Goldfish Don't Bark
by Tonja Taylor

My little daughter, “Miss T” (as I called her when she was about 5), brought me a sticker from her sticker book, and insisted that I wear one, a goldfish.

What shall we name her?” I asked, as she pulled the sticker from the book and handed it to me.

She hesitated, then attached it to my shirt, in the middle of my chest.

Being one who loves words, I felt I should fill in the gap.

How about ‘Aurora’?” I said. “Aurora is a splendid name. I have always liked it, at least as far as I can remember. In fact, if I had the money and the inclination, I would have my name legally changed to Aurora.”

Miss T wrinkled her nose, a particularly cute effect, and said slowly, as if I’d looked at the wrong animal (for she had an entire book of stickers, from goldfish to finches to lions), “No, this ia a goldfish. How about ‘Goldie’?”

So Goldie it was.

She carried her small stuffed golden retriever (it was a golden day, I suppose, between goldfish and retrievers) close to her, and lifted her little friend up to get a better look at Goldie swimming on the powder-blue sea of my shirt.

The dog, like most dogs would do, barked at the fish.

So, since Goldie was not only two-dimensional (unlike the retriever, who took up space in three dimensions), moving extremely slowly, and silent (one reason fish are considered such a soothing and beloved pet), I took it upon myself to help both animals and (a) do the fishy-mouth motions and (b) bark back.

Goldfish don’t bark!” Miss T declared, slightly alarmed.

She obviously didn’t realize it was her retriever making the noise.

Who cares?” I said, with sudden delight (Delight truly is one of those things that can occur suddenly). But they could. With God, all things are possible. I think it was your dog barking, though. Why don’t we write a silly poem about it?”

She looked interested.

Have title, will write. The poem will swim to the top (maybe a year or two) when it’s ready..”.

Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, through River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.

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