Fishy Tale - Part Deaux

I kept expecting to look in the pond one day and find one or both of the goldfish floating belly up, but to not find them anywhere was a bit of a surprise. There were a lot of critters in the woods by our house - raccoons, opossums, armadillos, coyotes, and although we never saw any, we kept hearing stories of one or more bobcats running around, so I thought maybe one of those guys had a goldfish dinner. I had built a little cave at the bottom of the pond with four decent sized rocks so to make sure they weren't dead and caught in "the cave," I reached in and removed the top rock. As soon as I did, Goldie came out swimming around like crazy. Now I know fish aren't exactly known for their high-powered brains, but I swear, that fish was acting very scared and looking for another place to hide. After checking under the rocks and all around for whats-his-name to no avail, I rebuilt the little rock cave and Goldie immediately swam back into it and stayed there. The only thing I could figure was that indeed, a critter had managed to snag himself a golden snack and Goldie had been smart or lucky enough to hide.

By the next day, Goldie was back to being herself again. I don't know how long a fish can remember something, but evidently not very long. She lived by herself for a couple more months and didn't seem to miss her buddy.

We used to ocassionaly tie up our dog on a long leash to a post on the patio if the weather was good and we were going to be gone for just a couple of hours. Little did we know that would lead to a freak accident that spelled the end of Goldie. We returned home one day from somewhere, out to dinner or shopping probably, and found Dottie had evidently walked around the pond and somehow had gotten her leash under one of those rocks surrounding the lip of the pond and managed to knock it into the water. Once again, I looked and found no trace of Goldie. Thinking she was hiding in the cave again, I reached in to remove the errant rock the dog had knocked in. And when I lifted it, up came poor Goldie, squashed. Rock 1 - Goldie 0. Another proper burial was conducted. And this time I actually felt kind of bad. After all she had lived through, she had proven to be a heck of a fighter and I admired her for it. Rest in peace, Goldie.

So what does this have to do with now? After all, that was about 6 years ago and we've moved to another home in a different state during that time. Well, guess who came home from the church Halloween carnival the other night with another plastic bag of water and a goldfish? Sometimes being a parent takes all the patience you can muster and that was one of those times. My first thought was to take that bag of water, fish and all, run back up to the church and do a very un-Christian thing with it to the guy who gave it to my daughter. But she still has those big beautiful eyes (my youngest daughter, not the fish) that look into mine and the words that come out of my mouth are, "OK I guess, but you will be responsible for feeding it everyday and cleaning out the tank." Like that's really going to happen for very long. "But Daddy, we don't have a home for Goldie Too."

So to the pet store we went. And now, one "free" fish and $30 later, we have a fish tank, with gravel and a filter and about two years of fish food - and we have 2 goldfish; Goldie Too and Sammy. Can't have Goldie Too getting lonely. But one thing I can assure you - I will not be spending $200 and a weekend of hard labor constructing a pond in our back yard to house them. Really.

I have to wrap this up now. My wife and youngest daughter said they want to talk to me about something they've been discussing; something about they love me and "the back yard?" "Be right there, girls!"