Once my eyes are closed, Mr. Sparrow trots off to I don’t know where. Some nights I wish his feathers could keep me warm. Other nights I wish he would never come back, because on those nights the Cursed Koi tells me his crafty tales. However, when the wind shifts, the Cursed Koi wiggles back into his aqua-blue blankets to his world below the lily pads. That’s usually because Mr. Sparrow has come back to ask why I’m not asleep yet.
“I couldn’t sleep.”
“But I’ve made the night dark enough for you,” he says as he circles around me.
“I know,” my eyes trail around as Mr. Sparrow claws into the ground behind me. I manage not to stutter. “Tonight is just a little too cold to sleep right away.”
Feathers trace my skin softly, which sweep away my disappointment of not hearing the ending of the Cursed Koi’s bedtime story. Soon, I’m cradled in the wings of Mr. Sparrow as he continues on wide-eyed. It isn’t until morning that I wake to be alone again. Mr. Sparrow and the Cursed Koi are never present by the light of day. Even my fish friend’s lake dries out when the sun is high. I’ve not been able to see the sun’s light hit the lake just yet but tonight I intend to. I want to see what happens to the Cursed Koi when the water runs dry and where he goes but I’m afraid that Mr. Sparrow will put my to sleep as he always does.
I poke with a stick at the soft mud where the lake will be tonight as I think of any ways to avoid Mr. Sparrow. I turn around quickly after feeling a tap on my shoulder. “Dr. Hook!”
A brightly beaming man stands to the side of me as my mouth stretches to a greeting smile. Politely, he speaks, “I was away on rather important business yesterday and so was unable to come by to visit you. My apologies.”
“That’s OK!” In all my excited hopping to him, he laughs. His peels of laugher comfort me. Remembering my curiosity, I pose a question to Dr. Hook. “Dr. Hook, why do the waters dry when the sun comes up?”
After an exaggerated humming, Dr. Hook answers, “My Dear Child, I assure you that I haven’t the slightest idea.”
“Maybe the Cursed Koi will know.”
“Ah, the famous little fish.” I’ve spoken to Dr. Hook many times of the Cursed Koi even when it once told me not to. “This fish must be quite a handsome and knowledgeable fish.”
“I’m not attracted to fish!” I say and Dr. Hook lets out a chuckle.
“You must certainly ask this koi friend of yours then. I’d like to hear what he has to say on this kind of thing. It confuses such a many people.” I nod as he smiles.
“I hope to also stay up the whole night to see where the Cursed Koi goes when the water dries.” At that statement, Dr. Hook seems to be bothered but he just as quickly recovers. He questions if it would be a god idea, that a young girl as myself needs her sleep. I tease him about how much of a doctor he sounds. “I want one night in which I am able to spend time with the Cursed Koi.”
His smile blooms.
The moon is out now and I am alone. However, the Cursed Koi does not poke his nose from below the water’s surface. I sigh. It’s very late already so it won’t be too long for the water to dry out once the sun shines. As I think of the sun, a large shadow masks me from behind. Before I can turn my head, Mr. Sparrow’s wings block my sight. The water stirs but I’m already asleep.