My children, bright and bouncy little souls that they are, have discovered that they love the world and everything in it. Both are doing very well, and at the tender ages of five and seven have begun writing little stories to entertain themselves, as well as entertaining Mummy Nam and me. They write about the things that interest them; space and mermaids, dinosaurs and Ancient Egyptians. The stories are lively and wonderful, and the action is constant.
Encouraging such positive creativity seems the right thing to do as far as Mrs Nam and I are concerned, so I mentioned to them that I wrote a blog. "What's a blog, daddy?" I explained that I tried to write stories for grown-ups to read on their phones and iPads and computers. "Write one for us, daddy!" they said. Over and over again. Worn down by my little lovelies, and with no apology to my normal readership who I hope will enjoy this too, here is a blog for them.
I asked them to name two objects. My daughter chose her goldfish, and my son chose a much loved cuddly bit of felt called Snuggly.
Ruby and Max, two goldfish who share a tank together, were happy in their watery home. They had plastic seaweed, their very own Easter Island head, and a filter which hummed reassuringly day and night. Their tank was placed on a bright red table top, and they were as content as any goldfish had ever been.
Their favourite part of every day was the visit by The Hand. Every morning, The Hand opened their roof, and long slender fingers sprinkled in their breakfast. They loved their breakfast. Gorgeous flakey yumminess, all different colours; red, beige and green. De-licious! When The Hand came they splashed and darted, sometimes trying to give The Hand's fingertips a little nibble, and sometimes flicking their tail fins in beautiful little waves. The Hand was their friend, and their lives were complete.
One day, The Hand opened the tank’s roof. There was something different about The Hand; for some reason it had short little fingers, and it was holding a bit of orange cloth. The fingers were wriggling strangely, and Ruby and Max felt a bit surprised. As well, there was none of the lovely yummy red, beige and green food that normally appeared. “What’s going on?” asked Ruby, but before Max had a chance to answer, a large orange object came into the tank and floated to the gravelly floor. It settled gently on the tank’s bottom, and it said, “Hello. I’m Snuggly.”
Ruby and Max were bit surprised by what had happened. At first they didn’t know what to say, but, being polite goldfish, they decided to be nice and welcome Snuggly into their home. “Hello,” said Max, “I’m Max. It’s ever so nice to meet you. Are you lost?”
“Yes, I think I must be,” said Snuggly. “Usually I get to cuddle that nice little boy, but for some reason I now feel a bit cold and wet. I think they put me in here to hide – that nice little girl said it was hide-and-seek. Do you happen to know where I am?”
“Well," said Ruby, “this is our home. We call it The Tank. It’s lovely isn’t it?”
Snuggly didn’t seem too convinced. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I feel a bit cold and wet," he said. "Is there somewhere I could dry off?"
Ruby and Max were so lost for words that Ruby blew a bubble as big as a pea, and Max had to swim round the Easter Island head three times before he could speak. Cold and wet? But wasn’t that the best feeling in the whole world? Cold and wet were what Ruby and Max lived for. That was the best -- their little cold wet tank was their perfect place, and who could ask for more?
“I’m sorry,” said Ruby, who was always very polite and determined to make any guest feel welcome, “but cold and wet is how we like it. Where do you live, then?”
“Well,” said Snuggly, wriggling himself up as best he could in his waterlogged state, “I like to cuddle up with that little boy. He’s lovely and warm and dry, and he gives me snuggles and cuddles and kisses and hugs. It’s yummy scrummy warm, and I feel very happy when we fall asleep together. But now I’m very soggy – I don’t think I could be very cuddly like this. I don’t even know why I’m here.”
“How strange,” said Max. “Still, at least you’re a lovely orange colour, just like me. I would always want to help anything as orangey as you. Come on Ruby – let’s make some noise!”
And with that, the two goldfish began splashing and flicking their tails. They bobbed and weaved and somersaulted, and poor Ruby even bumped her head on the tank roof. They pulled on the plastic seaweed, and spilled the tank water onto the bright red table top in the outside world.
Suddenly, The Hand was back. This time, it was like the old hand they knew and loved. The long slender fingers reached in, grabbed Snuggly, who smiled and waved, and was gone. Ruby and Max briefly saw him above their heads. He twisted himself round and round, and a mini torrent of a waterfall landed back in the tank. After he finished being wrung out, he was gone.
“Well,” said Ruby, “He was nice. If only he could have stayed for breakfast.”
“I wonder what a cuddle is?” said Max. “No idea,” said Ruby, and she swam off to nibble the seaweed.
The next day, Snuggly was there outside the tank, gently swaying as he hung from the clothes line. Ruby waved a fin at him through the glass. “Hi Snuggly,” she bubbled, “did you get your cuddle yesterday in the end?”
But Snuggly couldn’t answer. He smiled back with his friendliest, cuddliest smile, adjusted the clothes peg that was holding him up, and waited patiently to be taken down. “What nice fish,” he thought. “But it’s so cold and wet in there. I’m glad I’m not a fish.”
Ruby and Max looked at their new friend through the glass for a while. “What a funny thing he is, wanting to be all warm and dry,” said Max. I’m glad I’m not a cuddly toy."
Snuggly and the Goldfish by Siddie Nam is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://siddienam.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/snuggly-and-goldfish.html.