Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta study. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta study. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 6 de octubre de 2017

The golden carp

   Fishing had always been the way to live for Lin and his friends. Fro ma very young age, their parents had taught them the best parts on the river and the ocean where they could easily catch a vast array of fish and other living being from the ocean’s floor. They even had a friend named Chen, who lived his life by diving on the ocean and fishing things that many net couldn’t pull away from the sea. When he was lucky enough to find pearls, he would sell them and stop working for a month or so.

 However, the rest of them could never take a day off or anything like that. They had to work every single day for many hours, from dusk till dawn, no matter how tired and bored they sometimes got. The youngest one of them was Sun, who had only started the year before. He had being made to leave school but, after a very vivid argument, his mother had managed to convince the father to let him stay in school. So Sun had to wake up really early to fish for a while with his father and then he would go back at it in the afternoon.

 It was a hard life for such a young person but it wasn’t a unique thing for anyone on that region. They all had to do things that they didn’t really want for themselves. Most young people, for example, had the ambition to travel to big city, any of them, and being able to live the lives they sometimes saw on advertisements or on the television set, when people had one. It was a matter of doing what was needed to be able to reach that moment when they could choose their own path.

 When in his family’s boat, Sun would often try to do his homework but the fishing rods that he put on the edge would always move in the precise moment he was concentrating, on the verge of getting to a point where he would advance in his studies. He was doing poorly on some of his assignments and he really needed to get better soon if he wanted to get ahead in life. He knew the only way to get out of his town would be to learn more than others, to be smarter than any of the people he knew.

 Suddenly, one of the rods moved violently and then it was pulled into the water. It didn’t float for a moment or anything; it just disappeared in the blink of an eye. Sun leaned over the boat and tried to fish for the rod but the only thing he got out of it was a powerful bit from a huge carp that suddenly came out of the water. Normally, a fish bite wouldn’t really hurt but this one left a red mark on Sun’s hand. However, the weirdest thing was to see the carp looking back at him, almost as if it was staring. Then, out of nowhere, the carp spoke with a deep voice.

 He moved his mouth very differently than a human would but it was obvious that it was the one who was speaking. There were no other boats in the vicinity and Sun was too stunned to produce any words. The fish wanted to know where he was, as he had been following a current for some days and now it seemed he had found himself on the opposite side of the current. He apologized to Sun for biting him, but he explained he had been very scared when looking up and watching a hand reach for something.

 A little bit calmer, Sun rubbed his eyes and moved his hair around: he was obviously surprised but also very skeptical that it was actually happening. It seemed much more probable that he had fallen asleep in the boat and the sun on his head had created some kind of illusions or nightmares. It was very uncomfortable for that to happen, because of the response his parents would have if they looked at him sleeping on the boat. Yet again, he wasn’t very close to the beach.

 So Sun decided to play with the moment and just decided to ask the carp more questions, in order to really understand what was happening. Sun asked the fish where he wanted to go. The animal named a bay that he had never heard about. It had to be somewhere very far, so he just told the carp the name of the river that was nearby and the one of the bay they were talking on. The carp then did something even more unexpected than asking: it yelled, very loud, a very harsh curse word.

 The carp told Sun he really needed to go where he wanted because his whole family was reuniting for a very special event. He explained that he was part of a very special kind of carps that turned golden after a certain amount of time. When that happened, they were allowed to join a special school of fishes that could travel the ocean at fast speeds and could also grant wishes to anyone, human or animal, that came across them. It was a special thing that only they could do.

 Sun then interjected. He was very interested by that story because his mother had told him about how his maternal grandmother had come across a golden carp when she was young. Apparently, the fish had healed her from a very powerful disease that was creeping its way through her young body. The wish had made her well, and even better, it had made her a very vivacious woman until her last day. He remembered her from his toddler years and asked the carp if it was possible to know which carp had granted that wish, in order to give his thanks.

 The carp moved his head from side to side. He explained that golden carps never returned to the same place twice, so it was rather difficult to know which carp had granted which wish. Then, it started swimming back and forth. It was obvious he was really upset by the fact he was going to miss the best and most unique event in his life. Sun realized that, illusion or not, he should help the fish just because he had been the cause of him existing. No grandmother would have meant no Sun.

