Goldfish in an aquarium

I would like to inform you all before I start writing that I am not a snob nor do I mean, in any way, to put people down in regards to their gender, race, or any other differences.  I appreciate each and every culture and respect each and every person.  But honestly, goldfish don’t eat sliced bread.

I grew up with pets.  Not the usual cats and dogs but just some chicks, ducklings, little rabbits, and so forth.  It was a very sad day when little Babs (my younger sister’s bunny) fell ill and my brother rushed to take it to the vet just to come back empty handed and had to make up a story about Babs playing around in some far-off place.  It took us a few years before we broke the news to my sister who, weirdly, was shocked.  Apparently, she asked how he disposed of the corpse and my brother replied that he threw it in the bin.  Tsk tSkype, my sister was not happy and we held a small funeral to say goodbye to little Babs.  To this day, when we talk about Babs, my sister disapproves us not telling her the truth.

My cousin, who adores little ducklings, was capable of putting them to sleep just by petting them across their throat (can we call it the throat?) When she was younger, she mistakenly sat down on one chick and was devastated.  Now don’t ask me how she didn’t feel the poor chick squirm under her, I really don’t know.  We later found out that they used to throw chicks across the room and play catch with them. Yikes!

We used to buy chicks by the carton.  They were colored pink, purple, blue, and yellow to make them even cuter.  I always wondered whether they injected the ink in them while they were still in the egg or just dyed them later on.  So basically from a total of 40 chicks, maybe five would actually live to be chickens and roosters.  Of course, once they grow a bit we lost interest in them and they got sent away.  What a sad childhood!

I grew up and fok lowed other interests but I always liked having a pet.  A few years ago, I got myself a nice fighting fish.  It was a dark shade of blue and looked like it was flying rather than swimming in the bowl.  I had it in my office and made sure to clean the bowl everyday and feed it fish food.  Yes, fish food not sliced bread.  The fish lived for a long time until I had to go away on vacation.  I gave specific instructions on how to take care of my fish so I don’t know what went wrong.  I came back to an empty bowl and never got myself another fish.

A couple of months ago, I decided to get my son and niece some gold fish.  This was, of course, after I failed in growing lentils in a plate, but that’s another story.  So I bought three goldfish and some colored rocks to decorate the bowl.  I thought that maybe an aquarium wasn’t really needed because, come on, they’re just gold fish and aren’t really high maintenance.  We bounced away home carrying the gold fish in a small bowl and the fish food tucked away in my bag.  We were going to take care of the fish all by ourselves.

Or so we thought.

Basically, anyone and everyone passing by the bowl would have the strange and bizarre idea that the fish were hungry.  Maybe because they would open and close their mouths.  So, they would take some (by some, I mean a lot) of the fish food and contribute to the famine they are witnessing.  I would come back from work and wonder why fish food was still floating around in the bowl because, as I remember, the 4-5 flakes I gave this morning were gone by the time I went out.  Apparently, this went on throughout the day since someone decided that fish need to have three square meals a day and sometimes a few snacks.  I was frustrated that the bowl was always filled with fish food.

As you can imagine, the food which is supposed to last for a few months was finished within one.  I was genuinely worried that my fish would die so I went around asking my nieces and nephew if they were giving the fish food.  They all denied which was a shock because which adult wouldn’t know that fish don’t need three meals a day?

My mother and I decided to hide the newly bought fish food just to come back the next morning and see that the fish were fed (and thus overfed).  I was fed up!  So we changed the fish food’s hiding place again.  The issue continued.  We changed it four times just to come to the conclusion that it’s no other than our maid who is feeling sorry for the fish.

Luckily, our last hiding spot wasn’t exposed.  Our one fish (yes, two died) will actually have a chance to live.  I know that you will probably ask why we haven’t confronted our maid but you see, she’s pretty old and might take it sensitively so we thought it is better if we just hide the fish food.

Come this morning, I happily go over to say good morning to the fish and, to my surprise, I see chunks of sliced bread in the bowl.


(note to self: tell the maid not to feed the fish).