An Animal Parable Bible Story – Jonah

Ask the animals and they will teach you — Job 12:7 NLT 


If they listen and obey God, then they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives. All their years will be pleasant. — Job 36:11 NLT



Based on the story of Jonah and the great fish (some translations say Jonah and the whale), this is the story of the fish that swallowed Jonah. You can read the real story in your Bible at Jonah 1-2. After you read Humongous Hollis, visit the Animal Parable Bible Lesson for a kids devotion on knowing God’s will that is based on this children’s story.

Humongous Hollis

By Harrison Woodard


Once there was a fish named Hollis. He loved swimming in the warm sea with the rest of the fish in his school. He was very happy.

And then one day, something amazing happened. He started to grow.

And he grew.

And he grew some more.

Soon, he was humongous!

Hollis was so big that he frightened the other fish. If Hollis wasn’t careful, he could crush the other fish with his enormous tail. And, the prospect of Hollis eating them for lunch was not an appealing thought at all.

Then one day the other fish went to the teacher to complain.

“Hollis has to go. He is way too big for our school,” said one fish.

“I keep getting kicked,” said another.

“I am afraid of him,” added a third.

They all agreed. Hollis had to go.

His teacher was very sad. He loved Hollis, but he knew the fish were right. He went to Hollis and explained the situation.

“Hollis, you are too big for our school,” said the teacher. “I think you need to find some fish your own size.”

“Where will I go?” asked Hollis. “This is the only school I have ever attended.”

“I don’t know,” said the teacher. “But you can’t stay here. You are scaring the other fish and they do not want you around.”

Hollis was very sad. He watched as the school swam away. He was now alone.

Hollis drifted through the water. He had nowhere to go and nothing to do.

“Why can’t I be normal?” he asked.

“Hollis, what are you doing?” asked God.

Hollis was startled. God had never spoken to him before.

“I am sad,” said Hollis. “I’m so big that none of the other fish want me around. Why did you make me grow so big?”

“I created you for a very special purpose,” said God. “Swim towards the setting sun and I will tell you what to do.”

Hollis obeyed. He swam towards the sun. He swam as fast as he could until he could no longer see the sun.

And then God spoke, “Now, swim towards the North star.”

Hollis swam all night until he could no longer see the star.

And God spoke again, “See the storm clouds in the distance?”

“Yes Lord,” answered Hollis.

“Swim until you are in the middle of the storm,” said God.

Hollis swam until he was in the middle of the raging storm.

And then God asked, “Do you see the ship?”

Hollis looked up and saw the hull of a ship.

“In a moment, a man will be thrown from that ship,” said God. “He is my servant Jonah. I have a very important mission for him. I want you to swallow him and keep him safe.”

Up on the boat, all of the people were frightened by the raging storm. They tried to row to safety, but the storm only got worse.

And then the men started saying, “Someone must have angered their god. We should throw lots to see who is responsible for this storm.”

The men cast lots. It was revealed that Jonah was the guilty man.

“What have you done to put us all in such danger?” asked the captain of the ship.

“I was commanded by the one true God to go to the city of Nineveh and preach to the people,” said Jonah. “I did not obey. That is why we are in this storm.”

“Please, pray to your God, so that we all might survive,” begged the Captain.

“Throw me into the sea,” said Jonah, “and your ship will be saved.”

The men grabbed Jonah and tossed him into the ocean. As soon as he hit the water, the storm ended. Everyone on board gave thanks to the one true God.

Under the boat, Hollis watched as Jonah sank in the sea. He quickly swallowed Jonah with one big gulp.

“Hollis,” said God. “Swim towards the East. When you see land, I will tell you what to do.”

For three days, Hollis swam towards the East. As the sun rose on the third day, Hollis could see land in the distance.

“Hollis,” said God. “When you are close to the shore, I want you to spit Jonah out so that he may complete my mission.”

Hollis did exactly as God commanded and spit Jonah onto the land. Jonah thanked God for sending Hollis and set out for Nineveh to complete God’s mission.

God asked Hollis, “Do you remember asking why you were so big?”

“Yes,” said Hollis.

“I created you to fulfill this very special purpose,” said God. “Your story will be told throughout history to remind everyone that I have a plan for their life.”

As he swam away, he met a school of very large fish.

“Are you Hollis?” asked the teacher.

“Yes,” said Hollis.

“God said you would be coming,” said the teacher. “We want you to join our school.”

Hollis was very excited.

From that day on, He was a humongous and happy fish.




To learn more, click here: Jonah and the Whale

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