When I was a small kid I used to help my parents when they were fishing at our summer cottage. It is a beautiful place by the sea with many surrounding islands, and that’s were I started to learn about the millions of small, big, cute, smelly, slimey, beautiful, ugly, or just plain weird things living in our waters.
One day we caught a lot of herring in our nets. We put the nets on a smooth cliff in the sun and I helped my parents remove the fish from the nets so we could prepare them for lunch. Suddenly I saw a big herring that had this beautiful rainbow colour on its body; it was like oil on the water surface, ever changing from red to lilac to blue, green, yellow. Herring only have a few hard scales on their body and the rest is just soft skin and two enormous eyes and a toothless mouth. How could a child not fall in love with this animal? (To my defence, I was very used to the smell of fish…)
I decided to keep it as a pet, although it was very, very dead. I played with it for many hours and pretended that it swam around in the air and ate ants. I loved it. My parents were wise enough to stop me though, when the evening came and I wanted to let it sleep on my bedside table for the night. That was a very sad moment for the little child I was, but the herring sure wouldn’t have been a pretty sight in the morning. Or rather a smell…
Herrings are very delicious by the way! I really recommend them on a plate and not so much as toys.
What do herrings like then? Find out next.
Please support a non-profit organisation such as WWF and help protect our waters!