The Osprey and the Shark

Clark Ashton Smith

December 18, 1929

An osprey who had sighted a plump turbot glided to the surface of the waves; and at that very same moment a shark arose in pursuit of the self-same fish. The turbot saw them both, and the shark and the osprey looked at each other.

"If I could fly like that, and plunge in from the heavens, nothing could evade me," thought the shark.

"If I could swim and dive and dwell under water as he does, everything would be at my mercy," thought the osprey.

In the meanwhile, the turbot had gotten too far away for either of them to ever catch it.

From: Strange Shadows: The Uncollected Fiction and Essays of Clark Ashton Smith. Ed. Steve Behrends, Donald Sidney-Fryer and Rah Hoffman. Greenwood Press 1989.

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