 He proposed the fish to jump on the boat in order to help him get somewhere, anywhere he wanted. Maybe there were other carps nearby that could help him get to the place he wanted to go. The carp was a bit skeptical of the plan but it really wanted to get to the event so he asked Sun to take him to a place where he could talk to many other fish. Maybe in such a hub he would be able to get some information on how to get where he needed to be. Time was of the essence.

 So Sun pulled the rods into the boat, a net filled with only water and then turned on the engine. The carp told him it would follow from underwater. Sun tried to remember the place where his father would fish every single day but then he realized the place would be crowded and all other fishermen would see the talking carp. Sun still believed he was asleep or maybe delusional, but it wasn’t enough to make him do such a stupid thing. They would capture the carp and kill it or maybe sell it because of its abilities.

 He stopped the boat at least three times; changing courses frequently because he remembered people would be there. Maybe even his friends who would taunt him. When the carp swam to the front and asked why he appeared to be so indecisive, Sun realized he wasn’t dreaming at all. He started taking it more seriously, less like a weird dream and more like something that was really important to do. He turned to the carp and was about to say he was sorry about not being able to help but then he remembered Chen.

 He was a good friend and had told him once where he fished for oysters and other animals. Sun turned on the engine again and in a matter of only minutes they were in the spot used by Chen to have his leisurely life. Then, Sun jumped out of the boat and indicated the carp to follow him.

 The carp followed and they found a colony of mollusks on the ocean floor. The carp started communicating with them and Sun went back to his boat. The carp surfaced later on, thanking him for his help. When the carp left, smaller fish appeared out of nowhere and jumped into the boat. Sun’s family was very surprised by his success.

viernes, 17 de marzo de 2017

Joanna's zoo

   Joanna was the person in charge while the zoo was closed. She wasn’t the girl who fed fish to the dolphins while they were doing their show, or the one that joined the visitors in each stop in order to tell them everything about the animal they were watching. She was just the girl that fed the animal after hours, when everything was quiet and most creatures were sleeping or, on the contrary, just waking up from their slumber. She preferred like that as she had never been a person of the spotlight.

 What she loved more than anything was joining the scientists, the men and women that worked hard in laboratories trying to discover a cure for the many animal diseases that most humans knew nothing about. Just like them, she felt that by learning about those diseases and destroying them, they could all be able to make the human race more resistant and the whole world would see a surge in numbers for many species that had been threatened for years without a reason.

 However, Joanna had only been in school for two years. She hadn’t even completed the first half of her education. She couldn’t be allowed yet to a laboratory or anything like that. If she had a job there being so young, it was because she had almost begged for it. She needed that job to help out at home, where her mother was too fragile to work in anything and her sister Julie was still in school, so she couldn’t be able to help. It was her obligation to bring money to home.

 Of course, taking care of the animals didn’t pay as much as one would think, but it didn’t pay as badly as other jobs such as waitress ones and so on. The thing was she was in charge of feeding them and cleaning their habitats, which could be really disgusting sometimes. The animals didn’t mind doing their business anywhere they wanted, so her work was sometimes a little bit of a challenge because of many factors. And she also had to do some security work, for a couple of hours.

 Joanna actually liked her job. It wasn’t prestigious or different every day, but she did learn a lot of stuff about the animals by just watching them. Besides, the zoo was normally very quiet at night, so she could wander around just thinking about her stuff, her life. It wasn’t that she loved to do that, but everyone needs a place where they can stop for a while and just think about how life is going for them and if they want something more out of it. Of course, the conclusion was, every time, that she would like to have an easier life than the one she had.

 Her shift began when the doors of the zoo closed, at five in the afternoon. She had to stay there for five hours, until the security team hired by the zoo’s administration would come in to do their rounds. They stayed until opening time, at nine o’clock the following morning. So she didn’t have to stay that long but it was a lot of work packed in just a few hours. She had to clean everything and make it look as if it was new in that time, which was hard but she always made it.

 The only times she was afraid of anything was when she had to clean and then feed the creatures in the Komodo dragon habitat. There were five dragons, all adults with a very bad mood. She had to put the food in a special space for them to run towards it and then she could trap them in that place for a while, as she cleaned the habitat as fast as she could. This could only last for a while, as Komodo dragons eat extremely fast and they don’t care about small spaces at all.

