By Charlotte Nicol
Once upon a time, in a land far far away deep in the Indian Ocean near the Suda Islands of Indonesia lived a fish called Phoebe. Phoebe was a catfish and had deep grey scales on her slow body and long whiskers that tickled the peach pink coral as she swam along the floor of the ocean.
Phoebe had a lot of friends and played with her shoal of fish all the time, she particularly loved playing with Sami and Lydia, her best fish friends. They were beautiful rainbow fish with bright orange scales, and long pointy noses that hid behind the coral. She loved to play hide and seek with them and although her grey slow body lagged behind them she loved to see them dart between the rocks and the coral.
Phoebe did love her friends but she found it difficult to see them be so colourful when she was so grey and dull. ‘Why am I not like Sami and Lydia mummy’ she cried as her mummy tucked her into her sea bed. ‘Darling you are who you are and you must never wish for anything else’ her mummy said wisely.
One day, whilst playing hide and seek she heard a sound ‘WHOOOOOOSH’ a fishing net came through the water and panic set in the shoal of fish. Phoebe’s uncles and aunties were taken by the net and she managed to escape by hiding under the rocks. Sami and Lydia darted behind the coral. WHOOOOSH came another noise, it was becoming more familiar now and she began getting used to the fishing nets coming down into the ocean every day. ‘Why are the humans ruining our home’ wailed Lydia and Sami. Slowly the ocean became more and more murky and green, the algae that was once eaten by the whole shoal had started to grow and become overgrown.
Slowly, Phoebe set to work on the bottom of her sea bed, doing what she did best. ‘See Phoebe’ said her mum, it’s colourful once again!