Monday, July 14, 2008

Mystery in Oud Zuid

This morning I asked Fred why we only had three fish in the bowls.

He smiled at me.

"Did one die and you didn't bother telling me?" I asked.

He continued to smile.

"Did you not think I'd find out? What happened?"

"What are you talking about?" He asked.

"There are only three fish."

"Maybe one is under a rock."

"There is no 'under a rock.' The sick one is missing. I thought he'd died and you'd taken him out."

"Do we have a cat?" He asked.

We went to the fish bowls and - amazingly - my observation was correct. Three fish. Then I started looking on the floor and around the bowls. The last place I thought I'd find him was where he lay, sort of stiff and lacquered looking. He must of jumped out of the bowl, bounced off the chair that's in front of it and then into this little nook under the bowl.

Or perhaps he was the David Copperfield of fish and managed to transport himself through the gravel, glass and wood just to find himself in a very bad place.

He'd been sort of sickly for a while. Lying close to the bottom with his fins tucked in to his sides. How he got the energy to make the journey, I can't imagine. Fortunately he wasn't stuck to the table. I scooped him up and flushed him. We weren't attached to him, but it meant a trip to the fish store to get a new one. The fish that was left alone was sort of stunned looking - wouldn't you be?

I bought the new one using only Dutch - plus €1,30. It doesn't seem like a huge deal, but I wanted one that was all gold (no black flecks) and there was another question or two. I love Dutch people in shops who will continue speaking Dutch and not start in with the English.

I have a friend who won't get fish for her kids any more. "It's too much when they die. We can't take all that death in our house," she said. It's different for me when it's quick. Those slow ones take it out of me. I sit by the bowl and say, "It's okay. You can go now. Just let go."

Poor fish.

P.S. No, Fred. We do not have a cat.


Mel said...

A cat would've saved you the water of a flush, though. :-)

Anonymous said...

When I was younger the goldfish in our house would often jump out of the bowl and die. I used to get the blame for taking them out of the bowl!

Suicidal goldfish annoy me to this day. :)