 It was scary but entertaining to see all those majestic creatures during the night. Joanna felt she had a private glimpse into the lives of the animals that people rarely saw. She felt annoyed when she thought about all the people that visited the zoo and never learned anything about any of the animals. It was supposed to be a place for education but most people just used it as a park that you pay to go in. Some couldn’t care less about the animals, they just wanted a place to chill with their kids.

 She would often think about how the world could be changed by just ending the whole zoo system. Of course, she was one of its employees but the truth was that, as a student on the subject, she thought that zoos were not really the best way to get to know an animal’s ay of doing things, his way of life. That’s what science needed to know but by standing in front of a cage watching a bird, you don’t really learn a lot about it except that it needs a bigger space to fly and be comfortable.

 One of her ideas for the future was to create some sort of tour agency that would be specialized in getting people in and around ecosystems that have a lot to teach to humans. She would only take adults in those trips and only the ones that proof that they want to be there to learn and not only to take a nice little stroll around the jungle. They don’t have to be scientists or anything related, just interested in animals, like she was. She even had a three at home and her parents had never being against it because she actually did a great job taking care of them.

 Her cat was called Tigress, as she looked like a small tiger. Her dog’s name was Sherlock, as he was very good at finding stuff, although he had been much better when younger. He was now a little bit slow when looking for anything, yet he still was able to find things all around the house. The last member of her animal group was Ranger, a big hamster she had received as a gift from her ex-boyfriend. She had wanted to get rid of it after they had broken up, but the creature was so adorable she decided to keep it.

 When she wasn’t taking care of the animals in the zoo, she took care of the animals at home. And she also had to help her mother and sister, so her work was never really done, only on Sundays when she was given the chance of sleeping late and just enjoy herself by doing things that most girls her age enjoyed like going out to the mall or watching movies and television shows. She rarely did any of that though, as she preferred resting at home with all of her pets.

 Joanna’s story is not one that’s fun and interesting, as many others. She’s just an average person, struggling to come out alive of a situation in her life that seems to go on forever. But she knows, she trusts, that one change it will all change. She will finish college and her mother will get better. Her sister will grow older and will be able to help her around the house more and she may realize all of her dream, the ones she thinks about when she walks around the zoo at night.

 She’s not dreaming too much, she doesn’t think so. Joanna is just an average person, a normal person hoping for something to progress in her life. And she knows it happened because of the animal, because even them are not always the same every single day. They might not be people but they do have temperaments and attitudes. They do change their minds and customs. So, if they change, why not her? Besides, she had way to many plans not to make them a reality.

 Meanwhile, she cleans their shit and gives them meat or corn or whatever it is that she has to give them as food. And she has learned to enjoy it because she’s at peace with them, more than when she shares the room with another person,  fellow human.

jueves, 22 de enero de 2015


   The ocean was his thing. When high school drew to a close, his parents had insisted on him finding a proper career to study in a big city, at least ten hours away from their small town. But Ari, our young enthusiast, was fascinated by the treasures of the sea and was eager to follow his grandfather’s footsteps. That man was a living legend as he had broken all records of size and number of fish he had caught. He was just the best at his craft.

 Ari visited Mr. Gons, his grandfather, pretty often. The old man lived in a small shack by the sea, where he would still fish his lunch and ate very little fruits and vegetables, despite his daughter’s insistence. He always told her that he was over eighty years old and, beyond that age, it didn’t really matter what had eaten before in your life. Mister Gons thought the ocean could give anyone a fair life and enough to nourish from.

 So it was from him from whom Ari had learned to appreciate the ocean, which had always been there for him. He loved swimming, of course, and had done a bit of surfing but he wasn’t much into it. He loved diving, though. He had attended a school were he had learned all the basics and now he did it every time he had a moment to do it. He would ask his grandfather fro his boat and dive alone, from the break of dawn to lunchtime.

 To his grandpa’s disappointment, he never brought fish to eat. He only went there to see the ocean creatures live, to the things they did normally, which was fascinating. He loved animals, sometimes bringing his dog Kop with him in the boat. When high school finished, his parents were mad at him for not having put his name down in any of the schools they suggested. They knew he loved the town but they also knew opportunities there were scarce.

 So, because of his decision not to study, he had the chance to do two things he wanted to do instead of studying law or medicine. First of all, he found a job leading tourists to a nearby reef. He would go with small groups and show them the marine life and how they tried to protect it from being destroyed. Besides work, which he always looked forward, he decided to help in the only fishery remaining in town. He started taking the guts out of the fish and putting them on ice but he hoped to get one a boat some day.

