One there was in Indian who had a pet fish named Tommy, which he kept in a barrel. But the fish got pretty big and the Indian had to change the water a good deal to keep him alive. He was too lazy to do that, and he thought he would teach the fish to live out of water. So he did. He began by taking Tommy out of the barrel for a few minutes at a time, pretty often, and then he took him out oftener and kept him out longer, and after a time Tommy got so he could stay out a good while if he was in the wet grass.
Then the Indian found he could leave him in the wet grass all night, and pretty soon that fish could live in the shade whether the grass was wet or not. By that time he had pretty tame, too, and he used to follow the Indian around a good deal, and when the Indian went out to dig worms for him to eat, Tommy sent along too and got some for himself. The Indian thought everything of that fish, and when Tommy got so he didn’t need any water at all, but could got anywhere down the dusty road and stay all day out in the hot sun – you never saw Indian without his fish. Show people wanted to buy Tommy but the Indian said he wouldn’t sell a fish like that for any money. You’d see him coming to town with Tommy following along the road behind, just like a dog only of course he traveled a good deal like a snake, and almost as fast.
Well, it was pretty sad the way that Indian lost his fish, and it was curious, too. He started for two one day with Tommy coming along behind, as usual. There was a bridge in the road and when the Indian come to it he saw there was a hole in it, but he went on over it without thinking. A little later he looked round for Tommy and Tommy wasn’t there. He went back a way and called, but he couldn’t see any thing of his pet. Then he came to the bridge and saw the hole, and he thought right away that maybe his fish had god in though. So he went to the hole and looked, and sure enough, there was Tommy, floating on the water, bottom-side up. He’d fallen through that hole into the river and drowned.
Answer the following questions briefy
- Why did the Indian teach Tommy to live our of water?
- Why did show people want to buy Tommy?
- Why wouldn’t the Indian sell Tommy?
- What was Tommy almost as fast as?
- Why did Tommy drown?