In a pool in a jungle, lived a murrel, a perch, and other fishes. They lived harmoniously, until one day, a catfish came to the pool.
“What are you doing here and where do you come from?” asked the murrel. The murrel was the biggest and most respected in the pool.
“Please forgive me for coming here. Actually, I came from the river across. The river has been hit by drought and we were attacked by the enemy and many of us have been killed,” said the catfish. “I am lucky to have escaped with the help of my fins. I hope you’ll allow me to stay,” said the catfish.
“I am worried and disagree with you staying,” said the murrel firmly. At first, the perch and another fish agreed with the murrel but some other disagreed.
“I think the catfish has a problem and we must give it a chance to stay with us,” said a fish. The perch agreed with the idea. At last, the murrel allowed the catfish to stay with them. The catfish lived harmoniously with its new friends. One morning, the perch informed other fishes that an egret had come to the pool.
“What is the egret doing here?” asked the perch astonishingly.
“I don’t know, but it seems that the egret poses a threat to our security here,” replied a fish.
“I think we better investigate first,” said the murrel. “But, who will do it?”
“I think you should, because you’re the strongest and the biggest one around here,” said the perch to the murrel.
“No, I think the catfish should do it because it had just settled down in the pool!” said the murrel giving an excuse hiding its fear. The catfish did not say anything but quickly swam to the surface to face the egret, which was standing upright.
“Hey egret! What do you want here?” asked the catfish. The egret looked around and was surprised to see a catfish has surfaced.
“I have nothing in mind, but the water and the scenery here attracted me!” the egret pretended. “Please tell me, are there any other fishes in the pool besides you?” asked the egret.
“Yes, the pool is really beautiful and big but unfortunately, other fishes don’t want to stay here, except me,” said the catfish.
“Why wouldn’t they want to stay here, what’s the reason?” asked the egret again.
“I think they can’t live here because the water is muddy. Whereas, I am used to live in dirty places!” the catfish lied.
“Thank you for your answer,” said the egret. “I don’t think I can stay here long. My family is waiting for me at the nest.” The egret then flew away. The catfish then dived back into the pool to meet its friends.
“The egret has gone, it doesn’t seem like it will return to trouble us again,” assured the catfish. They were all delighted. They felt lucky to have a wise friend who has saved them from the egret.
“We should appoint the catfish as our leader. Does everyone agree?” propose the perch. Other fishes agreed, except the murrel.
“No! The catfish is a newcomer and lacks experience to oversee the pool, I disagree!” the murrel protested.
“But, it had saved us from the egret!” said the perch.
“That was a coincidence, if another enemy comes along, I can do that too,” said the murrel arrogantly. The catfish interrupted and advised,
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I sense something bad may happen.”
“I know more than you do and as a newcomer, you better stay quiet!” said the murrel furiously. The other fishes fell silent. A few months later, an egret came by the pool again. The perch immediately broke the news of the egret’s arrival.
“What do you think my friends? An egret turns up for the second time, we must do something to defend ourselves,” asked the perch worriedly.
“Let me look into it and meet the egret face to face,” answered the murrel eagerly.
“No! We better not go there,” advised the catfish. But the murrel ignored it and swam to the surface arrogantly. The murrel saw the egret standing upright while eyeing the pool.
“Good morning, egret. I suppose you came to find out the condition of the occupants of the pool,” asked the murrel as it drew nearer to the egret.
“Yes, please tell me, are there any other fishes in the pool besides you?” asked the egret, who was quite surprised with the murrel’s presence. Instantly, the murrel gave the same answer as the catfish before.
“No other fish stay here, except me because the water is muddy.” For a moment, the murrel thought it had tricked the egret. The egret laughed heartily.
“Do you know that I was the one who came by the pool previously? Apparently, the catfish has tricked me. Now, I will not believe you like I did with the catfish!” said the egret, and then, pecked and squeezed the murrel with its beak. The egret swallowed the murrel, and then continued to look for other fishes in the pool. The catfish expected something bad would happen. Sadly, it escaped to another place. If the murrel had taken catfish’s advice, all of them would have been saved.