Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A tale of three goldfish

Once upon a time there was a young goldfish; an ordinary, nondescript, runty, black baby goldfish who was so mediocre that he was selected to be a, “feeder,” fit only as food for bigger fish.

But before his fate befell him, a lady walked into the pet store of his birth and said to the clerk, “My dear husband bought me a goldfish bowl and I need something to put into it. But I don’t want something fancy and expensive. Where are your cheapest fish?”

“I’ll sell you a feeder for five cents.” The clerk said, as a joke.

The lady pulled out a nickel and said, “That sounds good to me.”

So the Great Net came down from above and swept the runty black baby goldfish out of the feeder tank, and plopped him in a bag of water for the trip to his new home.

I neglected to mention that I also had four cats, so I didn’t expect the goldfish to live very long. Since I also have a sick sense of humor, I named him Appetizer.

The four kitties were absolutely gobsmacked by this flickering bit of life and would watch Appetizer for hours. Sometimes one of them would reach out and gently pat the side of the bowl, but none of them ever dipped a paw into the water.

Appetizer had a whole bowl all to himself, all the food he could eat, and no one trying to eat him. Life was good. He grew big and strong. One day, the lady came back from the pet store with another goldfish to keep Appetizer company. She named this fish Hors d’oeuvres.

Two weeks later, Appetizer and Hors d’oeuvres both turned from black to silver, and then to orange. They became small, mature goldfish.

One of the kitties decided that it would be fun to drink out of the fish bowl. Whenever he did this, Appetizer would swim to the bottom of the bowl but Hors d’oeuvres would swim to the top and try to bite the cat’s tongue. The lady and her dear husband returned from a weekend away to find Appetizer alone in his bowl, and Hors d’oeuvres lying under the kitchen table, looking very much like a little dried herring. The furry murderers didn’t even EAT him!!

So the I went out and got another friend for Appetizer. This friend cost a whole dollar and was already bright orange. And this fish had a long, elegant tail. I named her, Snackie.

Appetizer wanted to be an only fish. He didn’t want to share his bowl or his food with anyone. He would sneak up behind Snackie and bite her pretty tail. When food appeared, he would chase her away and try to eat it all himself. Appetizer’s greed got him in the end, and he died of constipation. Let that be a lesson to us all.

Snackie’s pretty tail healed, and she throve and grew strong in her bowl. She meditated on the Eternal Ommm. Sometimes, a red dot would appear in her tank, and she would chase it all over, but she could never catch it. (Laser pointers give goldfish a good workout.) But not even a goldfish lives forever, and one day, Snackie swam toward the light, and was found floating belly up. She was flushed with all due ceremony, and the lady said, “Let’s not get another fish. It’s hard to cuddle a carp.” And her dear husband agreed with her. The end.

Snackie moved on to that great reflecting pond in the sky yesterday. I spent an hour scouring the tank and gravel and little castle and filter pump. It smelled like a swamp and then I needed to mop the spilled water off the floor. I don’t think she died from indifferent housekeeping though. My older brothers put goldfish in the cow pond and they lived for years. Even when the pond froze hard enough to skate on, the fish survived. Goldfish are tough little suckers! I think Snackie was just ready to go to the next level. What do you think a good goldfish will be reborn as?


  • At 9:41 PM , Blogger Pat K said...

    And I kept waiting for the moral of the story! Maybe they get to come back as dolphins. Or sardines. Anyways, thanks for the cute story. And the pink thing I was knitting in NH was the Lacy Kerchief Scarf that I'm madly trying to finish so that I can start some Log Cabin and/or new lace knitting.

  • At 4:05 AM , Anonymous Dave Daniels said...

    Aww, that was a cute story. (I'll have to remember that laser pointer trick. I wonder if it will work with kitties?)

  • At 8:46 AM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Good goldfish are reborn as... cats...definitely now they get to stalk themselves! Appetizr will be born as a bug, and get eaten by a goldfish... (that laser pointer thing works with kids, too!) Adorable story--can't wait to read your book!

  • At 1:34 PM , Blogger Lucia said...

    Aw, c'mon. Somewhere, in an extremely humble pet store, is a highly sincere goldfish waiting her turn to be named Canape and have a bowl all to herself.


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