Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fish Tales

Several years back, while I was away on a girls’ weekend, Incrediboy came home from a local festival with a goldfish he had won in one of those ping pong toss games.  I was less than pleased. I have nothing against fish, but I had fish in college and really didn’t care to go through the ordeal again.

I glared at the Hub, who just shrugged and said he had no idea the boy would actually make one of the ping pong balls into its target. I was pretty annoyed that he couldn’t have steered him to a game with stuffed animals or pop guns instead.

I had to admit though, the little drop of sunset orange with big moon eyes was pretty cute.

I took Incrediboy to the local department store and we picked out a nice tank and filter set, some cheery gravel and an assortment of aquarium plants, along with a ceramic Spongebob Pineapple house with lots of windows for the little babe to explore and swim through. I had no idea how long “Flounder” would survive. Who knows how healthy those poor fair fish are to begin with. But if we were to bring an animal into the house, we were going to take care of it as best as we could.

A few years ago Flounder changed from orange to shimmery white, in gradient blotches.  Incrediboy was in a panic and I didn’t know what to make of it.  With a little internet research I learned that goldfish often change color several times in their lives. I had no idea, did you?

Flounder is now 5 years old.  He has most recently turned a soothing blush tone - his body has quadrupled in size and his tail streams out behind him like a gossamer veil.  The pineapple has long since been replaced with a rock cave, which Flounder enjoys hanging out in. Incrediboy adores him.

Over the past few weeks, Flounder has not been himself.  He hasn’t been moving much, and his fins and tail are beginning to deteriorate.  He is losing scales near the base of his tail and is barely eating.  We have been giving him some antibiotics in his tank water as suggested by the pet store, and change his water frequently to give him the most optimal environment.  Most recently he seems to have perked up, but he struggles to swim and has difficulty staying straight up, listing to the side or flipping nose-up like a rocket on a launchpad.  I don’t know if it’s due to his fins and tail being injured or if he is reaching the final mile of his road on earth.

Incrediboy includes Flounder’s health in his prayers every night.

Many people file fish in the category of disposable pets.  They come and go, no big deal. But this particular fish means a lot to this boy.  It will break his heart when Flounder moves on - and while I hate for anything to bring him pain, I appreciate that it will. Such a compassionate heart he has.


Coffeypot said...

Sounds like he is getting ready for his toilet flush swim... but he will probably be buried instead. Life can suck for a young kid, but it is lessons needed to be learned. I think it is better to learn them over a pet than some human that he really loves. IMHO (which is very important to me because, after all, it is all about me).

Saur♥Kraut said...

What a sweet boy, and a poignant post. I had a pet iguana once that I loved dearly. He really had a personality and was very affectionate. When he died, I was heartbroken and also shocked by the callousness that some people exhibited since he wasn't on the list of commonly accepted pets. Prayed for Flounder just now, as well as your family. <3

Stacy said...

Oh my....5 years is a REALLY long time for a pet fish. I hope Flounder's health turns around, but if not, perhaps you can help Incrediboy learn some hard, but valuable lessons on life and death. And there is hope, I believe it's in Genesis 9 (after the flood), that the animals will be judged...that leads me to believe they do go to the afterlife.