Once upon a time there was a big, beautiful fish who ruled the Kingdom of the Oceans. King over fish and crabs, whales and seaweed, squids and turtles, he had no one by his side, for no one could equal him in grace and beauty. Day after day he sent thousands and thousands of fish in search for what his heart desired, in search of a Queen. Day after day the fish came back to kneel at his feet. “We found not the Queen to mirror your beauty and grace. But do not despair Your Majesty. We asked the Wise Old Turtle, he said the oceans are vast and the beauty was born, she will be found.” Day after day the king listened to them, then asked to be left alone. And he cried, big round tears. With every round tear the ocean got deeper and deeper and soon they were all swimming in their King’s sorrow.
Until one night, when he saw her. Resting like a forgotten diamond on a velvet blanket, up in the sky, she twinkled and twinkled and twinkled for him. “How did I not see her until now”, the king wondered. “I am not meant to rule alone. My beauty is there and I am going for her. My armies could not find her, for they searched with the Sun. Yes, the oceans are vast, but they are vaster at night, when they blend with the sky.”
The next day the King ordered:“Prepare for the wedding! I found my Queen! By this time tomorrow she’ll rule by my side!” The Kingdom was happy! They were waiting for the Queen too. So they started preparing for the big wedding.
At dusk the King set on a journey. He could swim faster than them all. He would bring the Queen alone.But he was not aware that a small, unknown lady fish with big eyes and a curly tail, whose job was to sell balloons, found out who the Queen would be. “A star is a star”, she thought. “It is in the sky where she belongs. He cannot reach her. He will die trying to meet her.” So she followed him. She was small indeed, but faster than the wind, almost as fast as the King. She took nothing with her. Only a red balloon to remind her of home.
The King spent all night swimming and great was his disappointment when the dawn came. She was still up there, so far away. “I can swim faster”, he thought. “Tonight I can reach her, I know!”. So he rested for the day. At night he was swimming again.
Years passed. She was still up there. He was not thinking of home, for to him she was home. The lady fish was still behind him, with her red balloon. She could not find the courage to tell him to stop, to break the spell, to tell him the truth, to break his heart. She did not have the wisdom to leave him alone, to go back home, for a new love grew,as she was a loner too, and he was now her home.
One day the King noticed an unknown wave behind him. One day he sensed that he was not alone. Before he opened his mouth, the lady fish knelt at his feet and begged him to stop, his journey was in vain! But he did not listen. “I’m your king, give me your balloon!”, he said.“My balloon and my heart”, she thought, as she handed it to him. Without looking at her, he took it with him. He rose his head above the waves and with an arm holding the balloon up high, he waited for the wind. “I promised to make her my Queen! I will fly if I need!” A quick wind came and took him away. Hanging on the balloon, he was going higher and higher, closer and closer to his Queen. It happened so fast, the lady fish could just mumble an unheard “wait”. “He is my King”, she said to herself. “I shall respect his wish, now I shall go home.”
She looked around. What were these waters? They were a deeper blue than the one she remembered. And these fish? She never saw a breed like that before.
Her heart twitched.
“I don’t know where home is.”