First Spanish Reader
3. FRESH FISH IS SOLD HERE
Don Pedro wishes to attract the attention of the entire neighborhood upon opening his new store and for this reason spends a great deal of money on a sign. In bright colors, the sign bears the following words: FRESH FISH IS SOLD HERE. The very day of the store’s opening a customer tells Don Pedro: “Why do you have the word HERE on the sign? Everyone knows that it is here and not on the other block where fish is sold. The word HERE is unnecessary.” The observation seems reasonable to Don Pedro. So he calls the painter and has the word HERE removed from the sign. A few days later, a lady convinces Don Pedro that the words IS SOLD are not needed , since nobody is going to assume that the fish is given away free in the store. “Without the words IS SOLD the sign will come out much more beautifully,” says the lady. “The only words that are necessary are FRESH FISH.” Thoroughly convinced, Don Pedro calls his painter and has the words IS SOLD removed. But that same week an employee from the telephone company comes around who, after praising the beauty of the sign, adds: “It seems to me that the word FRESH is one too many. No one is going to doubt that your fish is not fresh. How can you sell it rotten? Consequently you must remove the word FRESH. FISH is enough.” Convinced again, Don Pedro calls his painter and has the word FRESH removed. Good Heavens, how many expenses the famous sign brings about! But now it is very nice with only the word FISH. So that, in spite of everything, Don Pedro feels satisfied. But his joy does not last long. In a few days a friend of his, who lives in the country, passes through there, and shouts to him from the sidewalk across the street: “What a fool you are, Pedro! From far away any one can tell, from the smell, that it is here where fish is sold. Why do you need that sign? The word FISH is not needed. Everyone knows that it is fish and not perfume which you sell here.” And poor Don Pedro, desperate, has the last word removed.