There was a little fish named Willie Lee.

He was the fastest fish you ever would see.

He swam in the morning.  He swam at night.

He could beat all the other fish without a fight.


He raced a fish named Jimmy Jack.

He won with one fin tied behind his back.

He raced a fish named Matthew Mike.

He won with both eyes shut really tight.


He raced all the fish within his school.

He won without breaking any rule.

He raced all the schools within his lake.

He won all the honors any fish could take.


Swimming was so easy for Willie Lee

That he forgot how important it can be.

He said, "I’ve beaten all the fish.

I think I’ll race with that bird named Trish!"


Trish said, "Okay, That will be fine.

We’ll race tomorrow morning at half-passed nine.

We’ll start from here.  That’s what we’ll do.

And race all the way to Kalamazoo."


Willie Lee agreed it was the thing to do.

"But, which way do I swim to Kalamazoo?"

"Just swim north," Trish replied.

"It’s only a short trip from here," she sighed.

Willie Lee thought this couldn’t be hard.

He had raced fish over 500 yards.

In the morning at half-passed nine

They met to race at the starting sign.


They both began when Beaver made a sound.

Willie Lee was winning ‘til he ran aground.

He flipped and flopped, gasping for air.

"You’re losing, " Trish yelled.  But Willie didn’t care.


He landed in the water with a flip and a flop.

Never in a race was he forced to stop.

But when racing with Trish, Willie Lee found

He needed special talent to race on ground.


This special talent, Willie Lee couldn’t do.    53

Fish need water to breathe air through.

Willie Lee asked Trish, "Can you race me under here?"

Trish flew down, but perched right near.


"I only know how to take a bath," said Trish.

"I cannot breathe under water like a fish.

I need air rushing in my face.

That’s the only way that I can race."


Willie Lee and Trish, they were not the same.

They had special talents for different games.

Fish are fish; birds are birds.  It’s Okay.

Each must race their own special way.


© Lynnette Schuepbach, October 19, 1992