Home » Archive » Goldfish

, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Into the room walks a professor. In his hands is a jar, filled with water, and in the water swims a goldfish.

Placing the jar and fish on his desk he turns to the single student in the room and asks, “What is this?”

The student looks blankly from professor to jar to professor.

“It is a fish … in a jar.”

Faintly smiling, the professor asks, “But what is it?”

The student, brow furrowed, looks again at the fish.

“A gold colored Carassius auratus.”

“But what is it?” repeats the professor.

This continues each day for several weeks.

Each day, for one month, the professor asks this question. Soon the student has compiled the chemical elements of the jar, water, and fish. Dissected the fish. Sketched it’s inner organs. Studied, illustrated, and described the life cycle, habits, and ecosystem of the fish.

Finally, a pile of papers, books, and diagrams lie scattered about the room. And still, sitting calmly at his desk, is the professor.

“But what is it?”

The student looks up from a detailed drawing of the dorsal scales, stares intently at the fish in the jar, and states:

“It is a goldfish.”

Comments are closed.