Something’s Fishy – A Valentiny Tale

Image xourtesy of Wikimedia By Elma from Reykjavík - Gullfiskur, CC BY 2.0,

Image courtesy of Wikimedia
By Elma from Reykjavík – Gullfiskur, CC BY 2.0,

“It’s February 14th Trawler!”

Lucy planted a sticky, lip-balmy kiss on the outside of his bowl.

Ugh! Would he have a blurry view all day?

“Let’s give this a polish.”

Once his bowl sparkled, Trawler flicked his thanks in a quick, slick circle.

“I’ve got a special breakfast for you!” Lucy chirped.

What? Not his favorite ocean flakes? Ugh!

She sprinkled tiny red hearts on the water. Trawler sulked, but he hadn’t eaten since yesterday. He nibbled. Yum! Swooping in happy loops, he gobbled heart after heart.

“Yay! You like them!” Lucy smiled. Suddenly she plunged her soft pink hand into the bowl.

Ack! What was going on? Was he going to the vet again? Was it fin rot? Scale scum?

“It’s a new Java Fern! Isn’t it nice?”

Trawler fluttered his fin against the delicate greenery. What was going on? Why the extra attention?

“One last surprise for my special guy,” said Lucy.

A last surprise? Uh oh, thought Trawler. Maybe he had fin rot, scale scum AND gummy gills. But he didn’t feel sick.


“Meet Goldie! She’s your new bowl mate!”

Trawler’s eyes popped and his jaw dropped. Bloop! A bubble escaped his gaping mouth.

Goldie blinked. Bloop!

“Have a Fintastic Valentine’s Day!” said Lucy.

* * * * * * *

Yes, dear Readers, it’s time once again for Susanna Hill’s super sweet Valentiny Story Contest! Valen-tiny because the stories are not very long and are written for little people. You can savor these treats long after all the bon-bons have been consumed and the flowers have faded, because love has no season! Shovelling snow, however, does have a season – winter. And since we have had lots of snow and lots of shoveling, I was gifted with extra time to dream up a funny, finny tale for this year’s celebration!

If you haven’t written your entry yet, here are THE RULES: Write a Valentine story appropriate for children ages 12 and under with a maximum of 214 words in which someone is confused!  Your story can be poetry or prose, sweet, funny, surprising or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes someone confused. (It can be the main character but doesn’t have to be.) You can go under the word count but not over! (Title is not included in the word count.) Something’s Fishy scoots under the wire at 210 words. Happy Valentine’s Day!


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Picture book addict and autism advocate, author, scone lover. WHEN A TREE GROWS (2019) @SterlingKids. Repped by Liza Fleissig @lizaroyceagency. Reach me via email at or Twitter @catballoumealey
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48 Responses to Something’s Fishy – A Valentiny Tale

  1. rnewman504 says:

    What a fintastic story! Love the idea of fin rot. Good luck in the contest! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  2. Nice to see a fish can find love.

  3. Lynn says:

    This is a fun story that flows nicely. 😉 I wish you well with it.

  4. Traci Bold says:

    Being stuck in a bowl is no fun when alone. I am so happy Trawler got a roommate. 🙂 Cute story Cathy!

  5. jeanjames926 says:

    Nothing fishy about true love…BLOOP! So cute. Good luck to you.

  6. Cute story. Good luck!

  7. celticsea says:

    I didn’t even get that many gifts on Valentine’s Day! That is one lucky fish! Good luck with the contest.

  8. mariagianferrari says:

    Cathy–you are hilarious!! Bowl mate? Guppy love!! Love it! ❤

  9. Franziska says:

    A fish definitely needs a bowl mate! So cute.

  10. So cute! (I’m feeling badly for not celebrating with my 4 goldfish.) Happy ending! It’s always nice to have a ‘friend.’ Good luck!

  11. This is fun. I love his expectations of doom conflicting with new treats, plant, and a “bowl mate.” Great job. Good Luck.

  12. What a very entertaining story! I loved every word! Gook luck!

  13. Love this Cathy! I laughed out loud multiple times – ocean flakes, the bubble escaping his mouth. Wonderful work!

  14. Love the bubble sound: bloop! You’ve obviously had pet fish at some point. Very cute!!!

  15. Great job doing it from the perspective of a fish! And a satisfying ending too.

  16. kathalsey says:

    Yes, love the fish POV! I’ve era slot sod these and your s is quite original and fun. Good luck.

  17. kathalsey says:

    Glad you can read between my typos. Read in bed this AM. Sorry.

  18. Lauri Meyers says:

    I love this Cathy! I cleaned the frog tank right after to give them some love:)

  19. Fabulous story, Cathy…and I loved the happy ending…or will it be????? Loved hearing about Valentine’s Day from a fish’s POV. 😉

  20. Janie Reinart says:

    Cathy, Love your word play. Especially -quick slick circle and fintastic 🙂 So cute!

  21. Super fun. Nice theme. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  22. “Fintastic” story, Cathy! Such fun! Loved grumpy Trawler, always ready to expect the worst! And love how everything turned out well for him in spite of himself 🙂 I guess Lucy gave him a Valentines Day to remember! Thanks so much for joining in the Valentiny fun!

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