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There’s a Dragon in my Goldfish Bowl

Updated: Jan 1, 2024


"I catch a flash of red-gold beneath the surface of the water, and realize that there are koi in the pond, massive, serene, and I wonder: are they dreams of fish, or fish who dream?"

Sarah Monette


There’s a dragon in my goldfish bowl,

My older brother told me so,

With fins instead of wings to help it fly.

It’s gold and white like dragon treasure,

Scaly skin, but with no clever

Fiery red and spooky demon eyes.

Its feet aren’t clawed like a falcon,

Mostly because it doesn’t have them.

It swims along, the perfect dragon pet.

It’s got no oxen ears, no camel face,

No deer horns in their proper place,

Just scales of gold and white and gleaming jet.

It hasn’t swum for miles upstream,

Climbed the fountain, earned the dream

I guess it’s not a proper dragon yet,

But even so...

There’s a dragon in my goldfish bowl,

My older brother told me so,

I wonder just how big he'll grow!

Insp. by a Chinese legend of a school of golden koi fish which managed to swim up river and attempted to leap to the top of a huge waterfall. Eventually, after a hundred years, one koi made it to the top. It was rewarded for its hard work and persistence by being transformed into a mighty golden dragon.


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