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Short stories

Summer time at the sea

The days were bright and hot; and the sky was ...

The gap

She was alone in the study of the Hmong  Center ...

The hunting trip

This story took place while I was staying with my Hmong relatives in Chiangmai, Thailand, in 1977.

Working for the CIA

It was 1968.  I was on vacation from my high school studies in Australia. I had left Laos 3 years earlier to study ...

White lies and silence

I was sitting in the tiny kitchen of our small apartment, thinking ..


The bear that became friends with the fish


The bear that became friends with the fish
Submitted by Joey Yong-En Lee,
my very smart 8-year old Chinese-Hmong niece

Once upon a time there was a bear called Phoebe.

One day Phoebe went fishing.

When she caught a fish, the fish said:

“Please spare me, my friends are gone and I have no one to play with”.

Phoebe said “I’m sorry little fish but it’s my nature”.

The fish said “will you be my friend”?

Phoebe said “ok as long as you stay away from the other bears”.

The fish said “oh thank you I promise I will, Anyway I have a secret hide out”.

Phoebe said “really ?”

“Yeah” said the little fish.

“Can you show me where it is, little fish?”, asked Phoebe

“of course I will”, said the little fish.

So Phoebe followed the little fish down the stream.

The little fish said “its here!”

“Where?” Asked Phoebe.

“There” said the little fish. “Can you see it?”

“Oh now I can” said Phoebe.

“Can you fit through it?”, asked the little fish

“yes I can since I’m a little cub, but I don’t know if I will fit through it when I’m bigger”,

said Phoebe.

“that’s alright”, said the little fish “ you can go through the back door”.

“Ok”, said Phoebe.

“and by the way, my name is Franny” said the little fish.

So each day when Phoebe finished Bear school she’d go to the secret hide out and meet Franny every day. And so to this day you might see a place with bear prints and fish scales altogether under a piece of bark with a lot of wood and moss all over it. 

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