The Fisherman and His Prized Fish: A Fable


Every morning the Fisherman left his home and went out on the lake in his boat.  He was an expert Fisherman and every night, he returned to his home with his boat filled with fish. He caught fish of many different colors.  There were silver fish, yellow fish, brown fish, green fish, orange fish, red fish, and even purple fish, but there were no blue fish.  He thought, wouldn’t it be nice to find a blue fish.  If only I could, it would be my pride and joy.

One day while fishing, to his astonishment, he saw a blue fish.  The excitement that filled him at the thought of catching a blue fish drove him to search for the sweetest and juiciest worm he could find.  He pierced his fishing hook with the sweet and juicy worm and tossed the hook into the lake.  The blue fish swam close to the hook and caught hold of the worm. The fisherman reeled his line in, but the blue fish wiggled its way off of the hook and swam away.  The next day the Fisherman became even more determined to catch the blue fish. He brought with him his shiniest lures and placed them, one after the other on his hook in his many attempts to catch the blue fish.  But every time he tried, the blue fish would wiggle its way off of the hook and swim away.  Every day, for many years, the Fisherman tried all that he could to catch that blue fish.  He bought bigger hooks, fancier lures, he found sweeter worms, but nothing seemed to work.  Finally, one day while fishing, the blue fish clamped on the end of his fishing line and the Fisherman reeled it in with all his might and expertise. The blue fish dangled in the air as it was brought out of the water and within the Fisherman’s reach.  Overjoyed at the prospect that the blue fish was finally his, the Fisherman grabbed for his net.  But at the last moment, the blue fish jumped off of the hook, back into the water, and swam away.  The more he was disappointed in his failure to catch the blue fish, the more he became obsessed with catching it.

The Fisherman spent the rest of his life trying to catch that blue fish.  Eventually, the lake filled with fish of other colors as they swam around in the water, unafraid of the Fisherman, because he no longer bothered trying to catch them. He spent so much of his time on the lake in his pursuit of the blue fish, that his family barely saw him. The years passed and his children grew up and moved away and his wife found other interests of her own.  One day the Fisherman was in his boat on the lake when the blue fish swam up to him, seemingly teasing him to try to catch it.  The Fisherman placed another worm on his hook and tossed the hook into the lake.  The blue fish caught onto the hook and the Fisherman reeled it all the way in.  He stood up in his boat, grabbed his net, and trapped the blue fish into it.  In his excitement, he jumped for joy and overturned his boat.  He and the blue fish fell into the water.

As his body slowly sank to the bottom of the lake, the blue fish swam away.

(The moral of the story:  If you become obsessed with what you don’t have, you might miss out on what you do have.)

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