Once upon a time there was a man who could not swim. Every day he would go out to the ocean and walk into the surf until he was waist deep. He read books on swimming and absorbed every piece of information that he could. There were instructions in the books, and all the books were different. Some would say do it one way, some would say, do it another. Some books told him to "visualize himself" swimming, but alas he did not know what was meant, because he had never done it and didn't know what it looked like or felt like.
There were many stories. Some said they had heard stories about people swimming. Some said it simply could not be done. Was it actually possible to learn how to swim? That would be great! Exploring the ocean and possibly even DIVING to see what was underneath. The thought of it absolutely THRILLED him. He watched the fish, swimming effortlessly in the water. Most of the time they were underneath, so he could not see them, but every once in a while one would jump up out of the water and he would see it leap into the air.
One day as he was in the water, trying to figure out how to swim, he exclaimed aloud: "I wish I knew how to swim! Those fish do it so EASILY". Lo and behold a fish swam up to him and said:
"Hello, my name is Bashar. I heard what you said, and I can help you". The man was so overcome he didn't even know WHAT to say! So many questions he had for Bashar... "What is it like under the ocean?", "Are there plants"? "Other animals"? "How did you learn to swim?" Slowly and one by one Bashar, the Amazing Wonder Fish; answered all his questions, explaining what was under the ocean. He talked about the other fish, the plants, what it looked like; and told him how exciting it was to live in a vast ocean with no boundaries. The more Bashar talked, the more the man got excited! If he wanted to learn how to swim before, now he wanted to even MORE!
They talked for HOURS, and the man had to go; but before they parted, the man asked the fish if he would teach him how to swim. Bashar agreed and told him to meet him there the next day at the same time and he would teach him. The man was overjoyed and hurried home to tell all his friends and family.
"Bashar is going to teach me how to swim!" His friends were amazed! "You FOUND Bashar? The Amazing Wonder Fish? And you got him to agree to teach you? That's GREAT", for Bashar was known around the world for his swimming skills and people would come for miles, just to hear recordings of his stories talking about swimming. Everyone was very happy for him and the man was so excited he could not sleep.
The next day, he went out to meet the fish and sure enough Bashar, the Amazing Wonder Fish was there waiting for him. "OK", said Bashar... "Here is how you do it: The most important thing to get you around is to wiggle your tail fin, and then WHOOOSH! That will give you the locomotion. Now the fins you have on the bottom, will take you in the direction you want to go. Wiggle the left fins, if you want to go left, and wiggle the right fins if you want to go right. You can also wiggle them up and down if you want to move up and down. Your top fin will give you stability and will make sure you don't "topple over" in the water. That's ALL there is to it!" The man looked at himself sadly and realized he had no fins! Then he began wondering...."Is it really true what Bashar said about the ocean and the fish?" He realized that Bashar meant well, and was kind and wise as well; but without having fins to be able to follow Bashar's instructions he would never learn whether or not what Bashar had said was really true or not.