Thursday, October 06, 2011


I'm having a writer's block moment... So I'll fill with filler.

Hey, did you know that I have an aquarium full of fish? It all started when Sprout said that he wanted a pet. Now, his Auntie is allergic to all animals with fur, so that takes everything but fish and reptiles off the list. He, of course, wanted a snake.

Let me say that it will be a mighty cold day before a live snake lives in my house. I'm a squirrel. You can see how we might not get along too well.

So I said, "Hey, it's your first pet. I need to know that you'll take care of it. Let's start with some fish." So he and his daddy went off to the pet store, and came home with a giant honking fish tank. Rocks, statues, filter, heater, light, you name it. And one fish.

We enjoyed the fish, but the tank was so big. So then we got two cute and tiny water frogs. And then we got a school of tetras. And then we got a swordtail, who then needed a mate for total fish fulfillment. Then came the snail to keep the tank tidy, and some live plants to liven things up. Zebrafish are so very pretty and lithe like pickerel, and mollies have a certain kind of charm. The harlequins are regal, and the pink skirted whatsits look a lot like Dora from 'Nemo'. It's a microcosm, and I love it. And then there were the babies!! The swordtails had babies, which were so very cute and impossibly small.

My memories of fish when I was a kid are all tinged with tragedy. An empty tank and one spotted fish floating upside down. Terrible scenes, created by my inept fishkeeping hand. And this tank has also had its share of sadness and bad decisionmaking. We won't talk about what happened to the babies, for example. But for the most part, the whole experience is stunning.

At our house, we call it 'Frog TV'. You can sit down to take a look, and 20 minutes will pass happily.

It will not surprise you that my young child does not often remember to take care of his fish. But it doesn't matter, because I think I've adopted them all. And now I'm never to be trusted alone in the fish store.


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