Forethought, Ready-Wit, and Fatalist

In a great lake lived three full-grown fishes, whose names were Forethought, Ready-wit, and Fatalist. Now one day the fish named Forethought overheard passers-by on the bank and fishermen saying: “There is plenty of fish in this pond. Tomorrow we go fishing.”

On hearing this, Forethought reflected: “This looks bad. Tomorrow or the day after they will be sure to come here. I will take Ready-wit and Fatalist and move to another lake whose waters are not troubled”. So he called them and put the question. Thereupon Ready-wit said: “I have lived long in this lake and cannot move in such a hurry. If fishermen come here, then I will protect myself by some means devised for the occasion.”

But poor, doomed Fatalist said: “There are sizable lakes elsewhere. Who knows whether they will come here or not? One should not abandon the lake of his birth merely because of such small gossip. ” And when Forethought realized that their minds were made up, he went to another body of water.

On the next day, when he had gone, the fishermen with their boys beset the inner pool, cast a net, and caught all the fish without exception. Under these circumstances Ready-wit, while still in the water, played dead.

And since they thought: “This big fellow died without help,” they drew him from the net and laid him on the bank, from which he wriggled back to safety in the water. But Fatalist stuck his nose into the meshes of the net, struggling until they pounded him repeatedly with clubs and so killed him.

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