Around nine months ago, (knowing full well it would be my responsibility) I let my boy and girl choose a Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) each. I posted about the night we got them here. We’d done really well with them for the five or six months until my husband and I had to go away for a couple of weeks.
I cleaned Romeo and Freddy’s cubicles, put the gravel back in and added a couple of new live plants, before dropping them to the neighbours to care for them. I promised my wary neighbour she’d not have to touch a thing before we got back, despite her fears. When we returned, things were not good. The water plant had for some reason rotted and Freddy didn’t make it. Thankfully Romeo survived and managed to rally after another tank clean, much to my daughter’s relief; he was her fish. The tank stays in her room.
Romeo had character. He loved attention and danced with excitement when he had visitors. I noticed over the coming weeks however, that poor Romeo was shrinking. He seemed to get smaller and smaller despite his good spirits and appetite. On Thursday night, he suddenly looked limp. I warned Miss 6 there’d be sad news the next day and there was. Poor Romeo was gone.
Miss 6 refused to go to bed without a proper funeral. She insisted the whole family be involved and as it was twilight, it was a fitting time to go outside, find a small plot in the flower bed and say goodbye.
But not before dropping the departed on the ground coming down the steps…not the best pallbearer was Miss 6. After a bit of scratching around, she picked him up by hand and deposited him back into his plastic cup.
We each said a few words of remembrance, then Miss 6 tipped poor Romeo into the earth under a flower pot (to discourage the cat). We went inside and she wailed.
“I can’t LIVE without ROMEO!!” she cried dramatically. (Not bad for someone who’s never even heard of Shakespeare.)
I gently enquired when she thought it would be okay to talk about perhaps a replacement. Through her tears she loudly wailed, “the day after tomorrow!!” And so it was.
Last night, we brought home a new stable mate for Freddy’s replacement, Johnny. So now we have Gnomeo and Johnny, Fighter Fish Round 2. Boy did they notice each other straight away! Johnny had had no match in the poor Romeo. He was a lover, not a Fighter Fish. “Whatchoo lookin at?” They seemed to say. “Come closer Pretty Boy, I’ll have you!” They rumbled and rumbled and flipped and turned away and rushed each other at the dividing glass. There was colour and flashing fins and I tell you those two were so full of bravado I’m sure they completely wore themselves out.
“Why are they doing that?” Miss 6 asked me.
“They are competing for girlfriends,” I told her.
“But there aren’t any…” she accurately pointed out. “Silly boys!”
Miss 6 is happy now. She has Gnomeo to fill Poor Romeo’s void…and best of all, he is pink.
Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.