Friday, November 05, 2010

Dead Fish Aren't Much Fun

I had the two year old overnight one day this week, because his parents were partied out and needed a break. I told him that if he was good, we'd go to the pet store and get fishies.

Well, I don't remember if he was good or not, but I wanted fish, so we went anyway. There are several pet stores in town, for some reason, and we went to the one that has . . . you guessed it, turtles. They had huge ones, fully grown Red Eared Sliders like mine, and the boy kept reaching in and pulling them out. I'd tell him to put them back, go to the fish section, and he'd be back at the turtle tank, risking fingertips to heft them into the open air.

Finally, I had to scoop him up and carry him into the fish display (and this was after four or five times of taking the turtles out). I bought four fish, all cichlids, and I let the child pick them out. I let him carry the bag back to my place, put the bag in the aquarium, and later open the bag to mix in the fish.The problem with my fish is that they can be very aggressive and/or territorial, and I've lost thrice as many fish to attacks and cannibalism than to disease, old age, and escape.

So it didn't surprise me when, a few minutes later, I heard my nephew make a sad sound. I was typing away the computer, but called, "What's wrong?"

"This fish dead," he said, coming into the room.

"Oh crap," I said, "Did one die already?"

"This dead," he said again.

"In the fishtank? Did the other fish kill it?"

"No, this fish," he said, and I looked over. He had it in his hand. His whole shirt was soaked. Apparently, he'd taken it out of the tank himself and held it until it stopped flopping around.

And he was right, it was dead.

No comments: