Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Goldie Rocks! : A Fishy Tale

This is a story of one amazing fish who lost its tail. In tribute, I hereby write him his very own tail --- I mean, TALE.

We've had Goldierocks for over a year now. It was Solomon’s first-ever pet. A gift from his favorite Uncle Mikee who bought the tiny thing from Yorkdale Mall.

Sol likes to think it’s a boy fish.

Oh, I just loved that innocent look of wonder and excitement on his little three year old face when the fish first arrived.

Sol’s first pet. Goldierocks or Goldie for short. There he was in his little round fish bowl with his little fish toy and the little colored pebbles at the bottom. It was nice. We were all very excited about the new arrival. Until it dawned on me while everybody looked on excitedly at the tiny creature --- I was going to do the not so exciting fish chores that came with having a pet. I know, you're thinking it’s only a teeny tiny thing right? But hey, they eat and poop, don’t they? Oh well, what's one more chore. I only have ninety-seven more to do anyway and it's only eleven thirty in the evening.


Fast forward to six months later. I demanded that we all took turns cleaning the bowl. We were all up to it. This meant cleaning Goldie's bowl only when the glass turned green and we could hardly see the poor fish. Goldie would actually be on the surface with his tiny mouth opening and closing the entire time.

"Oh look at our cute little Goldie begging for food." I said as I watched amused at the tiny mouth popping open, shut, open, shut.

My sister Joey who is the actual pet-lover-picking-up-stray-cat-left-and-right in the family explained to me that the fish was not asking for food but begging for AIR! The bowl was so dirty that there was no oxygen in the water anymore and the poor fish was fighting for his life.

Oops. I guess it was time to change the water again.

It was Jack's turn. My good husband actually did a great job, too. The glass was so clear you could see the tiny bubbles stuck to the walls. Surely Goldie was most grateful. NOT. Not only was Goldie not grateful, he was suffocating, too! Jack used dishwashing detergent to clean the bowl! A big mistake, we later discovered.

The poor fish got sick from the toxic water and was sadly, dying. Goldie floated on the surface barely breathing. I, being the one to see him daily, wanted to do the most humane thing I could think of ~ euthanasia. It was just too much to see the poor thing fighting, struggling for the little life that was left in him. Clearly, he was suffering.

They were all against it.

I was already saying goodbye to the fish one morning and told my son to say farewell, too.

"Goldie's going to fish heaven soon.", I told my boy. I was going to end Goldie’s misery once and for all.

"Why, Mommy?" said my three year old.

"Because he's sick and he's going to a better fish heaven kind of place where he won't be sick anymore." I said. The better place being down the toilet.

"Ohh..." Sol said slowly. "I'm sad."

I tried to reassure him, "Mommy's sad, too. But Goldie has to go soon because he's not well anymore. And I have a great idea. Let's go to the pet store and get another Goldie this weekend! How's that?", I said as excitedly as I could.

"Okay." Sol said, eyes wide and bright with anticipation. And just like that he was off for another installment of his morning cartoons.

Now that wasn't so hard. Okay. So what to do with the fish half dead staring at me with those glassy eyes? Maybe I can wait one more day. Just in case of a miracle. Unlikely, I thought. I doubted any miracles coming Goldie's way since he was already swimming sideways and not moving most of the time. That night, good old Uncle Mike cleans out the bowl thoroughly. What a persevering, kind and fish-loving Uncle this is, I thought to myself. It was, of course, a useless endeavor I thought smuglly. Whatever makes one happy, I thought.

Early the next morning, I was expecting a lifeless fish floating on top of the bowl. Instead I saw something else. Something nothing short of a miracle. There was our Goldie, swimming happily, properly, once again. Now how did that happen? Was it magic? Or simply a case of clean water resuscitating the fish?

Ah, so that's how you do it.

Goldie's happy days were back. He did loose a lot of his tail in the process. My guess is that he contracted some disease in his weakened state that ate away most of it. Which was fine since fish grow their tails back anyway. Or don't they?

Then my daughter , Oona, comes into the picture. A curious little lady, this one. One day, she decides to take a closer look at the fish. so picture this: Goldie's bowl on a ledge. Sweet, little girl grows into precocious, curious girl. And one afternoon when all was right and relaxed in the home, a sudden crash broke the spell. We came running to a crying Oona, although unscathe was badly shaken, shattered glass all over the floor and water, water everywhere. And in the middle of all this, a flapping Goldierocks fighting for his life.

For the second time.

Well, to cut our fishy tale (and tail!) short, Goldie did not make it this time. He fought for his dear little life for a couple weeks more and then said bye-bye. But not without a fight. I actually shed a few tears when I saw him motionless at the bottom of the bowl so sure that he was dead. Until I noticed a miniscule gill movement. Since I’ve learned that changing the water revives them, I immediately did just that. But it did not work this time. Goldie died the next day.

He’s one amazing creature, our dear Goldierocks. Solomon, Oona and I all said goodbye to him and sent him over to fish heaven via the downstairs powder room toilet.

Goodbye, Goldierocks. May you find your very own special fishbowl in fishheaven with no curious toddlers crashing your peaceful abode and no well meaning bowl cleaners squirting poisonous liquids in. May you have all of your beautiful tail back to its swish-swaying glory. Thanks for keeping me company by the sink during those long, lonely nights of doing the dishes. Thanks for patiently listening to my lamentations during the worst nights of tough scrubbing stains off heavy cooking pots in the beginning of our stay here.

Thank you for teaching me about perseverance and giving it the best you’ve got. In your own gentle, unobtrusive manner, you have shown me the way of peace and quiet persistence.

Fish gods and fish peace be with you, our dear Goldierocks.

With love,
Kathreen - accused of attempted euthanasia, Solomon - Goldierock's original owner, Jack - fish murderer one, Oona - fish murderer two and Uncle Mikee, official fish hero of the Azimi family.

Goldie & Fishpals
In Fishpond Heaven
...I imagine :-)

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