On Sunday morning (25 June 2006) in the course of an infiltration and attack by terrorists in the area of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, on the Israeli side of the border with Gaza, an IDF officer and a soldier were killed, a soldier was abducted, and four others were wounded. Gilad Shalit, then 19, was the Israeli soldier abducted. Since that time, he has been held captive by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
When Gilad, aged 11, was a pupil in the 5th grade at the Maale Hagalil Elementary School, he wrote a story entitled "When the Shark and the Fish First Met". In this allegory, Gilad writes about a young fish who meets a young shark. Although natural enemies, they decide to become friends and live in peace.
- Children reading Gilad Shalit's story
Here is Gilad's story:
"When the Shark and the Fish First Met"
A small and gentle fish was swimming in the middle of a peaceful ocean. All of a sudden, the fish saw a shark that wanted to devour him.
He then began to swim very quickly, but so did the shark.
Suddenly the fish stopped and called to the shark:
"Why do you want to devour me? We can play together!"
The shark thought and thought and said:
"Okay- fine: Let’s play hide and seek."
The shark and fish played all day long, until the sun went down.
In the evening, the shark returned to his home.
His mother asked:
“How was your day, my dear shark? How many animals did you devour today?”
The shark answered: “Today I didn’t devour any animals, but I played with an animal called FISH”.
“That fish is an animal we eat. Don’t play with it!” said the shark’s mother.
At the home of the fish, the same thing happened. “How are you, little fish? How was it today in the sea?” asked the fish’s mother.
The fish answered: "Today I played with an animal called SHARK."
"That shark is the animal that devoured your father and your brother. Don’t play with that animal," answered the mother.
The next day in the middle of the ocean, neither the shark nor the fish were there.
They didn’t meet for many days, weeks and even months.
Then, one day they met. Each one immediately ran back to his mother and once again they didn’t meet for days, weeks and months.
After a whole year passed, the shark went out for a nice swim and so did the fish. For a third time, they met and then the shark said: "You are my enemy, but maybe we can make peace?"
The little fish said: "Okay."
They played secretly for days, weeks and months, until one day the shark and fish went to the fish’s mother and spoke together with her. Then they did the same thing with the shark’s mother; and from that same day the sharks and the fish live in peace.
Gilad's story was illustrated by Israeli artists and children, and displayed at The Edge Art Center in Nahariya in coordination with the Israeli Illustrators' Association. The exhibit will be on display at the Ashdod Museum of Art - Monart Centre from February 10 until April 26, 2008.
Illustration by Shawn Rotman, 6th grade, Ussishkin Elementary School, Nahariya
The Shalit family invites children of the world to download Gilad's story, add your own illustrations, and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org