As you know growing up Grandma and Grandpa were really not into pets. Two dogs lived with us for a short period of time but that was it except for the fish tank. We had what I remember to be a huge fish tank in our dining room (it probably was not that big). It was a simple set up multi colored rocks, some sort of ceramic thing for the fish to swim through and some fake plastic greenery and of course a filter so we did not have to clean it out often.
I named the fish and they rotated in and out. Some fish stayed with us for a short period of time. Others stayed a while. I want to tell you the story of the fish that lived the longest!
She was a silver goldfish with spots of black and orange. Grandma was ALWAYS brushing my hair. My hair was curly and thick so there were a lot of tears but she said, over and over again, “We need to brush our hair to look pretty.”
One day I decided after my hair was brushed I should brush the fishes hair. I wanted them to look pretty too. I remember sneaking into the bathroom and grabbing my natural bristle brush with a wooden handle and going to the dining room. I pulled up a dining room chair which was incredibly heavy and stood on the chair and opened the top. I pulled my sleeve up as far as I could which was not high enough and brushed the silver goldfish’s hair.
I kept brushing and as she swam around I chased her with the brush. Since I was not performing precision work I brushed one of its eyes out! Just as I did Grandma found me and my God did I get in trouble! There was guilt for injuring the fish, guilt for ruining the hairbrush, guilt for messing up the fish tank. It was traumatic. I felt terrible for getting in trouble and was very worried the fish was going to die.
In an amazing twist of fate the fish lived for another TWO years! It was crazy. We talked about that fish long after she left us as lesson in what a miracle it was that she lived. We hypothesized that maybe the eyes are the body parts on a fish that makes them sick and die…etc.
Lessons to learn:
- Fish do not have hair or fur AND they do not like to be brushed
- Never put your hands in the fish tank you will make a mess AND your parents will get very mad
- Goldfish typically do not live long
- You do not have to brush your hair several times a day like Grandma did.