Fiona the Fearful Fish
Fiona the Fearful Fish lives near the old covered bridge at Fallasburg Park on the scenic Flat River in beautiful Lowell, Michigan. Normally, the river flows at a very mellow pace and most days Fiona floats in and around the rocks of the Flat River and has a peaceful and serene life.
In the summer, Fiona loves to fill her belly with the fireflies that flutter around the river. Their fluorescent green light makes them easy to spot and Fiona is quick to fly out of the water in a flash, grabbing the tasty little morsels.
Fiona’s favorite season of year is fall, when the leaves of the trees along the river explode with color and reflect on the water. When the sun shines, the red glowing reflections make the river look like it is on fire! As the days grow colder and winter approaches, Fiona’s swimming slows down and she rests more.
Fiona used to get excited for the gentle spring rains that wash away the gray of winter and help the river and its residents wake up. Fiona felt safe in her little world until last spring when heavy rains made the river rise and flow faster.
Fiona felt afraid when she couldn’t fight the current and the river carried her farther and farther from home. She began to freak out! Fiona’s belly started to feel sick and her fins and tail stopped working together. The more frantic she became, the less she could think!
Fiona was finally able to swim behind a big boulder in the river and catch her breath. The sick feeling in her belly started to go away. She tested her tail and fins and they were working much better now that she calmed down.
Fiona remembered learning about stress in swim school. Stress is what your body experiences whenever you are worried or uncomfortable about something. When the body is stressed, it makes stress chemicals that affect your brain and make it hard for you to think or problem solve. The stress response also can make your stomach or head ache, or make your heart beat faster.
Once Fiona figured out what was happening, she felt more in control of the situation and made a plan to get back to her home by the old covered bridge. She simply decided to hang out behind the boulder until the river slowed down again. She’d consider this new adventure a vacation and the next time the rain came, she’d be more prepared by anticipating what she could do to keep herself from getting stressed out.
Do you ever felt afraid like Fiona did?
When you have fear or experience stress, where do you feel it in your body?
What makes you feel afraid or stressed?
What could you do to feel calmer?