Chapter 9

The state of affairs badly needed a solution, so the salmon took their first joint decisions. To begin with they chose two representatives from each opposing group and the six representatives from the three groups were not allowed to join the others until they reached an agreement.

Gathered together in a corner, their secret meetings, discussions and debates went on and on, but after eleven days and eleven nights, the six of them joined the others and the salmon they had chosen to represent them explained what decisions had been taken:

-In the name of all of those who live and those who have died at this fishfarm, first of all, from today onwards, there will be peace. And, in order for this peace to last, from tomorrow onwards, the following treaty, which respects the rights and contains the proclamations of all salmon, will be made law and duly applied. The treaty has three points. The first: each and every salmon that lives at this fishfarm is free to decide whether he or she wants to jump into the river or stay at the farm. The second: it is forbidden to go against the decision taken by each salmon. The third: those salmon that decide to stay have every right right to organise themselves in order to ask for better living conditions. Within these claims, increasing the daily dose of food will have highest priority.

And with that, the speaker finished explaining the new decisions.

Very soon whispers began to swim around, spreading through the water. The salmon started to evaluate what they had heard. Ultimately, each of the three groups had given up an aspect that was important to them. A claim from each group had been left aside in the treaty agreed on by the six representatives. There had been no other choice, however. Peace is paid for by all. Nevertheless, each salmon’s rights had been guaranteed by these decisions and therefore, they were absolutely necessary to make peace last.

Like the rest of the salmon, those who wanted to jump into the river were happy with the new state of affairs. Nevertheless, their aim was to achieve freedom for all, and to them freedom was to be able to swim freely in the river and sea. They felt that being at the fishfarm was to be in captivity and they knew that they would have to work hard to get some of the others to realise. In effect, those that having an opportunity to jump preferred to stay at the fishfarm. That was sad for the ones that wanted to see all the salmon in the river or the sea. So they didn’t feel completely satisfied with the peace agreement.

The following day, as soon as dawn broke, the swallow heard from the young salmon what had been decided at the fishfarm and, unable to conceal her happiness, she told her beloved another story. A story that would cheer up those that wanted to see the salmon free in the river and sea.

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