Goldfish is a sad story about life and death. In Japan, people often play a game called “Kingyo-sukui”. It means “Goldfish Scooping”. At Japanese Summer festivals, there is usually a stall where kids and adults can play this game. There is an aquarium with goldfish swimming around inside. You pay 100 Yen and they give you a scooper. The net is made of paper and breaks easily. You have to scoop up as many goldfish as you can before the net breaks. At the end, they put all the goldfish you scooped up in a bag and you get to take them home with you.
One Summer, when I was a child, I went fishing down by the river with my friends. There were 4 of us altogether and we were having fun. The sky grew dark and it began to rain heavily. We were getting drenched. I could hear the rumble of thunder overhead. It was very loud. We ran to take shelter under a big tree that was nearby.
Then, all of a sudden, there was a blinding flash and a deafening crack as the tree was struck by lightning.
At first, I didn’t understand what had happened. My ears were ringing and I couldn’t hear anything.
When I opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I found myself at a Summer festival, standing in front of a goldfish scooping stall.
I heard a voice say, “Do you want to try your luck?”
I recognized that voice. When I looked up, I saw my father behind the stall. But that couldn’t be. My father had been dead for years.
“Where am I?” I mumbled. “What is this place?”
“Don’t you know?” my father replied sadly.
“I wonder if returning your life one year: to do it one time,. 」
I peered into the aquarium. Three goldfish were swimming around dejectedly.
That was when it stuck me. I realized where I was and what I was supposed to do. I was here to help my friends.
“How much does it cost?” I asked.
“Ten years of your life,” my father replied.
“For every scoop?” I asked.
“For every scoop,” he replied as he handed me the paper net.
I was nervous and my hands were shaking. This game takes a lot of skill and dexterity. You have to be very careful or the paper net will break and you will lose.
I scooped again and again, but it was useless. The goldfish were swimming too fast and I broke the net. My father handed me another, but that broke too. I kept scooping, but the nets kept breaking. The sweat was pouring down my forehead.
Just then, I managed to scoop up one of the goldfish and dropped it in the bowl. It was a good start, but there were still 2 left. I began scooping again, but the net broke immediately. My father handed me another. I managed to scoop up another goldfish and dumped it in the bowl. Then the net broke again. My father handed me another.
“This is your last net,” he sighed.
There was one goldfish left. It wasn’t an easy decision. It was going to cost me my life, but I had to save him.
I steadied my hand and concentrated harder than I ever had in my life. On my first try, I scooped up the last goldfish and dropped it in the bowl.
“I did it!” I cried.
My father looked at me and smiled. It was a sad smile, but I could tell he was proud of me.
Then, everything went black as I lost consciousness.
“Hey, wake up.”
The voice was faint, but I heard it.
“Wake up,” it said again.
“Am I dead?” I asked.
“No, you’re not dead,” the voice assured me. “You’re alive.”
I opened my eyes and blinked. My friends were standing over me.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yes,” one of my friends said. “You’ve been unconscious for 30 minutes, but you’re alive.”
The tears started flowing. I couldn’t help it.
I was still alive, but for how long? I had managed to save my friends but I had spent my whole life doing it.
But then I remembered the last words my father had said to me before I lost consciousness.
“I tried very hard and I managed to save one more goldfish.”