A lion, a horse and a fish, all of whom were friends, went out one day in a rowboat. The lion (who was the one who was rowing) all of a sudden slipped and let go of one of the oars, which floated away. Chagrined the horse said to the lion, “You’re the clumsy oaf who let go of the oar! You go into the water and go swim to get it!”
The lion said, “Are you kidding me? You know that I am a proud feline, the ‘top cat,’ and I hate to go into the water. I will not do it. You are a good swimmer and tall, so you go and get the oar. I’ve done all of the work of rowing already!”
But the horse said, “Don’t be an ass! If I jump in the water I am too big and heavy to climb back into the boat. So I can’t go into the water.” The lion and the horse both turned to look at their fish friend.
“Fish,” the horse said, “It’s going to have to be you. Please jump into the water, swim to get the oar and push it back to us. You can easily jump back into the boat.”
“Oh no,” said the fish after a thoughtful pause, “I don’t think so. You see, once I am in the water, might you not confuse me with the other fish to eat?”