Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Fish Story

Several years ago we lived in an apartment awaiting our house remodel.  During a writing project with a looming deadline, I took a break for distraction.  Maybe a fish companion might help me maintain focus?  A Siamese Fighting Fish (Beta), with its fierce nature would energize me toward the deadline.

I named him Phineas or Finny for short.

My new Best Friend didn't appear aggressive or puff his gill covers.  He just floated. At times his fins seemed plastered to his sides. His eyes had no gleam. For environmental enrichment I added a rock and a plant.

I placed his bowl on the top of my rolltop desk away from mirror or windows.  The literature indicated Bettas could respond to their reflection and hurt themselves by bumping into the sides of their bowl. Wandering by often, I smiled and wriggled my fingers above the bowl to gain his attention. 

Nothing happened.  He moved like a bloated blueberry. I believe in keeping friendships going.  He would not return to the pet store.

I selected a Siamese Fighting Fish after watching one for several years at a furniture store. Eric swam in a bowl at the front desk. His response to customers included a swaying dance.  He blew bubble rafts in hopes of female companionship.  Curiosity and a sensual personality entertained everyone who walked up to the desk.  I felt encouraged about his longevity for all those years. By now we had a lasting friendship.

During my week's project, Finny grew weaker as my words grew stronger. I became vigilant, changed his water and moved him to other locations.   Unfortunately, I had to bury him in a daisy plant.

Seven years later, the daisies bloom with an added cerulean shine. He has found his callilng.

I wrote a poem in his memory but it focused more Eric.

Fin Mesmer

Two Erics sell teak
at the Scan furniture store.
One's a Siamese Fighting fish,
bachelor-in-a bowl, robed
in lacy magenta.  He burbles
from satiny lips. lays bubbles
along the surface as I watch.
Land Eric, the salesman
says this attracts a female.

I feel the draw to his blue edges.
Watery eyes beg, as he slithers,
with fins that feather skyward.

A teak desk hovers, beyond
his horizon. I feel my hands
unzip my purse where
my Visa card shimmers.

Creative Write:  Write a fish story of your own.  Or, write about any experience with a pet.

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