Summary: An allegory on the Easter story, with God depicted as a Pet Shop owner.
Style: Drama. Duration: 8min
Actors: 1 Narrator
There once was a man who had a dream. He dreamt of being the Owner of a Pet Shop, full of intriguing animals, birds and amazing wildlife. So the man bought a shop and started filling it with animals of every size, shape and colour. It was beautiful and full of life, and the Shop Owner was very happy. But there was still one thing missing from the shop..
He realised that there weren’t any fish. So the Owner made a big pond and placed it in the centre of the Shop. The next day he filled it with water. The day after that he added plants of every kind – edible ones, red leafy ones, green shady ones, blue scary ones, even floating plants with colourful flowers. The day after that he added an air filter, shooting fresh air bubbles throughout the pond, sparkling like diamonds in the light. And the day after that he placed two little fish inside. The fish loved swimming around the pond and the beautiful plants, and they loved the Pet Shop Owner. He would visit them every day to feed them and talk about the fish pond and the Pet Shop.
If you’ve ever had pet fish, you’d know that it doesn’t take long for a few fish to become more fish! And soon the pond was filled with many kinds of fish: rainbow trout, clown fish, flounder, angelfish, starfish, salmon, cod, carp and brim. Every day they would swim together around the plants and under the rocks and through the bubbles, and would talk to the Owner when he visited. The Shop Owner was very pleased with his beautiful fish living in the pond, and he always watched over them.
After a while some of the fish became bored with the pond. They knew that the Shop Owner would feed them but they wanted to eat different food, food of their own. So they started planting their own plants and making their own gardens. They even made their own underwater city, and soon they were able to hide from the Shop Owner when he visited. When the Owner came by he saw what the fish had made, and that they were hiding from him. He called out to them, but they wouldn’t come out.
Time passed, and the fish that had once shared the pond peacefully soon began to turn against each other. The rainbow trout became conceited because of their bright colours, and the brim were bursting with arrogance. The salmon swam against the elite starfish, the angelfish became aloof and the clown fish were just acting silly. Everyone hated the carp, calling them ‘ugly good-for-nothing’s. Soon all the fish were fighting with each other. When the Shop Owner saw what was going on, he tried again to call out to them, but no-one listened. They were too busy arguing or building their separate gardens and cities. So the Owner decided to send a messenger fish to them, to stop their fighting and talk to the Shop Owner, but again no-one listened. He sent more messengers, but with the same result.
The Shop Owner wrote a love-letter to the fish, telling them all about the peace and joy of underwater living and how much he cared about them, but they just pushed it aside and didn’t read it. They continued to fight and make a mess of the pond.
The Shop Owner knew he had to do something before the whole pond was ruined. But the fish had ignored his messengers and his letter. It was then that he realised what he had to do..
The Shop Owner became a fish himself. Not a tropical fish or a starfish, just an ordinary goldfish with ordinary gold scales. He swam around the fish pond, talking to the cod and the flounder and all the other species, and befriending the lonely carp. He told them how much he loved them, and revealed to them his true identity as the Pet Shop Owner. He even told them about the Bigger Fish Pond he had designed for them, full of amazing plants and cities and more fish than you can poke a hook at. He tried to stop their fighting and rebellion and show them a different way to live. But the fish laughed at him – they knew the Pet Shop Owner and he wasn’t a fish! They called him crazy and tried to shut him up. The way he was talking was starting to make them look bad, and even his best friends, the carp, were embarrassed to be around him.
The more the Goldfish tried to come closer to them, the more they pushed him away. They didn’t need his help – they had memorized the underwater rules and how to swim, eat and play, and had taught it to their children and their children’s children. Besides, they were certain that if the Pet Shop Owner really loved them, he would come to help them when they needed it. And he would be great and powerful, like a Shark, destroying everything in his path and rescuing them if they got into deep water.
One day the fish got so angry that they ganged up against the Goldfish and attacked him. Even the carp joined in. With their garden forks and building tools they pierced his body ‘til he bled. They tore his fins and pinned him under a rock until eventually he stopped breathing and died. After seeing he was dead, the fish rejoiced and went about their fighting and city-building business. And the Goldfish lay there still, under the rock, as the unread love-letter floated to the surface.
Upon seeing their beloved Owner dead, all the animals, birds and wildlife in the Pet Shop barked, growled, hissed and made all manner of commotion! Now there was no hope for the Pet Shop, and no hope for them!
The pond was quiet for a few days. Then one day, the rock on top of the Goldfish began to slowly move.. up and off! The Goldfish was alive again, and his gold scales were now shinier than ever! The Pet Shop animals, birds and creatures let out barks and cries of victory as their cages flew open for the very first time.
The Goldfish went to find the other fish but they didn’t believe it was him. Not even the carp recognised him. But when he showed them his torn fins, some fish realised. They put down their garden forks and brick-laying tools and swam after him. They told their friends what happened, and many others joined the school, all swimming after the Goldfish. They read the love-letter and added their own stories to it, writing about the Goldfish and what he had said and done.
One day, they discovered that the Goldfish had disappeared from the pond. His work had been done. But the believing fish knew what they had to do. They remembered that the Shop Owner was planning a Bigger Fish Pond, for many different kinds of fish, fish that would recognize him, trust him and live in harmony with each other. So they set out to be like the Goldfish, telling other fish about him and the amazing world that awaited those that love the Pet Shop Owner.
And the Owner continued to proudly watch over the fish in his Pet Shop, now a man again, but slightly different this time.. hiding underneath his coat not two arms but a pair of torn gold fins.
© Copyright Kerrie Polkinghorne , all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.