To read Part One, click here.
Manu was sad that Matsya would no longer be living in his house with him, but he knew that Matsya was big now and needed to be free and wild in a pool, so he carried Matsya to a beautiful pool and let him go. Matsya swam off in the clear blue water. There were graceful trees hanging over the pool, and lovely ducks and swans were swimming there. There were lots of fish too, who would be Matsya’s friends, and he was big now and not afraid anymore.
The pool was in India where Matsya was from, so he could live there happily. By now, Manu understood a great deal about fish, and he knew that any fish that had come from a different country should not be released into just any pool or stream, because fish can only survive in the pools and streams in their own country. But it was okay to release Matsya there because he was from a nearby river, where he had been born.
Everyday, Manu went to visit Matsya, to say hello, and to watch him swimming and playing with his friends. Matsya was very happy and he grew and grew and grew.
One day, after a couple of years, Matsya said to Manu, “This pool is too small for me now. Please take me to a river.”
Manu picked him up, though Matsya was very big now and heavy, but Manu, who was not an ordinary person, but a very extraordinary person, grew bigger himself, by magic, when he picked up Matsya, and so was able to carry him easily.
He took Matsya right back to the river where he was born, and Matsya swam among the rocks in the swift river current. Though he was big, he never ate any of the little fish because he remembered very clearly what it had been like when he was a baby, to be so scared by the great big fish in the river, and he never wanted to hurt the fish that were littler than he was. He ate water lilies and grasses, which were delicious, and he grew bigger and stronger.
Manu continued to visit him every day, and soon he said to Manu, “Manu, this river is much too small for me. You must take me now to the great river Ganges.”
The river Ganges was a sacred river, very, very wide, and very far away. It was far in the north of India, where it still is today. Matsya was an enormous fish by now, and when Manu picked him up in his hands, Manu himself grew bigger than the trees; he grew as big as a tall hill, and he carried Matsya all the way to the Ganges. It took them several days of travel, and Manu was getting tired. He put Matsya into the peaceful currents of the Ganges, and watched him drift along happily. Soon Matsya was making new friends.
Manu knew he wouldn’t be able to visit Matsya every day now, but he promised him that if Matsya ever needed him, he could tell his message to a bird. The bird would deliver the message faithfully to Manu, and then Manu would come back to Matsya.
One day a few years later, as Manu was tending his garden by his house – he liked to grow vegetables – he looked up, and there in a tree was a beautiful gray dove. The dove said to Manu. “ I have brought a message from Matsya. He says the Ganges is much too small, and could you please take him to the sea now?”
To be continued…
Illustration: © Silversky2212 / Dreamstime.com