Monday, September 10, 2007

Ode to Fred's Favorite Fish

Warning: This starts to sound like cat people talking about kittens, but it's about our fish.

On Saturday afternoon, after we were back from a day in the Center, where we bought lots of stuff, Fred said, "It's dead." I was sure it was Methuselah, the fish in the bowl that appears to be almost 969 years old, like the biblical character. In fact, I was hoping it would be Methuselah as he seems to be swimming around all day muttering, "I don't know why I'm still here," like my mother's Aunt Anona, who was blind and deaf and in her 80's when the good Lord called her home.

I was also hoping that it would be Methuselah because the only other candidate was Fred's favorite fish, a sort of runty, dull fish who was bullied by "the fat one." Many was the night Fred stood over the fish bowl and tapped and saying, "Get away!" The fat one was living with the favorite one for a while, which, in hind sight, was a terrible rooming decision on our part. The fat one is a horrible greedy hog and when we would drop food in, he ate as much as he could as fast as he could leaving the favorite one hungry unless we took special care to make sure the favorite one got a nibble. The fat one even seemed to be bullying the favorite one by pushing up against him and intentionally bumping him.

When we went to Croatia, we left no instructions for the woman who was feeding the fish to pay attention and make sure that the favorite one got something. Goldfish can go without eating for a good long time, up to two weeks, I've read. I don't think it was just the not eating. I think he was also disheartened by the continual bullying by the fat one. When we got back, Fred said, "If he dies, I'm flushing the fat one." He didn't die after the vacation and I think the statute of limitations on that threat expired to where he won't see the inside of a toilet bowl any time soon. (I wish I knew someone here who would take the fat one. Fred just hates him. Any takers? I'd even buy a bowl and deliver him.)

We recently had two other fish die. They were the last of the original four: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Lala and Po. Tinky Winky went first, then Po. Dipsy and Lala turned into "the sharks" as they would race around all day chasing and then being chased. In the end, they weren't so fierce - lying upside down does that. We had three completely gold fish (the others were silver and gold) who always reminded me of The Flower Duet from Lakmé when someone approached the bowl and they thought they might get fed. So beautiful with their fins flowing back and forth all vying for the first food. So annoying with all the bubbling noise they would make every time we walked by.

Now we have this strange montage of fish. Fred said that after Methuselah dies, he won't have any more emotional investment in the fish and that I'll have to start taking care of them. (He's already made me start cleaning the bowls again, after a blessed year off when he took over because he said I spent too much time on it.) We have the fat one, Methuselah, the big gold one and two newbies who were so hyper-manic when we put them in the bowl that we had to separate them. I'll have to go get a new one today so that we have an even number and they are there to enhance our career gua.

I just hate when our fish die. The orignial four were recently buried under a tree on a nearby canal. (The first two were kept for a year or so in a cool, dry place.) Fred buried the favorite one in the pot where he recently planted his avocado pit. For its last two days, the favorite one had its own bowl. I'd seen it sitting on the bottom sort of tilted to the side, which is never a good sign. Everytime Fred said something about it not doing well, I poo-pooed it as I knew it would make him sad to see it go. Oh well, now he's fertilizer for an avocado plant.

Now everyone join hands and sing The Circle of Life from The Lion King.

1 comment:

Elemmaciltur said...

"It's the circle of liiiiiiiiiiifeeeee!"

Sorry to see the Favourite One gone.