www.whyville.net Jun 8, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

My Goldfish

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I have three goldfish. Ziggy Stardust, Pirate, and Betsy. They are all unique and yet I like to think they are the best of friends. When I bought them, I did so because I was taking care of Betsy for a friend. In the end, it turned out she didn't want her fish anymore but while I had her I realized how much fun it is to have a pet.

I got on the bus and I went to the next city to go to the pet store. On the way I stopped at a department store and bought a vase for them to live in. I thought that would be just as good as a fish bowl and way more decorative. I really wanted this beautiful glass centerpiece bowl, but it was too expensive. So I bought this three foot vase that was about a foot across and I lugged it down the road with me to the pet store.

I went to the fish cove, the magical dark place where the water reflects on the ceiling and the blue light escaping from the aquariums makes it feel other worldly. I went to the goldfish tank and I looked at the little buddies swimming around. I felt kind of bad to be taking one from the midst but I really wanted some fish.

As I looked at them all and tried to choose which ones would be coming home with me I noticed some of the "sickly" fish in there. I felt so sorry for the ones that were rejected by their group and I decided I would buy the reject fish.

The first one I chose was Ziggy, because he couldn't swim as good as the others and was kind of wiggling around on the bottom before he could get a good start. He is a brilliant white with a red cap, like a red capped oranda, but he's a veil tail. As he grew, a red dot appeared and grew on his tail which has now grown into a little red stripe. I was worried at first about him, and I actually put him in Betsy's little bowl and took him to a fish doctor. I thought he was sick, when the dot appeared. The fish doctor told me that he ripped his fin and what was why he couldn't swim but he would be okay. He has since ripped the other side on a plant in my tank and can swim normal now, which is good. Before he could, he was mean and picked on the other fish because it was hard for him to get food and they would eat it all on him. He's really special to me. I know he doesn't understand but when I say his name he always comes to the glass and chases my fingers.

The other one I chose was Pirate. I named him this because of the fact he is calico and a black spot covers one eye like a patch. His other eye is blue. It's really neat. I chose him because his black eye was not in the right place on his face. I felt bad because people were making fun of him for being wonky looking, but he was a normal fish. He too, has grown and some how his eye is now in the right place.

The third fish, and unfortunately not mine, was a red capped oranda that was missing an eye. It just, wasn't there. He was 24 dollars though and I couldn't get a discount even though he was missing an eye. I mean, this makes me sound cheap but I didn't have enough money. I hoped to go back and get him, but a few weeks later when I did, he was gone. The poor thing.

So Betsy, who was bought for a photography assignment and then discarded essentially lived in her bowl and my fish lived in their vase. I bought them rocks and plants, but somehow I felt that all parties were unhappy in their present state so I got my sister to give me her old tank from her fish Blackie, may he rest in peace, and I moved everyone into the tank. They were wary of each other at first but then they became a little fleet. They slept on the bottom in little nests they dug from the stones and they swam in formations around the bottom of this tank. As time went on I added new and better filters and new rocks and plants. I feel bad when I haven't been home for a couple days and I get them presents. Sometimes, they don't like them. Like this marble I found and put in there . . . they buried it in the rocks. I tried to put an army man in there, but they always knocked it over and dragged it around. I was worried it would hurt them so I took it out. They are a lot of fun really.

I have had them a year now, and they are a really important part of my life. They are the last thing I see before bed and the first thing in the morning. In the morning Ziggy comes to the glass and looks at me then gets his buddies and they line up to be fed. They are really relaxing to watch swimming around, and they play games like chasing my finger which is fun and relaxing. The water from the filter at first bothered me, but now I find myself unable to sleep without it.

Yes, they are just fish. But they are my friends. Dependant on me for survival, which is frightening.I would cry if they died. As lame as that might sound. The point I am trying to make is that, when you love something, you are responsible for it. The time you have "wasted" on something or someone that you like, is what makes them so important. And wasted, is the same as invested. One should cherish that which they devote themselves to and remember, by doing so, you are responsible for it.



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