“We weren’t laughing at you, honestly.”
“I’d give anything to be a knight on a white charger,” कहा Arthur. It was now late morning and Merlin, Belle and Arthur were strolling alongside the side of the moat that surrounded the castle. Belle had a feeling that whilst the moat didn’t look particularly deep, it probably was. Arthur had a stick in his hand and was pretending it was a sword, slicing at the long blades of घास that tickled their ankles.

Belle grinned and picked up a stick from the grass. “Oh, yes? Well, let’s see how much आप know about sword fighting, Sir Arthur.” Then she and Arthur engaged in a quick stick fight which ended with her knocking the stick from Arthur’s hand. Belle laughed, tossed her stick to one side and ruffled his hair. “Better luck अगला time, Arthur!”

“I wish I could, though,” Arthur said. “Slaying ड्रॅगन्स and gryphons and man-eating giants.”

Merlin chuckled. “Well, won’t you?”

“Oh, no. आप see, I’m an orphan and a knight has to be of proper birth.” Arthur shrugged. “I just hope I’m worthy enough to be Kay’s squire. That’s a big job too, आप know.”

“Oh, yes, I’d say almost impossible,” Merlin chuckled, before turning back to the lesson. “Now, when I कहा I could swim like a fish, I really meant as a fish.”

“You mean आप can turn yourself into a fish?” Arthur exclaimed, crouching down द्वारा the side of the moat.

“Of course he can,” Belle smiled. “Among other things.”

“After all, my boy, I am a wizard,” Merlin agreed.

“Could आप turn me into a fish?” Arthur asked, excitedly.

“Well, have आप any imagination? Can आप imagine yourself as a fish?”

“Oh, that’s easy,” Arthur said. “I’ve done that lots of times.”

“Oh, well, then I guess my magic will do the rest.” Merlin tapped Arthur on the head with his stick/wand and then hesitated “Oh, um, Archimedes, do आप remember that मछली formula?”

Archimedes, who had been snoozing on Merlin’s hat, stirred. “Uh? Who?”

“You know, that Latin formula?” Merlin prompted, prodding him.

“Who? Fish? Latin?”

“The one we use to become fish, Archie,” Belle prompted.

“Aquarius, aquaticus, aqualitus,” recited Archimedes, and then he grouchily flew over to the branch of a nearby पेड़ and settled himself down, wings folded. “And now, if आप don’t mind, I say good दिन to the lot of you, if आप please.”

“When he stays out all night, he’s always grouchy the अगला morning,” Merlin explained in a whisper to Arthur.

Arthur giggled. “He must stay out every night!”

The three of them laughed. “Eh?” Archimedes opened one eye. “Who? What, what?”

“Nothing, Archie,” Belle grinned. “We weren’t laughing at you, honestly.”

“Aright, boy, all set, here we go.” Merlin cleared his throat and tapped Arthur again with his stick/wand. “Aquarius, aquaticus, aqualitus, quoom, aquadigiturnioom!”

He punctuated each word with a tap to Arthur’s head, and then, in a swirl of magic and a burst of smoke, a tiny नारंगी, ऑरेंज बसेरा, पर्च was jumping up and down on the grass.

“Merlin? Am I a fish? Am I a fish?” Arthur asked.

“Yes, yes, yes, आप are a fish,” Merlin said, attempting to catch him. “But if आप don’t stop that flippity flopping around and get in the water, आप won’t last long.”

“Quickly, Uncle!” Belle cried, worried some bird in the sky might see Arthur wriggling on the ground and snatch him up for lunch.

Merlin finally managed to grab hold of Arthur. “Now, आप wait right here in the reeds and we’ll be along in a moment,” he said, and then he dropped Arthur into the moat.

“Will he be ok?” asked Belle. “That moat seems pretty deep.”

“He’ll be fine, now, come on, Belle, you’re next.”

Belle closed her eyes, as she always did when her uncle cast a spell on her. In her lifetime, she had been turned into a rabbit, a wolf, a pig, a red kite, a peacock, a hedgehog, a mouse, a kitten and a fish, the latter और so than the rest. She was used to it, but even so, she always closed her eyes, automatic reaction, as it were. She felt herself changing and then Merlin caught her in cupped hands. “Now, keep an eye on the boy,” he instructed her and then dropped her into the moat.

