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Free to a Good Home

 

Pam Ward

Humor Columnist

  FREE AQUARIUM. It used to house a gold fish that Anna bought in 2009 for .29 cents. Actually she bought several but all except Goldie bit the proverbial dust pretty quick. In 2011 Anna moved out. Now, all you empty nesters out there will understand this, when Anna left she bequeathed to me every single thing left in her room that she couldn’t carry at the time (“Mom, I promise I’ll get the aquarium THIS Saturday.”) or didn’t want. For the record I didn’t want ANY of her old stuff and not too long after she left that room officially turned into the “junk-room.” I really hate to say “junk-room,” it sounds so HOARDER-ish. Here’s where I should add that the room is officially pretty junky. Still, Goldie continued to thrive in his tank in the corner of this lovely room.

  He continued to eat and grow. And grow. And did I say grow? He would swim around like a piranha and when I opened the thing to feed him I could swear I heard the music from “Jaws...” “Du-duh, du-duh.” I know nothing about fish and especially nothing about aquariums. Shortly after Anna left the filtering system stopped. By now she was in Texas and it was clear she wouldn’t be here Saturday to pick him up. Then a month later the light burned out. I attempted to remove the no longer operational bulb and filter so I could replace them, but, hello, I couldn’t figure out how. By then Goldie had grown to the size of a small catfish I once caught in miss Lane’s pond when I was about 11. Poor Goldie. He was living in the dark a good bit of the time now. I spent LOTS of time worrying about him. Was he lonely? Did he miss his former owner who had kept his tank nice and clean so that he could see the outside world before the algae took over? I worried because I’d accidently purchased Beta food and not goldfish food. He seemed to like it though, so between times of worrying about it killing him I figured it was probably ok.

  He lived on, his tank almost covered in algae. I could barely see in. I worried he was claustrophobic and when the light burned out I worried he was afraid of the dark. Would he go into a depression due to too much darkness. I seemed to remember reading that could happen to people, why not fish? I pretty much figured he was already depressed living in that tank with no friends and no filter and having to eat food made for an entirely different species of fish.

 

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