The Lesson of the Flying Fish…

May 7, 2016

Nordicfish

“Flying Fish,” inspired by a circular fish motif from a medieval manuscript, was designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2016. TO PURCHASE NOTECARD

The flying fish originally had no wings, but having an ambitious and discontented nature, she repined at always being confined to the waters and hoped to soar in the air.

“If I could only fly like the birds!” She thought, I should not only see more of nature’s beauty, but I should be able to escape from those fish that are continually pursuing me that make me so miserable.”

The little fish petitioned Jupiter for a pair of wings and immediately felt her fins expand. They grew to be the length oh her body and were so strong. That she soon took on an air of disdain that her former companions did not appreciate, and soon felt herself exposed to new dangers. When flying in the air, she was first pursued by a tropical bird and then by an albatross. Distraught, she returned to the ocean, so fatigued by her flight, that she was less able to escape the larger fish.

Finding herself even more unhappy than she had been before, she returned to Jupiter and begged him to return to her original state.

Jupiter responded: When I granted you your wings, I knew they would prove to be a curse, but your proud and restless disposition deserved this disappointment. Therefore, what you begged as a favor, keep as a punishment!”

 

Source: John Aikin (1747-1822) and Anna Lætitia Barbauld (1743-1825), Evenings at home, or, The juvenile budget opened (New-York : Harper & Brothers, 82 Cliff-Street, 1839.) Barbauld was unable to publish because of her political stances, and collaborated with her brother to get this book published.

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