All the fishes came to Albert’s party because they wanted to be part of the “in” crowd. The party was really swinging when in swam Eel.
‘Hi Albert, ’ said Eel
‘Hi Eel’ replied Albert,
‘Wow what a great party’ said Eel, quickly eating a canapé.
‘Yes they all accepted the invitations. Come, let me get you a plate while we wait for the others to arrive’ said Albert.
The fishes whispered to each other: ‘why was Eel invited? Doesn’t the host know what sort of character Eel is - always lurking around the dark crevices of the ocean’. The room was still buzzing when in came Octopus, Snake and Prawn. Well, this was too much for the fishes to handle and one by one made excuses:
‘I have to go home and wash my fins’
‘I have to start my shift at Carr’s WhaleWash’
‘I have to go home and weigh my scales’
‘Sorry, but I have a previous engagement and only meant to stay for a little while’ and they all left the party for they did not want to associate with such odd types. Albert watched all the fishes descend down the stairs and was saddened by the their attitude. Tears welled up in his eyes as he turned to his new friends and said ‘they need time to see the goodness of your hearts and actions to see the purity of your motives. Come, let us enjoy the rest of this beautiful night.’ They talked till the early morn and went home just before dawn.
Days later the neighbourhood was still buzzing with the party and how such a respectable fish could be seen with such low life. The fishes started to question the motives of Albert and avoided him when they saw him around the neighbourhood. They could not see that Albert had a heart for all and saw all as equal and not to be excluded as part of the “in” crowd.
All the fishes could see was their own stripes, the status symbols they needed to know that they were someone, an important feature so as to be separate from such weird creatures that made up this small community. Albert on the other hand looked at the hearts of his new friends and saw that they cared about the environment and helping those less fortunate than themselves. These qualities were important to Albert and he wanted to share this important aspect with his old friends at the party, but they did not give him the chance to explain this important truth he had found.
This alienation of Albert continued until one day when he, Snake and Octopus came across a neighbour badly hurt by a spear and laying on the side of a rock unable to move and losing a lot of blood. The three friends set about tending to the fish’s needs, ‘hold still friend while we stop the bleeding’ said Albert, Snake went and got his board, and when the bleeding had eased the three friends lifted the fish gently onto the board and took fish to the nearest respite centre. There the spear was removed and scales set back in place, enabling the fish to recover quickly.
When the fish was discharged from the respite centre he shared with all the other fishes in the neighbourhood what Albert and his friends had done for him. This divided the community, with some accepting Albert’s new friends as worthy members of the community; while others hardened their hearts and saw these qualities as being soft and unworthy attributes for the fish community.
Albert and his friends continued to assist in the community and gradually the hardness of hearts subsided and there was peace and harmony throughout the community. Strangers were made to feel welcome and shown how peaceful actions can restore hearts.