People often why I don't illustrate my own stories. THIS is why...
It may just be a short one, but there's something distinctly fishy going on in this week's story...
Jimmy The Fish
Everyone in the coral reef was afraid of Jimmy the fish. He wasn't that big. He didn't look that scary. But Jimmy wasn't very nice.
If other fish were playing games, Jimmy would deliberately blow bubbles in their direction and spoil their fun. When fish were swimming happily, Jimmy would deliberately splash into their paths, knocking into them, before darting away, chuckling to himself.
He made nasty comments to the smaller fish. He tried to fight the bigger fish.
No, Jimmy wasn't a very nice fish at all.
One morning, after he'd made two crabs cry and laughed at a lobster, Jimmy was feeling tired. He decided to look for somewhere peaceful to sleep, where he could rest without those silly other sea creatures annoying him.
He hadn't swum for long, when he came across a hermit crab. "Hey you," Jimmy crowed. "Leave that shell alone and buzz off. I want to sleep somewhere quiet and that shell would be perfect."
To his surprise, the hermit crab shook his head. "No," he shot back. "It's mine. Go away, Jimmy." The crab retreated into his shell, leaving Jimmy furious.
Jimmy swam on for a while longer, until he stumbled upon a small herd of seahorses, playing noisily together. "Shut up," he snapped at them. "I'm going to sleep here and I don't want to hear your silly noises!"
The seahorses swam away in fright, but Jimmy could still hear them, so he decided to keep looking for the perfect place to sleep. He swam on, until he saw an eel, lazing on a rock. "Oi," Jimmy called. "Get away from that rock! I'm going to sleep here and I don't want you in my way!"
The eel slunk off into the murky waters, away from the reef. Jimmy was about to settle down, when he noticed that the rock formed part of the entrance to a dark, gloomy cave. "This is perfect," Jimmy said aloud, swimming into the cave. "Nobody will disturb me in here."
Jimmy swam further and further into the cave, until he could barely see the reef outside. There, he closed his eyes and smiled a smug smile. He hadn't been sleeping long, when a very deep, very loud voice boomed: "This is MY cave!"
Jimmy opened his eyes. Two more eyes were glinting in the blackness. Two angry eyes. Jimmy didn't wait to see who had spoken. Instead, he began to swim as fast as his fins would allow, leaving a trail of bubbles in his wake as he darted through the water. Once he was finally out of the cave, he turned and gasped - it was a shark! And it was right behind him!
Jimmy saw the eel still hovering by the rocks. "Help me," he begged. "There's a shark!"
The eel simply hid away, saying nothing.
Jimmy rushed through the water. He was a fast swimmer and soon the shark was trailing behind him. It wasn't long until he came across the seahorses he'd frightened earlier. "Everyone hide," he yelled. "There's a shark coming!"
The seahorses turned their backs on him. "Why can't you be nice for a change?" One of them tutted. "Stop spoiling everyone's fun!"
Jimmy gasped - they didn't believe him! He glanced over his shoulder. He could just make out the shark's shadowy body moving closer. There was no time to waste! He hurried on, eventually meeting the hermit crab whose shell he had demanded.
"Hide in your shell," Jimmy told him. "The shark might get you, otherwise!"
The crab did as he was told, but he didn't sound afraid. He merely yawned as he retreated into his shell, saying: "Telling tall tales is your latest nasty trick, is it?"
By the time Jimmy reached the busiest part of the coral reef, the shark was beginning to catch him up. "SHARK!" He yelled. The other fish swam for their lives, hiding behind rocks and leaving Jimmy alone.
All too soon, the shark was upon him. "Not so tough now, are you?" The shark hissed.
Jimmy swallowed hard. He thought about trying to befriend the shark; that would really make the other sea creatures scared of him! But then he thought about how sad he'd felt when nobody believed him or wanted to help him. And he remembered how frightened he'd been when the shark had first chased him out of the cave. Finally, he realised what he needed to do.
"Oh yes I am tough," Jimmy shouted. "And I'm not letting you hurt any of my friends."
"Friends?" The shark chuckled. "I thought you liked picking on the other fish?"
Jimmy felt his heart beating hard in his chest. "I did," he confessed. "But I don't want to do that anymore."
Slowly, the other sea creatures began to peep out of their hiding places. Jimmy smiled at them and then glared back at the shark.
"I've learnt my lesson," he said. "And now you have to learn yours. Go and pick on someone your own size and leave me and my friends alone!"
One by one, the crabs, lobsters, seahorses and fish that shared the coral reef with Jimmy began to swim over to his side.
The shark smiled. "You're lucky," he told them. "I'm not that hungry. I'll let you off the hook."
And with that, he was gone.
All of the sea creatures cheered and Jimmy cheered the loudest. He really had learnt an important lesson. And from then on, Jimmy the fish was the friendliest fish in the sea.