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left to plod mournfully along the boughs. He didn't know where to go, what to do.
Suddenly all those years of carving and learning seemed useless, wasted. What had he
gained from them? Grey matter. That was the best description. And grey matter was
just that – grey. When he thought of Sunbeam he though of colour.
Colour is a terrible thing, be under no illusions about tha t. Colour is a broken
promise. When we see a field of flowers we demand beauty of it, but ask a botanist
and he will tell you it is nothing but cut-throat competition. We see a Hooktree Frog
display its vivid colours and are enticed by beauty to touch it, whereupon we collapse
in a convulsing heap at its venomous feet. Colour looks nice, so we accept it as good
without thinking.
Be that as may, Ambrosius longed for glorious, deceitful colour, the colour of no
less than true love. And suddenly it came to him in Sunbeam's own angry words. “The
day I love you is the day you catch a Fish.” How cruel she had been, but in that
cruelty lay hope. Somewhere out there a Fish was waiting for him, he knew it. Fate
could only have dealt him such an ultimatum for a reason. Jaw set in determination,
Ambrosius went over to his book case and selected a volume that was his father's, a
volume that had been collecting dust for a long time now. He blew and a whirlwind of
grey fled into the air, revealing the hand-painted cover underneath. There was, picked
out in silver against a white marbled background, a bass of prodigious proportions.
Underneath this fine Fish was the following inscription:
A Piscador's Companion
by Gigantic Turbot
Ambrosius carried the book over to the chair and sat down. The book creaked
open and Ambrosius flipped past the title page and the index. Just before the book
started there was a page blank but for a single quote:
A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that
hath fed of that worm.
Ambrosius didn't quite know what that meant, but then there are many such
puzzles in life. He flipped through the book a little until a heading caught his eye:
The Philosophy of Fish
What is the meaning of the Fish? Piscadors have debated this point for millennia.
What cannot be denied is that there is something intrinsically meaningful in Fish and
Fishing. This meaning translates to the Fisher as what is known as The Game. The
Game is the battle of wits between the Fisher and the Fished; it engages the utmost
faculties of both to the extent that a sort of blissful dance is played out and the minds
and bodies of both parties work in an antagonistic kind of harmony. Let us investigate
this relationship further.
Firstly, consider the Fish. Swimming along happily through the mist one day, our
friend sees a Hookworm apparently helpless in the water. An immediate moral
dilemma is posed for the Fish. She is hungry and must eat to live, yet in doing so she
must cause this helpless creature to suffer a most terrible fate. Some fish may swim
away and go hungry at this point. Others, however, will make the judgement that they
somehow have an intrinsic value higher than that of the worm, and will eat.
Immediately they are hooked. It must then go through their minds that they are
deserving of this cruel predicament they now find themselves in. They judged another
creature to be expendable, now they too have so been judged. What cruel irony now