When Fish Fly


feathered fish 3

From The Golden Key by George MacDonald:

“It was a curious creature, made like a fish, but covered instead of scales, with feathers of all colours, sparkling like those of a hummingbird. It had fins, not wings, and swam through the air as a fish does through the water. Its head was like the head of a small owl.”

feathered fish 2

“Then the air fish came behind her, and swam on in the front, glittering and sparkling all lovely colors; and she followed.”

This flying fish is another of the creatures that can be found on my Fairy Tale Gate: A Wind in the Door. The temporary installation is part of the upcoming Portals & Passageways Exhibit at Highfield Hall this summer. A Wind in the Door is made up of things that pass through the woods un-noticed and under-appreciated (the wind, the light, and various winged things). It is largely inspired by some of my favorite children’s stories. Many of the creatures represented on the gate act as a guide to another realm, a gatekeeper, or they transform the main characters in some way. The flying fish in the Golden Key not only leads a small girl named Tangle to a place called Fairy Land, but it also transforms her and itself in some creative ways! You’ll have to read the story to find out how. My favorite version of this story was illustrated by the beloved late Maurice Sendak.

golden key



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