Sunday, May 06, 2007

Baby Orange

golfishLast Saturday I foolishly agreed to let the kids toss their balls into goldfish bowls to win a goldfish.  I figured they'd never actually get the ball into the bowl so no goldfish.  I was right. The kids missed entirely. I was wrong. They each got goldfish anyway.

My son insisted on carrying his home and the fish had a very rough ride. My daughter somehow had two in the same plastic cup and asked Daddy to carry both home.

We put all three in a giant pickle jar with filtered water. My son's fish barely moved. Within an hour it was floating on its side. My husband touched it lightly with a stick and it rallied briefly and swam a little. Then it started floating again. My husband tried fish CPR which consists of flowing (filtered) water over the fish. The fish just lay there.So we sent it to the big white drain in the sky.

Within twenty-four hours the other fish started floating and it too went to the big drain. My daughter rewrote history and said both were her brother's. My son didn't seem to notice that two fish were gone. My daughter named the remaining fish Little Baby Orange.  She insists it's a she.

Baby Orange swam about vigorously and ate as much as she could.  After a week we decided that Baby Orange might make it.  So yesterday we bought Baby Orange stuff:

  • Baby Orange $1

  • 10-gallon tank $9.99

  • gravel $6.99

  • power filter $12.99

  • water conditioner $3.79

  • bacterial supplement $3.79 (adds good bacteria to break down fish wastes)

  • net $1.79

  • ornamental bridge that my son grabbed and broke $11.99

  • Fish pellets $6.99

Having Baby Orange is priceless. I don't know why this little fish makes me happy. But I feel like I'm getting to know...a feeder fish. She was clearly so excited to get into her new tank that she kept swimming against the bag.

Over twenty years ago my sister brought home Edward a feeder goldfish from a fair. Edward is huge and too big for his tank. His eyes are popped out and he can't see.  However he still lives on at my parents' house.

I'm a little concerned about our family's ability to feed a creature that doesn't ask for food.  We have killed many plants. But unlike a plant, Baby Orange is very active.  She swims around a lot. I think hope that's good.  I do like watching her.  Her resilient spirit reminds me of my son's.   Both have survived against the odds.  I also find the soft flow of the pump strangely soothing.

Keeping a feeder goldfish won at a fair is an act of faith.  I make no predictions for Baby Orange's future, but I'm enjoying her while she's here.


Momma to LG said...

We had the same thing happen with a goldfish we won. My brother in law said that most goldfish die from the ride home because it is too bumpy ie. too much to handle. I can only assume that is why ours died. 2 year olds don't seem to be able to give them a "non bumpy" ride!

Anonymous said...

It's frickin unforgiveable that people will support this. You talk about the fish as if they're simple objects. oops poor fish had a bumpy ride! never mind. oops, two fish DIED because they had no adequate care after going through so much stress, never mind! The stallholder shouldn't be doing it in the first place but it's no wonder it continues when people treat it like a bit of fun, it's an animal's life you're talking about here. Sick.