Friday, July 6, 2007

The Saga of the Fish

A few months ago our neighbors gave us their old fish tank. We set it up and went out to buy fish the same day (our first mistake). Jonah and Andy each picked out his own $3.00 goldfish. They used to be 99 cents when I was a kid. These pet stores have guarantees on fish now. I didn't mind paying the extra $2.01 for the guarantee because... they died and I knew they would. You never put fish in a tank you just set up that day. We were just so excited for the kids to have their very own pets.

In the car I let them each hold a bag. Jonah had the fish and Andy had the snails. We figured snails would help keep the glass clean. We were trying to come up with names for the fish but only had one of the snails named by the time we got home. "Chip" is what we came up with. I'll let you guess what happened to lead us to that one. Doesn't matter because... Chip died and so did his buddy. Apparently if you're going to buy snails to keep the glass clean you better not clean the glass yourself or they'll starve to death. Lesson learned.

That fateful day that the fish died happened to be a day we had something planned for the morning. Good thing. I figured we could get the kids all dressed and ready to usher out the door without a thought for the fish. No such luck. The first thing they both did was run to the tank and ask where the fish were. They pressed me and so I cracked. "They died. I'm sorry. We can get new ones today." There was no crying, just one question. "Where are they?" Again they pressed and again I cracked. "They're in my purse in a baggy." (Remember the guarantee at the pet store? Well, you have to produce the dead bodies for an exchange.) They insisted on seeing them, but you guessed that. I pulled their lifeless little bodies out for the viewing. Still, no crying. Instead, both of my sensitive little cherubs laughed. They had a great time squishing the fish in the bag. I only allowed that long enough to get my things together to leave the house then we went to exchange the fish.
Now we have all new fish. Here's one:
and the other:

and the other:

Actually, there are ten of these but they all look exactly alike. I don't care if that does sound prejudice. It's a fact. Oh, and there's a catfish and two new snails. We found out that they sell algae pellets for the snails, which kind of defeats their whole purpose - to keep the glass clean. Now I am feeding the cleaning ladies and they're not even cleaning. Jonah and Andy like to drop in the algae tablets and watch all the fish go after them. That's right, everybody wants in on the algae tablet action. By the time the snails get to them, they are usually pretty sparse if they are at all. Good luck, my little employees.

Here they are just after the pellet hit the rocks. See all the fish? See the snails? My point exactly. We still don't have names for the goldfish, but they've probably been around long enough that it's safe to name them. I'll keep you posted on that. Let us know if you have any ideas.

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