Sunday, September 23, 2007

Little Fish of Horrors

Okay, before I start this entry, I would like to give nicknames to my siblings so that y'all can know (sort of) who I'm talking about - sort of like characters in a story! And also, everyone else seems to be doing this and it seems like fun. :) So here they are:

Straight Man - brother, 18 years old, studying in Israel
Trademark - sister, 16 years old, in eleventh grade
Mavis - brother, 13 years old, in eighth grade

And that's everyone! Well, besides me, of course :) And my parents.


So Straight Man (hee, now I can stop saying things like "my brother" "my sister" "my other brother" - okay, on with the story). Yes, so, a few years ago, Straight Man decided he liked fish. And finally, last summer, while we were in the Berkshires, we went to a fair and he actually won a goldfish. This was exciting for him, because it meant he could now get MORE fish and then get a whole fish tank and put it in his room and be very happy. It was a small goldfish and, to be honest, most of us were skeptical that it would last the rest of the trip, let alone make it home all in one piece. But, to my brother's delight, the fish did make it home. It even survived the long car ride back. So it wasn't long before Straight Man got a tank and a few more fish, one of which was a Beta fighter fish.

Now, something that I knew about Beta fighter fish (I shall have to write a post about Shammai and Hillel the Beta fish another time) but that Straight Man didn't know is that male fighter fish eat other fish. They have to have their own fish bowl. But, as Straight Man only had one tank, in it went with all the other fish.

And, one by one, the smaller fish started disappearing. They wouldn't just die. They'd be gone. It was clear to all of us what was going on. The Beta fish was eating the other fish!

Soon, all who were left were the Beta fish and the little goldfish from the Berkshires. I think Mavis might have given him a name, but I'm going to give him a second name - Cicero. Cicero, as you may or may not know, was an Orator from Roman times (I think. At least, I read his stuff in Latin class) and he gave great, somewhat pompous speeches. Well, this little goldfish from the Berkshires soon became a big goldfish who was the dominant fish in a tank with a fighter fish! How did this happen, you ask? Well, it happened one dark, stormy night, when zombies and goblins were roaming the streets, and, yeah, I have no idea. But somehow, it did. It grew and grew and grew and grew into a giant goldfish and now it swims in front of the tank, especially when one of us in there, pacing back and forth and back and forth, its mouth opening and closing and opening and closing and it really looks like it's giving some sort of aggitated, grand speech! Therefore, his name is now Cicero. At least, it is on this blog.

So, one day, the fighter fish died. That meant that Cicero was the only one left in the tank. And we decided he was lonely. Here he was, this huge fish, always trying to speak to us, it seemed, and we figured that if it had some other fish to make grand speeches to, it would be happier.

Meanwhile, Straight Man left for Israel and my sister and I decided that we were going to be the ones to get new fish. So, this past Friday (yes, erev Yom Kippur - this was how important it was to us!), we went to the pet store and got one goldfish, two little fish that were clear with a pink highlight at the top, and one swordfish (a small, freshwater one, not the kind you're thinking of from the ocean). Now, two days later, the small goldfish and both highlighted fish are dead. Just the swordfish remains. Oh, and Cicero.

The interesting thing is that the other fish when they were alive, and the swordfish now, would hide behind things in the tank - almost as though they were afraid of Cicero! My dad suspected Cicero of eating the smaller goldfish when we couldn't find it yesterday, but last night I found it floating behind something. I don't think Cicero would actually eat any of the smaller fish. But it is definitely the dominant fish in the tank. It still gives speeches, although now I think it's a bit confused as to why there are other fish (well, one other fish, at this point). One major problem, though, is that since it's so big, it gets all the food. It's ALWAYS hungry. And I mean ALWAYS. And it just keeps growing. I feel bad for the swordfish! It's going to have to learn to be more assertive.

I think we just need to get some bigger fish.


Ezzie said...

LOL. I enjoyed that. A number of friends are slightly obsessed with their fish; one learned the hard way about the Beta fish, except it happened over about one night. And they saw some of it. And it was a lot of fish. (shudder)

Hurray for Gold(f)ish! :P

Scraps said...

Goldfish will grow as large as they can, given how much space they have to grow. So when you put them in a little bowl, they stay small, but in a big tank, they grow bigger. :)

Kate said...

Hi, I was just puttering along when your fish story caught my eye.

It's amazing that something with the brain the size of a pin head (like a goldfish) can have a personality. I used to have three fish in my outdoor pond-- two small, quick ones and one big dumb one. Well, the big one would always get stuck on the algae in the pond. If you watched long enough, the two little ones would always push him back to safety. When the big one finally died, I never saw the little ones again. I think they pined away and died.

Great blog and I can't wait to read more!


the sabra said...

hehe ur mishug
(in a good way)