Mud and seaweed
Hey, it’s me. Don’t say that; I didn’t disappear. It’s that I picked up The Brothers Karamazov a few weeks ago, and all my intellectual resources have since been invested into remembering who’s who throughout the story.
The youngest Karamazov, Aleksej, runs into his older brother Dmitri somewhere in book three. For Dmitri is a providential stroke of fate. “… and he came to me like the golden fish to the silly old fishermen in the fable!”
See, an old fisherman once went out to fish at sea. He threw his nets twice and twice pulled out but mud and seaweed. But when he threw his nets a third time, he was surprised to see that he had caught a golden fish (not a goldfish, those only live in freshwater).
“Put me back, old man, and I’ll grant you any wish,” said the fish.
The fisherman was awestruck. He had never heard a fish talking before. So he untangled the animal and let it go, not daring to ask anything in return.
His wife wasn’t happy. So she sent the old man back to the fish over and over again, always asking for more, until one day the fish thought, “enough of this bullshit!” Took all the wishes back and disappeared forever into the depths of the ocean.