A Fishtale

A fisherman and his wife were blessed with two healthy twin boys. They thought long and hard about what to name the two, but try as hard as they might they could not come to a decision. Finally, more than a week after their births, the fisherman told his wife, “Let’s just wait. The right names for them both will come to us when they’re meant to.”

After a month or so the parents began to notice something peculiar about the brothers. When left to themselves one boy would always turn toward the open ocean; the other, toward the mainland. No matter how the parents twisted and turned the boys, they always resumed facing their opposing directions in the end.

Feeling that the names had indeed presented themselves, the parents named the boys Toward and Away, depending on their orientation to their beloved sea.

Years passed and both the twins proved themselves to be able fishermen. Their father felt it was time they learned to fish on the open water out of sight of land, so he kissed his wife goodbye and set out with his sons for a three-month voyage to distant fishing grounds. The wife waited patiently for three months, and then another three without hearing from or seeing her husband and sons return.

Finally, a year to the day when they had first set sail, the wife saw the fisherman walking along the beach, worn and weathered by his time upon the sea. She ran to him and the two embraced, but she quickly asked where her two sons were.

The fisherman explained that as soon as they were out of sight of land the first day, a monster fish had taken Toward’s bait and proceeded to drag the boat farther and farther away from shore. Toward fought the fish for days, with his father and brother bringing him water and food as needed. Having not slept for some time, the twin was understandably weakened. When the fish made one last run, it pulled Toward over the side of the ship and into the water, never to be seen again.

“My poor boy! That terrible monster of a fish!” the woman cried.

“That’s nothing,” the husband philosophized, “You should have seen the one that got Away.”

Keep your fork


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