“Arthur?” Belle called as she sank and then righted herself. “Where are you?” Then she saw him half submerged in mud. “Arthur, what are आप doing in there?”

With a plop, Merlin, as a trout, landed beside her. “So,” he chuckled to Arthur, pulling him free of the sand, with his mouth, since fins were useless in place of hands. “So, आप thought आप could just take off like a shot, did you?”

“Well, I am a fish, aren’t I?” Arthur asked, shaking the mud off himself.

“You merely look like a fish,” Merlin corrected him. “That doesn’t mean that आप are a fish. आप don’t have the instinct. Now, watch closely, boy. Every flick of a fin creates movement. So, first we’ll start with a caudal fin.”

Arthur tried flapping one fin but all he did was a half cartwheel in the water. “No, that’s your tail,” Belle told him, and then Arthur tried his tail and shot forwards, almost colliding with Merlin.

“That gives आप the forwards thrust,” Merlin explained. “Now, let’s get a rhythm going; right, left, right, left, one, two...Left and right,” he sang as they swam, “like दिन and night, that’s what makes the world go round.”

“In and out,” Belle joined in. “Thin and stout, that’s what makes the world go round.”

“For every up, there is a down. For every square...”

“There is a round?” Arthur put in.


“For every high...”

“There is a low?”

“Uh-huh. And for every to...

“There is a...?”



“Yes, fro. To and fro, stop and go, that’s what makes the world go round, in and out, thin and stout...”

“Merlin! Belle!” Arthur exclaimed, suddenly. “I swallowed a bug!”

Belle laughed.

“What’s wrong with that?” asked Merlin. “After all, my boy, आप are a fish. Instinct, आप know.”

“But आप कहा I had no instinct,” Arthur pointed out.

“Oh. Oh, I did, didn’t I?” Merlin took up the song again. “You must set your sights upon the heights, don’t be a mediocrity...”


“That’s right. Don’t just wait and trust to fate and say that’s how it’s meant to be. It’s up to आप how far आप go, if आप don’t try, you’ll never know, and so, my boy, as I’ve explained, nothing ventured, nothing gained...”

The trio swam twice through some long tickling grass, giggling as they did so. “Oh, I beg your pardon,” कहा Merlin as they almost collided with a catfish.

“Me too,” smiled Belle.

“Me too,” कहा Arthur. “For every to there is a fro, for every stop there is a go, and that’s what makes the world go round. Oh, let go, let go, let go!”

Belle turned her head in time to see a playful bullfrog pulling his tail. “Hey!” she cried.

The frog released Arthur, who crashed into a broken tankard at the bottom of the moat. “Oh, आप big bug-eyed bully, you!”

“Who, me?” asked Merlin, and then looked over his shoulder and realised. “Oh, here, here, here, Wart, there’s no sense going round insulting bullfrogs.”

Arthur blew a stream of indignant bubbles at the frog. Belle smiled. “Come on, Arthur. He’ll get bored of following us eventually.”

“You see, the water world has its forests and jungles too,” Merlin explained, “so it has its भेड़िया and tigers. That’s what makes the world go round. आप see, my boy, it’s nature’s way, upon the weak, the strong ones pray. The human life it's also true, the strong will try to conquer you, and that is what आप must expect, unless आप use your intellect. Brains and brawn, weak and strong, that's what makes the world go round...”

Suddenly, Arthur darted past them both with a cry of “Help! Merlin! Belle! Help!”

“Jehoshaphat!” exclaimed Merlin as an enormous पाइक streamed past them, on Arthur’s tail.

“Uncle!” cried Belle, and Merlin bit the पाइक on the tail, its jaws narrowly missing Arthur as it was brought up short. “Oh!” exclaimed Arthur, swimming as fast as he could. The पाइक shook its tail, violently, and Merlin flew off and landed, tapped, in the हेलमेट of an old suit of armour at the bottom of the moat.

