2 Chapter 2

The young salmon soon noticed that the swallow that had appeared on the other side of the water was singing for him. He couldn’t conceal his happiness. Since their eyes had met imagination had created a heart between them, a heart that from then onwards brought together their smiles and glances.

The swallow sang to the salmon everyday. Come the evening, however, as soon as the sun set, the swallow had to leave and fly down-river to return to her nest. The salmon knew that the swallow left each night in order to learn new songs, so that when she returned the following morning she could sing them to him. Nevertheless, the he felt lonely amongst his fellow salmon and felt sad while the swallow was away each night. For the very first time he felt like a prisoner in the fishfarm and an immense desire came over him to swim down the river and find the swallow.

The walls of the fishfarm were not high. Nevertheless, the salmon was too scared to jump out into the river. He spent the nights looking at the sky thinking that maybe the swallow was also looking at the very same stars, imagining that these were the stitches that sewed their hearts together.

Days came and went. The swallow visited the fishfarm each morning and their relationship became stronger and stronger. The young salmon knew that their love story was an impossible one. Swallows and salmon can’t be together. Swallows drown in water. Salmon choke outside water. Swallows can get near the water and salmon can stretch their lips to catch swallows’ kisses. They can talk, tell each other stories and kiss each other briefly, but they can’t be together. It’s impossible.

One way or another the two managed to talk, tell each other stories and to kiss, but they wanted more. Love burnt in their hearts and they wanted to spend not only the days together, but the nights too. They wanted each hour, minute and second for each other.

In general the fishfarm was boring and the rest of the slow, dreamy salmon just carried on with their daily routine. They lived off coloured food pellets that the keepers fed them once a day. They were assured of getting their dose of pellets everyday, always as much as the keepers decided to feed them. Apart from the fights over the food, nothing much else happened at the fishfarm. Time passed by without anything ever happening.

Meanwhile, the young salmons longing to jump into the river was getting stronger and stronger. If he did, he would be able to swim down the river and meet the swallow even at night. However, the salmon didn’t dare take that decisive step. Until then he had always lived at the fish farm and he didn’t know if he could manage, free and alone in the river, swimming against the current and looking for food to survive. It must be a hard life.

Then, one day, the swallow told him an Arabian story.


Red Tulips Copyright © 2002 by Gari Berasaluze. All Rights Reserved.


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