The Three Silent Fish swam in an inlet near the happy town of Sundsvall off the Bothnian Sea.

Hilgar, the flounder, was the first Silent Fish. He was a strong swimmer, and a big fan of the ocean.

Hilgar had a direct, forthright attitude and made a good leader. He could size up other fish with one quick look of his piercing eyes.

Like most flounder, Hilgar was used to swimming in a school of fish. Lots of flounder, all together. But sometimes he would just take off with the other two Silent Fish.

The other flounder thought Hilgar’s behavior was unusual, but he didn’t give a damn.

Hilgar looked back at the two Silent Fish who closely followed him.

Just behind Hilgar was Spiro, a handsome silver bream. Spiro was a fast, skilled swimmer. He was impulsive, and afraid only of procrastination and ambivalence. Any situation rife with ambiguity was sure to give Spiro a wave of nautical nausea. But now he was swimming with all his strength. Go, Spiro!

Puk-Il, the little herring, swam almost next to Spiro. Puk-Il was in some ways the most mysterious of the Three Silent Fish. The other fish knew very little about his childhood or his early education, and he had an abiding interest in Mediterranean history which was rare among herring.

Hilgar once more looked ahead. It was a good thing. He was just in time to make a downward evasive swimming maneuver! Descending through the water, a big, dark, four-legged shape was making its way toward the Three Silent Fish.

After the Three Silent Fish had evaded the bulky, hairy shape, they swam in a tight, adventurous circle around it. The dark shape landed on the inlet’s shallow floor, displacing sand and crunching the head of a small ghost shimp.

After his first cursory examination, Hilgar judiciously made the sign to indicate that it was a strange object from the world above. Spiro looked on forthrightly in agreement. Puk-Il just swam in another circle, keeping his thoughts to himself.

Spiro swam to a part of the object that looked like its front. Glassy, wide-open, upside-down pony eyes looked out at him. Spiro looked back at it. He decided to resume swimming in a circle.

Hilgar daringly swam through the middle of the object’s legs. The legs towered above him, dark and mysterious. He didn’t recognize the object as a stuffed pony. He was unfamiliar with ponies, as well as the finer points of taxidermy. But the legs made a good boundary to swim within.

Puk-Il looked on, not participating in the antics of the other fish.

Eventually, Hilgar grew tired of swimming back and forth between the vertical pony legs. His adventurous mind was not gaining any further information about the stuffed pony and he was feeling restless. He was also growing hungry again, and a whole inlet of worms was out there, waiting to be discovered.

Hilgar decisively looked at Spiro. The bream loyally fell in behind him and the mysterious Puk-Il swam to Spiro’s side. Hilgar swam off in the lead again, away from the sunken object, renewing the search for knowledge and food.

The Three Silent Fish left the stuffed pony far behind, heading out for other watery horizons and new, unanticipated adventures.

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