“Quick, Merlin, the magic!” begged Arthur.

“No, no, you’re on your own, lad! Now’s your chance to prove my point!”

“What point?”

“He’s the brawn and you’re the brains! Now, don’t panic! Outsmart the big brute!”

Belle ducked as the पाइक came towards them, but for some reason, it had its eyes on Arthur alone. Arthur quickly darted through one of the लिंक्स in the chain of the drawbridge and the पाइक got its snout caught in it. “Uncle Merlin, we can’t just sit here!” she cried as Arthur swam off.

“That’s using the old intellect!” Merlin crowed.

The पाइक quickly freed itself just as Arthur ducked behind a wooden post. Belle spotted some broken arrows there, and Arthur quickly grabbed on in his mouth as the पाइक came towards him. “Uncle Merlin, do something!” she cried, trying to remember what the counter spell was for changing back into human form.

“Argh!” exclaimed Arthur as the पाइक came for him, jaws open, but he rammed the broken ऐरो into its mouth.

“Bravo, boy, great strategy!” Merlin praised.

“Is the lesson about over?” Arthur cried.

“Did आप get the point?”

“Yes, yes, brains over brawn!”

“Alright, then, lad,” cried Merlin as the पाइक discarded the ऐरो द्वारा biting it into splinters. “Leave it to me! I’ll fix the big brute! Higgldy-piggldy! No! Hocus-pocus! Now, what was it?”

“Merlin!” shouted Arthur as he and the पाइक leapt out of the water.

“Alakazam, Uncle Merlin!” Belle screamed.

“Right, of course! Alakazam!”

Belle felt herself changing and then सेकंड्स later she splashed onto the bank. She looked around. Where was Arthur? और to the point, where was the pike?

“What in blazes-?” spluttered Merlin, emerging from the moat wearing the हेलमेट he had been trapped in. He threw it to the ground and snatched up his hat and stick/wand. “What in blazes is a monster like that doing in the moat! By, George, I’ll turn him into a minnow!”

“Merlin!” exclaimed Arthur, flopping about on the grass.

“Oh, there आप are!” Merlin quickly waved his stick/wand. “Snick, snack, snorum!” he commanded and Arthur turned back into himself.

“Arthur, are आप alright?” Belle cried, rushing up to him, and then, before she could stop herself, she hugged him. Arthur was surprised but in no way displeased.

“How in the world did आप ever get out of that mess?” exclaimed Merlin.

“That big मछली almost swallowed me!” cried Arthur. “And Archimedes...he saved me!”

“Oh?” Chuckling, Merlin picked up a very wet Archimedes from the floor द्वारा his foot and placed him in the branch of a tree. “How about that, eh?”

Archimedes coughed up some water. “I did nothing of the sort!” he insisted, indignantly. “I intended to eat him! Young बसेरा, पर्च is my favourite dish! आप know that!”

“Oh, Archie!” Belle smiled, shaking her head.

“Do आप believe that, Wart?” asked Merlin, nudging him.

“Well, I-”

“Wart!” That was Sir Ector, shouting from the गढ़, महल “Wart!”

“Oh, I’ve got to go.” Arthur turned back to them. “Thank you, Merlin, it was so much fun. See you, Belle. And, Archimedes, I-”

“Pinfeathers, boy!” retorted Archimedes, trying to dry himself off.

“Wart! Where are you, Wart?” shouted Ector.

“Coming!” Arthur called back, running towards the castle, “I’m coming!”

“Now, Archimedes,” कहा Merlin, wringing water from his beard. Belle did the same with her hair. “Why would आप half drown yourself for a titbit of fish? Especially after such a big breakfast too?”

Archimedes tried twisting himself around to wring the water out of his feathers. Unfortunately, this cause him to fluff up like a dandelion. Belle giggled as she produced a towel. “Admit it, Archie, आप did it because आप care.”

“Pinfeathers and gullyfluff!” snapped Archimedes.

"That's what makes the world go round!"
"I'll turn him into a minnow!"
“Pinfeathers and gullyfluff!”