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The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Fish Named Djulung-Djulung

A girl came by the river, staggering under the weight of the load on her back. She stopped, dropped her firewood, and hastily stirred the fire that she alone had to keep burning.

The day was hot and the river, inviting. She stripped, ran to the water, and jumped in, whooping with joy. I could feel in my bones how delicious it was for her to float in the water of the cool, dark forest. I flashed my tail and dove. Seeing my brilliant rainbow scales, she reached out to catch me. I darted away but I came back and swam straight into her outstretched hand.

She carried me quickly through the air to a cave in which a stream fell over the rocks into a deep basin. Gently, she lowered me into the heavenly pool. She named me Djulung-jdulung, and promised to return with rice.

You never know what will happen to you in this world. Every day she came to me, sang to me, and gave me rice. I was happier than I had ever been, caught as I was by the best of all fishers.

Fish Named Djulung-djuilung, The Bones of Djulung, Lilac Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford