The Shark Which Ate Half of Father Christmas

He didn’t know how he had got there. Finding himself in a long, long dark tunnel, too narrow to turn around, he had swum and swum and swum till, seeing some light, he struggled round a really tight bend to find himself in a tiny lake with high white cliffs all around. Now he could turn around but no matter how hard he tried he could not get back around that bend, the only way back to the sea he knew.

What are you doing in there?” a voice said. Looking up he saw the face of a young girl.

She was very surprised when he answered. “I swam up from the sea but now I can’t get back. It’s very bright in here too and it hurts my eyes.”

Well I might be able to help you, if you really want to go back. I’ll turn the light off if you want though then I won’t be able to see you.”

Can you do that, turn the light off? That’s amazing.”

Of course, but then I won’t be able to see you.”

I think you will. Try it and see. What’s your name by the way?”

Oh, my name is Olive and all I have to do is pull this cord here and there will be no light. But you look very small to be in the sea. What kind of fish are you?”

I’m a shark.”

No! I don’t think you’re a shark. Sharks are big, much bigger than me.”

Some sharks are big, very big, but we come in all sorts of sizes. I’m the smallest; I’m called Dwarf and my second name’s Lantern. I’m only about as old as you so I may get a bit bigger, but not much.”

Those are strange names – dwarf, lantern, shark. I suppose you are rather dwarf, but why is one of your names lantern?”

Well, you said you can turn the light off. It would be great for me if you did. I live very deep in the sea and the light hurts my eyes. You can see how big they are. But you’ll see why I’ve got that name if you turn the light off.”

OK,” said Olive, giving the light switch cord a pull. She couldn’t believe her eyes; the dull brown little fish had turned into a wonderful pale green lantern swimming round and round. “Oh, you’re beautiful,” she said.

Thank you, but I’m very hungry. Haven’t you got anything to eat?”

What do you eat? I’ve only got a little chocolate Father Christmas I pinched from the Christmas tree. I came in here to eat it where nobody can see me. I’m not supposed to have it yet. Would you like a bit?”

Oh, yes please, I’m so hungry I could eat a seahorse. Anything will do.”

Olive broke a small part of of the chocolate Christmas decoration off and dropped it down to the little shark, who opened his surprisingly large jaws with two rows of tiny sharp teeth and gulped down the chocolate.” Olive popped a similar piece into her own mouth.

That was good,” said the little fish, “please can I have some more?”

Olive broke the remaining chocolate in two, popping one half into her mouth, breaking the other half into small pieces and dropping them down to the little fish, who gobbled them up in no time.

Olive, what are you doing in there? And who are you talking to?” Her mother’s voice sounded just a bit vexed.

Oh just talking to myself,” Olive called back, “won’t be a minute,” hastily gulping down her share of the chocolate.

I’ve got to go,” she whispered to the little fish.

But you said you could help me get back to the sea,” he cried.

And so I can, Merry Christmas and bye bye,” said Olive as she flushed the lavatory before turning to open the bathroom door.