Of Daughters and Fishes

Zero to Hero Day Twelve. Write a post that builds on a comment you left on another blog.

Claudette from if you’re looking for answers asked “Question 2 – The Eternal Fish” which prompted a comment from me followed by this post.

The fish in question
The fish in question

Recently I was faced with a moral dilemma. It was presented to me by the inadvertent abandonment of one little Siamese Fighting Fish into my keeping.

Is it immoral to “accidentally” allow said fish to expire somewhat sooner than the date which Fate has in mind for that particular activity for that particular fish?

I live with several cats…..if his fishbowl were left at cat level it could soon become empty and I would never even have to know whodunnit!

Except that a little over 20 years ago my 4-year-old son had a beautiful goldfish named Cleo whom the whole family loved and one night we came home from an outing to find Cleo gasping her last breath in the middle of the hallway floor. Although it truly was an accident – a bedroom door carelessly left ajar can often have unexpected consequences – I felt guilty for days.

I had failed that fish. Failed to protect her pretty little tortoise-colored sides from the ravages of kitty claws, failed to provide enough security to allow her to live long and prosper.

So how could I, even for a moment, consider abandoning this new little piscean guest to the same fate?

Well, I couldn’t, of course. Not really. I mean, I bought that fish to mark the celebration of my youngest daughter’s college graduation. Went thrifting with her in her little college downtown to find the perfect giant vase to turn into a fish bowl. Bought gravel, shells, fake plants, water conditioner, premium fishie food and a net for use when cleaning the bowl once a week.

But, of course, Your Honor, that was it. The motivation, I mean. I suddenly found myself responsible for that reprehensible task. The weekly cleaning of that fishbowl! The disgusting gunk that accumulates at the bottom of a fish bowl…..well, it’s fish poo, really, isn’t it? All mixed up with gooey uneaten fish food in the gravel at the bottom. And probably fish pee too because have you ever smelled that strong ammonia odor when pouring out the old water which probably should have been changed three weeks ago…….

Anyway — I couldn’t do it. Kill the fish that is. Instead I took some pictures of him and sent them off to Youngest Daughter who moved to Los Angeles seven months ago. Packed all her worldly possessions into her other graduation present and drove cross-country to pursue Her Dream. About three hours after she left on that four-day-drive my phone rang. It was Youngest, breathless, bordering on tears.

“I forgot Poseidon!” she gulped. I frowned and looked around the kitchen. “Should I come back for him? Can you mail him to me? What should I do?” she wailed.

“Visit him at Christmas,” I answered firmly and that was how I came to be fish-sitting this particular critter. Who is actually very social…for a fish. And who greets me cheerily every day when I climb up to the top of the bookcase where he resides in order to sprinkle food into his bowl. Sometimes when I talk he swims over to take a look at me. And he’s very smart…..for a fish. So I guess the little guy is safe for a while.

Clearly, I’m hooked.

Posie 3Posie 2

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One thought on “Of Daughters and Fishes

  1. Great post, loved it. I moved my daughter out toda (and that is a whole other nightmare I am refusing to talk about anymore today), but I did make sure she took her siamese fighting fish. I wasn’t going to get stuck with the disgusting job you described so well in your post. 🙂
    So, win for me on that. Thanks for the link, much appreciated. 🙂

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