a week? Maybe 5 or 10. And do you think my entire Shoal can be alive by eating only 10 of you?”
“Well… we are not the only food, right? You hunt others too…”
“Lol!!! Listen Kiddo… I suggest you go back. No one is going to listen to you and don’t expect anything from me. We are better off without your pact. We can kill your entire lot in one go and store it for the rest of our lives. So please, shoo!!!”, Mirzin said mockingly and went back to his sleep.
Zoarin went back to his shoal. The others were too disappointed to hear him.
“I told you it wouldn’t work!!!”, Zoarin said.
“Well, at least you tried.”, said an elderly person in the Shoal.
Heartbroken, Zoarin, and his Shoal went back into their hiding. It was the next day early in the morning when they heard screams and cry for help. Many fishes were yelling and shouting. The Shoal was terrified of hearing their screams. Everyone turned to Zoarin with puzzled looks.
Zoarin, after a lot of thinking, asked a few strong fishes in the shoal to come along with him. They swam across following the echo of the voices. They swam for almost a kilometer when they saw a huge crowd of all sorts of aquatic animals stuck inside a net.
There were tortoises, jellyfishes, goldfishes, blue tangs, eels, and whatnot. All were screaming for help. From all these voices there was a noise that Zoarin heard… voice of Mirzin. Mirzin and his Shoal of killifish too were stuck in the net. The others who came along with Zoarin were stunned with this sight. They were happy and sad at the same time. One of the mandarin fish looked at Zoarin and said, “Let’s go from here!!! We can’t do anything to save them…”
And one more fish said, “Yes. It’s good we back to hiding. And anyway, the killifish will be gone, and we can roam around safely.”
But it was not in Zoarin’s nature to leave someone in the state of trouble. So, he decided to help these fishes.
“Are you mad? Why do you even want to help them? They didn’t let us live peacefully. Do you remember how they insulted you?”, said Lola, one of the Mandarinfish.
“If I leave them here, like this, I will never be able to face myself for the rest of my life. It will kill me inside that I left someone in those times when I could have saved them…”, Zoarin said sadly looking at his fishes.
“We have a family out there and today if something happens to me, whom will my family depend on?”, shouted one of the Mandarin fish.
“And anyway if we let them free, tomorrow they will again start hunting us and we need to live the rest of our lives hiding,”, yelled another fish.
But Zoarin was determined to resume the others. He made up his mind and said with affirmation, “I am going to save my fellow aquatic creatures, whether you like it or not…”
Lola tried to make an argument, “But…”
But Zoarin knew there was no time. So, he just cut her off by saying,” What if one of us was in there? Wouldn’t the other rescue?”
By saying so he went in search of a sharp object to cut the net. Nearly after 10 minutes, he found a bunch of sharp crystals. He went to pluck them from the soil, but they were deep-rooted. Seeing his struggle, his fellow mates came to help him.
“You are going to pay for this,” said Lola trying to pull out the crystal with Zoarin.
It took some time for them to pluck it out. Zoarin took it to the net and started cutting the wire. Similarly, other fish came with the crystals and they started cutting the net in different directions, thus freeing the aquatic animals.
Mirzin had heard all the conversation that had happened between the Mandarin fishes. He went to Zoarin and thanked him for getting him out.
He also agreed on the pact that they will eat only the dead fishes and in fact made this pact with the other animals too.
When Zoarin went back to the Shoal, he was welcomed as a hero. It is said that the Mandarin fish had created a statue of Zoarin with all the sand and flora they could get and the statue remains deep inside the sea till today…