But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. (Jonah 1:17--2:1) And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (NIV) (Jonah 2:10).

Yes--A FISH STORY indeed! This beautiful art mural is decor for an unlikely spot. This koi fish is painted on a very steep staircase that serves as a connection trail between Ingersoll and Grand in Des Moines. This big fish, located at 23rd and Ingersoll, was painted by local artists. I had never heard  of a koi fish, so I decided to research it when I got home. I discovered this guy is actually a descendant of the amur carp. I do remember carp! They were the predominate fish in the Little Sioux River that borders my home town, Anthon, Iowa. Most people considered them ho-hum fish and not even much good for food. But the koi species, originating in Japan, is a thing of beauty and respect. For many people in Japan, the Koi is a symbol of strength, courage, love, perseverance and success. I believe the Koi fish art fits this scenario. I think this friendly Koi invites us to climb or descend this challenging staircase. In so doing, the reward is on both sides. As we climb south, we can enjoy beautiful and historic Grand Ave. Heading north we can connect to the newly redesigned (in progress) Ingersoll Ave.

Footnote: The Koi fish is also known for longevity and may live 100 to 200 years. I want that same application to hold true here. So I hope this is just the beginning--not the end--of A FISH STORY.


Views of a Farm Boy--Dedicated to promote Iowa agriculture and Iowa values

Robert Vaughn--Urbandale, Iowa  EMAIL: