. . . Ellen sits on the shore of Lake Tahoe.
There’s a splash. A fish lands on the beach next to her. It wriggles in the sand.
“Fish,” Ellen says. She raises an eyebrow.
“I am a magic fish,” the fish says. “If you throw me back in, I’ll grant you your heart’s desire.”
“I don’t have one,” Ellen says.
“Oh.” The fish thinks. “I could give you a free ice cream.” . . .
I've always been fond of this one. I figured out eventually that it's a metaphor for the djinn.
Hitherby Dragons - A Succession Of Magical Fish