Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It was a disaster

In English Studies, we had to do a recount based on a phrase we could choose out of a list. There weren't that many options... I picked "It was a disaster". While I couldn't be bothered using my imagination, I couldn't come up with much from my life either. Thus, the story of my fish... Get excited >.< (Really, I wouldn't bother reading it, it's not that great, or even interesting... lol) It was a disaster. (Teacher's corrections in red, my own commentary in square brackets)

When I was five, my younger sister and I entered a colouring competition at the local pet store. I believe the picture we were required to colour in was of a fish, although I can't quite recall; but I do know that all who entered received a goldfish, which is how, for a brief space of time, our family ended up with two.

We've never had much success with pets, although these hapless specimens were the first. We've had a rabbit, amongst other animals, and the wretched thing always seemed to escape from its hatch, running away, sometimes for days at a time. My sister, though she barely cared for him while he was there, was inconsolable at his loss, particularly one time when we thought he was gone forever, only to be brought back nearly a week later by a neighbour. However, this is not about the rabbit. This is not about the bird, or the hermit crabs, or the sea monkeys. This is about the goldfish.

I remember the initial curiosity of those small, orange fish, swimming around in two clear plastic bags filled with water. It seemed careless to me, to carry them in such a wary; for if my mother lost her hold on the wobbly sacks [LOL at using the word "sack", which aside from anything else, is just a word I find amusing], if they fell onto the hard asphalt of the car park, surely the fish would spill out of the untied bags in a rush of water, gasping and flapping their fins helplessly in the moments before they died. Dead before they were even truly ours, before they reached home.

Such was the worry of my young mind [I was not worried, I was merely speculating], but these fears were not to come to pass; the fish being were safely delivered to their new bowl at home.

For a time they were happy, or so I assumed, well fed and with clean water as they were. They did not show any sign of emotion, and I quickly grew bored with these new additions to our household, who seemed to merely swim, incessantly, circling their tiny living quarters. What dull creatures they were, I thought, opening and closing their mouths which, together with their rounded eyes, gave them a vacant appearance that irritated me.

Truth be told, the only real fascination the fish (who we never named, as far as I'm aware) held for me was in watching them from different angles; from above or through the curved glass of the bowl. The changing sizes and disproportionate shapes greatly intrigued me; something about water that I must confess captivates me even today.

I was not, unfortunately, to spend much time examining this strange phenomenon in the context of the fish bowl. My mother decided that to keep the fish safe from possible knocks to the ground, she would keep thir bowl atop a large cupboard, far above the reach of our little hands.

Ultimately, it was this that spelled the end for one of the fish.

One fateful day, the fish bowl was filled up higher than usual with water. Back in its place on top of the cupboard, one of the fish jumped, as they apparently are wont to do, and with the water as high as it was, it managed to jump so high that it landed out of the bowl, on the cupboard.

Unseen, its life came to an end, only to be found when my mother next came to change the water or give the fish food.

I can't say I was saddened; the goldfish had never really been of importance to me and I might have cared more about the breaking of a leg on one of my dolls.

The lone goldfish must have lived on for quite a while longer, but I cannot know for certain, as our family moved overseas shortly after the death of the first, rending it necessary that we found another home for the remaining fish. Again, I was not sorry to see it go. In the cynical thoughts of my younger self, I seem to recall a feeling of glee at what the unknowing recipients had gotten themselves into, having to look after an animal that would not provide any entertainment.

I've never really been that keen on fish.

1 comment:

  1. I never could keep a gold fish around for more than a week.. *sigh*