 The first months were both easy and hard, all at the same time. Driving the tourists around was incredibly relaxing, as only people who really liked the ocean would go on those kind of tours. The few times there was a nervous person, they would all help to make the experience the best of his or her life. There was definitely nothing like watching life just happen before your eyes and that’s what he loved of it.

The fishery, on the other hand, was hard work. He would do it four days a week an even then it was hell. The people handling the place had been shaped by the sea, just like their product, and they didn’t allow anything to go differently than what they had planned. They yelled a lot, especially when the work place was too filthy or the worker was too slow. Taking the guts out and scaling the fish was not as easy as it looked like and it had to be done properly or the fish would be damaged and selling it would be harder.

 Every time he got back home, after work, he would be exhausted. It didn’t matter from what job he came from, his hands would always be sore as well as his feet. Besides, Ami would gulp down food and a lot of water at diner time, as he didn’t properly eat all day. His parents were not happy for this but they didn’t say anything. He was being responsible and was winning his own money. They hoped that the workload would make him realized that he needed to study to improve himself.

 Then, halfway through the year, something no one had seen coming happened: Mr. Gons had died. It had happened in the night, while he lay on his favorite rocking chair, having fallen asleep with the sound of the waves and the feeling of sand beneath his feat. He was loved by many, especially by those families that had always lived in the town. The turnout at the funeral was outstanding; the family couldn’t have been more proud. Everyone shared stories about him and coincided that he was a one special man.

 Ari then, stopped working for a couple of days. His bosses excused him, just by looking at him: he looked beyond sad. He looked as if it was a defining moment for him so they gave him some time to think but not too much as he was needed in both the reef and the fishery. Indeed, Ari thought of his grandpa, who had thought him everything of the sea, but he also thought what he wanted from life. He knew that things were hard out there but then he realized he had already taken steps to make a live of his own.

 So the day he returned to work, confident that he was doing everything right. He couldn’t push to happen, he couldn’t force anything, but he could improve himself and just be good at what he did. He started reading a lot more about fishes and other sea creatures so that he would be available to give more complete tours on the reef. As for the fishery, he trained himself with a small knife cutting open everything at home. His mom was certainly impressed when she noticed everything in the fridge had already being chopped in various ways.

 On weekends, he would return to his grandpa’s house to drink a beer and watch the ocean. He understood then why the old man loved the place: the peace and quiet was overwhelming but appreciated. Being away from everything but that soothing sound was just perfect. But then, four months before the end of the year, he began going there with a girl he had met in one of the tours. She lived in a town close to his and would visit him when out of work. It was the first time he fell in love for real and knew she was in love with him.

 When working, he noticed he didn’t thought of it as he did it. He would think of her or of his plans, which were slowly forming in his mind. He had realized that, despite everything he thought, his parents were right. He did need to educate himself more to be better, not just to earn more money but to afford to live, as he wanted to do it. He had even thought of living with his girlfriend but that was another project, for the future.

 He told his parents of his realization that learning more was necessary to him, in order to know more about what he loved and to live a good life too. They were happy tear it but not so happy when he told them he had found an aquarium, in a medium size city about two hours away by car. It was not that they wanted him to go but that they wanted the very best for them. He explained the aquarium had a school where he could study marine biology. They actually had at least some ten more careers to choose from, which was very interesting.

 One weekend he was free from work, he took his girlfriend and his parents to the aquarium. The place was beautiful and they were all amazed that they had never really known about the place. The lady that gave them a guided visit, explained that the school had been open only for the past two years but that many students that wanted to study the careers they taught were very happy with their presence. Even the zoo area of the compound was much better than any other he had seen: the pools were very big and the machines were kept away from the animals, so not to disturbing. They didn’t have large mammals, as they believed they were better off in the ocean.

 So when the year drew to a close, Ari told his bosses all about him studying and not being able to work anymore. They were both very happy for him and wished him all the best. He had been an exemplary employee in both places, and people had learned to appreciate his work thoroughly.

 Then came Christmas. They all had a big party in his grandpa’s old house and there was no one sad or thoughtful. Everyone smiled and enjoyed the food, the company and the prospects that the future was putting on the table.