goldfish blues

11 May

You must never boast about your fish-keeping prowess on the internet.  This is called “tempting fate” and the powers of the Universe will immediately make you regret that you ever proudly counted the 15 months since that goldfish arrived in your home.  His long life apparently had nothing to do with you because now he is dead. 

“Oh no”!  you think.  What if he died of a broken heart?  What of he (she?) thought you had abandoned him.  What if he missed your family and all the noise and wildness that accompanies you all, and he died lonely and alone?

After all, someone who shall not be named herein did come see about him.  Someone who has read the encyclopedia of ichthyology.  He was fed at least once.  He has survived dirtier waters than you left him in.  He came from the CARNIVAL, for heaven’s sake.  Your semi-neglectful home was the most stable place he has ever lived, funny as that appears in print.

Is it possible that he was murdered?  In retaliation for the death of another unfortunate fish, once rescued from the children’s fair only to float to the top of a pretty goldfish bowl in a neat house on a tree-lined street?  You swear you didn’t kill that fish on purpose.  He was fed the same flakes as everybody else.  It wasn’t your fault if he was the low man on the totem pole of the tank, last in the pecking order and there wasn’t enough fish food to nourish his sad little body after all the bigger fish had eaten their fill.  Or was it?  Or it wasn’t, but did the fish-owners think it might have been?  And then you left your poor, defenseless yearling fish all alone with the angry vigilantes?  They didn’t seem like the fish-killing type.  But looks can be deceiving. 

Best to assume it was an accidental death.  Natural causes.  Don’t blame yourself.  Don’t blame your friends.  It could have happened any time and at least he didn’t suffer.  As far as you know.  He never said anything.

You haven’t told the children yet.  In fact, you haven’t even checked to see whether Miss Pat noticed him belly-up in the murky waters of his tank.  Hopefully she took the bull by the horns and her title of household manager seriously and buried goldie at sea while you were working this afternoon. 

Adieu, goldie.  We loved every minute we spent with you.  May you rest in peace.

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