Chekhov’s Fish #DealMeIn2018

No, this isn’t a thought experiment in which a fish both is and is not caught until it is observed. I’m talking about the story I read for this week’s Deal Me In story.

The Fish

by Anton Chekhov
Two carpenters have abandoned their work of constructing a bathing shed (a place to undress and dress when going in to swim) in order to catch an eelpout.

WTF is an eelpout, I hear you ask. Well, I had to look it up, and why should I suffer alone? This is an eelpout, which is apparently delicious (tastes like lobster!) and nutritious. While you’re at it, check out the International Eelpout Festival, held annually in Walker, Minnesota. I found that for you. You’re welcome.

So these guys have cornered an eelpout under the roots of a tree on the bank of a river. The water is freezing, but they persist in taking turns trying to roust and capture it and verbally abusing one another for going about it all wrong.

As in a fairy tale, person after person hears what they’re doing and abandons their occupations and stations to strip down and come into the water after that fish.

The fish is caught. The fish escapes.

Come to think of it, this is a thought experiment in which a fish both is and is not caught.


If YOU need a short story to read, I have free ones here on my Free Reads page. I also have four collections for 99 cents each linked from my Short Stories page.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Send someone fishing.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

You may also like...

One thought on “Chekhov’s Fish #DealMeIn2018

Leave a Reply, If You Ple-az

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.