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Poons and Lophy were fish, of the very colorful variety, living amongst the coral reefs of Australia and today was their turn, as reef citizens, to entertain the local guppies.
Lophy smiled and enthusiastically asked, “Ok young ones! Who wants to hear a story about where driftwood comes from?”
“Driftwood Lophy? Is that what you call entertainment?” scolded Poons who turned a smiling fish face towards the undulating cluster of brightly colored guppies. “Wouldn’t you rather hear a spooky story?”–Lophy rolled his big bulbous eyes at Poons with exasperation.
In unison the kinder school cheered, “YAY! Spooky! Spooky!”
“Then get a good strong grip of your gills and listen to this…” The guppies shuddered in anticipation as Poons floated closer.
“In an ocean far, far away lived a small guppy. He was very bright orange with yellow stripes across his dorsal. His tail was big and beautiful, and it was the cheerful color of warm-water coral.”
“Ooh! Pretty fish!” chorused the shimmering school.
“One day the little guppy strayed from his school and got lost in a large kelp forest. It wasn’t long before he saw something moving amongst the seaweed not far from where he swam.” Poons theatrically darted his bulging eyes from side to side.
“Assuming that it was his lost school, he swam towards the movement. He took his colorful fin—oh! it was really colorful, with little specks of shiny blue on it…”
“Poons! Don’t’ stray from the story!” ordered Lophy.
Poons blew a defiant bubble towards Lophy then continued, “The little guppy slowly moved the kelp aside to reveal a school of big fish with gaping mouths and dull eyes,” the cluster of guppies recoiled with fear, “But that’s not the scary part! The little guy fainted and went belly up with fright because each and every last one of them was….BEIGE!”
“Eeeee!” “That’s terrible!” “Beige?!” chirped individual young ones and they swarmed in fear like an expanding balloon before they regrouped.
Lophy darted in front of Poons in a gesture to protect the young ones. “Was that really necessary, Poons? Did you have to go suggest that there are drab fish out there? The very idea of being colorless is just too much for their delicate scales to bare!”
Accepting his error, Poons repentantly approached the guppies. He began a thoughtful discussion with the young ones about the abundance of color and the importance of appreciating all colors equally. He went on to assure them that their uniqueness could never get lost or separated from them…and that no matter where they ventured, they could never, ever be drab.