The Codfish

Despite what marine biologists say, the codfish is not all that ravenous or tough. It doesn’t devour everything that comes in its way, and it doesn’t like desolate waters any more than the next fish. For thousands of years, it’s patrolled the seams between cold and warm ocean currents and, rather recently, showed the Europeans the way to America. The trouble is the codfish can’t remember a thing. It might swim to Labrador or Lofoton for twenty straight years, and not recognize any of it. On good days, its memory lasts maybe three seconds. Say, is that a herring or a lure? When mistaken, it won’t put up a fight; it won’t even try to slip off the hook. It’s had enough and will throw in the towel. Life’s just not fair. Or is it? The codfish really can’t remember.

Translated from the Norwegian by Robert Hedin and Dag T. Straumsvag.

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