A Cray Fish Story
By Scott S., North Haledon, NJ
OneIf you go to New York City and take a boat or a car about seventy miles east, then you will find yourself in what used to be an underwater paradise. In the time when our story took place, it was a highly populated area of fish, but it could not have been further from peaceful or pleasant. It was a place where every fish was uneducated and ignorant, which led many to be extremely violent towards others. There was no place to get an education, no police stations for justice, no courts to judge the many criminals running amok in that large community, and no peaceful sanctuary of a church where lovers may wed. The water around the variety of fish living there seemed to be darker than most parts of the big blue, but it had nothing to do with lack of sunlight.
One fish living there, who is very important to our story as you will find out, is named Ozzy. Just Ozzy, as none of the fish could remember their families’ names. He’s a small Sunfish, but being as uneducated as all those fish were, he did not know that. This curious little fellow was a great friend to anyone who is willing to get to know him, but most fish in the ocean saw him as a loser. He lived in a coral cabin that’s on the borders of the kelp forest and lived his days trying to avoid all of the big jocks and jerks with their S (S for Shark) rated moves and their horribly loud tunes that rocked the ocean and shook the sand. He always saw a better day, when everyone would be nice, and anyone would be able to sleep at night without having to worry about what gangster fishes were lurking under the sand.
He kept his hopes up, and one day he befriended Gill and Sandy. The twin clown fishes (although they didn’t know that) were just as clownish and as silly as any clown fish could get. They were like partners in crime, their worst crime not being very bad. Gill became Ozzy’s very best pal, sharing every deep, dark secret they had, and doing almost everything together. Almost. Sandy would just be like a third wheel, always tagging along and having a great time, but never quite having the same bond as her brother had with Ozzy. She may also have had a small crush on Ozzy, but only a teeny tiny one, as she will tell you.
Ozzy really enjoyed his life under the sea, and had as much fun as he could with the little knowledge he had. Every fish only knew how to build coral cabins and grow seaweed that was good enough to eat, so the entire place looked like a bunch of boxes with grass growing all around. No one liked the seaweed, they were all so tired of it, but it was the only thing that they knew how to prepare and eat. Life was boring and tasteless in that village under the sea, but every fish had as much fun as they could, and for most, that meant beating the flounder out of old fish.
But then one day all of that changed for Ozzy. He was out on his morning swim - trying to not get fat from his seaweed meals - when he heard two old lady fishes talking about when they were children.
“Yeah, I remember the taste of coral, but now no one can even expand their food horizons beyond seaweed!” the first fish said.
“Well that’s because no one remembers. No one remembers anything. Remember?” said the second.
“Sadly, that’s all I remember, or do I remember? Is it possible to remember remembering?” the first replied.
“Remember, it’s such a funny ford, right? Think about it, or say it ten times fast!” the second added.
“Uh, how’s this: remember, remember…” the old lady fish started.
Remember, thought Ozzy. So there was a time when fish knew about things, things like coral. He swam away, not needing to hear the rest of this old ladies’ tongue twister.
On his way home, Ozzy thought to himself, what if people knew? No one would be mean, people could have fun! And we could stop eating seaweed! Life would be so great! And at that moment, Ozzy knew exactly what to do.