Voices on the Wind
by Larry Turner
Fish have no word for water, folks say.
That is both true and untrue.
They have a word for warm water, tesga,
cool water, tesbril, uncomfortably cold water, batesbril,
and uncomfortably hot water, batasga.
They have a word for moving water, whas, still water, blu,
water moving so fast it carries you away, babawhas,
water so still it doesnít carry away wastes, basnef.
There is no word for clean water; to say that
they must say not-polluted water, nosnef-shi.
But nothing is as clear cut as Iíve suggested.
After all, fish have a different mindset from ours.
The word for water carrying a pheromone
of fish of the other sex is fuspiwawa.
(Gay fish use fuspiwawa to mean water carrying
a pheromone of fish of the same sex.) But fuspiwawa
really may mean only the pheromone itself.
Likewise tesga, tesbril, batasga, batesbril
may mean only warm, cool, hot or cold. If so,
fish have no word for water.