Frances the Fish Story
FRANCES, the six inch smolting salmon, meets a young native Fisherman named DARBY. The boy and fish become fast friends until Frances accidentally gets caught in Darby’s family net. Darby frees her, and they sadly part ways. Deeply disappointed, Frances sinks into a dark depression at the bottom of the lake. With the guide of glowing zooplankton and her lateral line (or deep small voice within) Frances follows an almost imperceptible river current all the way to the ocean where she meets her best friend CHUMMY and HALLE the beautiful and impressive Halibut who teaches her that the ocean current (sea spirit) yearns to carry her. Frances embraces the shoal (fish community) as her family and meets her swimming soul mate OSKAR; another salmon from her home river. One day while exploring the ocean depths, Frances encounters OLLIE, an omniscient octopus who suggests that she might seek the journey back to her home river in order to answer a higher calling. Frances bravely leads the shoal along with Oskar combating climate change and avoiding shark jaws, bear claws and the nets of needy fisherman. Close to home she comes upon a group of fishermen, including her old friend Darby, no longer a boy but now a young man fishing with his family. Recognizing Frances, Darby (now a Wildlife Fish & Game Warden) calls out on his bullhorn; “Emergency closure, everybody out of the water!” ceasing danger to the shoal and welcoming the battalion of weary fellow fish travelers to pass unharmed. The shoal makes their way past the final remnants of a smoldering wildfire to the dangerously low waters of their home river where they spawn and pass away shortly thereafter. As the souls of Frances and her partner Oskar soar through the air, their expired flesh continues to feed the ecosystem, marked by the wail of the lovely loon and the lasting image of their salmon offspring bursting forth into life.