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Our Fish Story

by Tonja Taylor  
6/20/2007 / Humor

We've recently discovered that our Siamese Fighting Fish ("Prince," for those of you who want to know) much prefers the light to the darkness. (Now that's our kind of fish!) We discovered this when we took the greenery off the top of his bowl and he could see much more light.

We had feared for his soul before that; he was a morose little guy, barely moving nor coming to the top much to eat. We could not imagine that, of all things, we had chosen a fish predisposed to depression! (But it could have been a clue that he looked a brilliant but deceptive blue-green in the light of mighty Wal-Mart, yet, when his true colors were revealed, he was a deep purple/red/fushia mix (Fushia: 1. A color of the rainbow otherwise known as hot-deep-purplish-pink 2. Violet, to those that remember the 64 Crayola box.)).

Regardless (as opposed to the NON-word, irregardless!) we love him just the way he was created.

We tell him that, often.

And our fish is becoming smarter by the day. For instance, he now knows many fascinating facts about the 8 planets (and some about the non-planet, Pluto) and the sun. This is thanks to my daughter, a 4th grader only a month ago, who took the time to explain her brightly-colored, hand-crafted mobile of the solar system to him.

Prince has also more recently received instruction about the denominations. (No, we couldn't bear to tell him about the various denominations (or, rather, divisions?!) of the Church.)

He has been taught by Queen V (as my daughter preferred to be known during her 10th birthday "Princess party" (the princesses being the attendees, of course, while Queen V was honored--after I made clear to her that, albeit she was Queen for the Day, I was and will forever remain The Queen Mother.) about dollars, quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies, and why they all spend differently. He has been taught that, should he ever need to choose among denominations, it is always best to start with dollars.

And, since the lid came off and he could see the light, we have discovered not only that our fish has personality, but that he gets excited and actually wiggles when we approach. That's right, our fish wiggles. (But remember, this did not occur until the darkness was removed from his life. He seems to have become a new fish!)

We like to think he greets us puppy-style because of our excellent spirits and not just because of the potential that he might be fed. In fact, we are almost sure this is the case, because there have been many times we've approached the bowl and Prince has wiggled happily, even though he did not get fed the previous time. Either he has an extremely short memory, or he loves us anyway. Maybe both.

Or maybe he just likes the crunch. What? Your fish doesn't crunch? Then maybe you have the wrong fish. Or maybe you're buying the wrong kind of food. You need those teenineey pellets that have all those scientific names on them, with the picture of the brightly-colored Prince-look-alike on the bottle. This is a necessary maintenance item for all Bettas (fish like Prince), we hear. We know he is being nourished because not only is his coat staying bright like the bottle promised, but he is growing. And he seems happier now.

Or maybe he is rejoicing at the potential of us bringing his mate to his humble abode. After weeks of skimming bubbles off the top of the bowl and thinking they were filled with ammonia or other fish-killing substances (because of the tragedy of us losing two adorable tiny goldfish weeks BP (Before Prince)), we learned differently.

According to a local pet store owner, our little fish is busy preparing for his beloved--making a covering of bubbles for his bride (just in case she wants to be friendly and needs a place to hide her eggs). Alas, he keeps making bubbles and we keep skimming them off. But he doesn't complain; he just keeps on keeping on. And, who knows, his faith may pay off. We're actually talking about getting him married now. He will have to have his territories expanded for that, however.

We'll let you know.

Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, through River Rain (Creative Arts) Ministries (You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.

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