Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

Our Flying Fish

on July 17, 2013

So my oldest child listened and did what she was asked to do the first time I asked it yesterday morning. I was very delighted with her willing spirit, but quickly grew very panicked once I walked away from her room and heard her shocking screams of terror.

I had asked her to feed the starving fish, as we were just about to head out the door. Unfortunately for fish, they can’t give you those puppy dog eyes when they want something, so sometimes they are forgotten (not like “call the 1-800 number for the SPCA” kind of forgotten, so don’t worry, just gentle reminder needed at times kind of forgotten). So yesterday, when gently reminded to feed the fish, my daughter got right to it. I was pleased.

The screams of terror began very quickly after that though. I had just left her room, but did the 50m dash back. Ok, it was more like the 8m dash, it’s a small house, but 50m sounds so much more valiant. One could tell that her screams were directed at whatever was thrashing around on the floor. And there, in the middle of her room, was what looked like a Dr. Seuss book gone wrong. Somehow in a split second, several different thoughts can go through one’s head. In that exact split second when I eyeballed the creature on the floor, I very quickly went through the catalogue of various creatures I have found in my house throughout the course of my life on this earth. None of them looked like that. Fortunately.

Oliver, the algae eater, had somehow flown out of the tank on top of my daughter’s dresser and landed onto the floor. For a fish of his size, it had to be the human equivalent of a 12 story drop. The ultimate jail break. Or fish death wish. Like, what was the fish thinking? Carpe Diem? They found Nemo already for heaven’s sakes.

My daughter wanted to know, amidst her tears, if he was ok. I told her he was probably eating the dirt off her floor. In fact, he probably thought her floor was an all-you-can-eat buffet, and that is why he jumped. Poor Oliver did have a bit of a weight issue immediately after he arrived here, and I did question whether there was a Weight Watchers for fish at the time (personally after watching an episode of The Magic School Bus, I like to think of myself as having a gravity issue, not so much of a weight issue). But, note to self, remind said child to clean her room better and maybe the fish won’t jump out of his tank next time he sees the opportunity.

I then ran to get a ladle from the kitchen, as there was no way I was going to pick up that thing with my bare hands. I just needed to remember to put the ladle in the dishwasher afterwards. I returned to the fish, touched it with the ladle, and quickly realized that one kitchen utensil was not going to fit the bill. The thing flipped and flopped on the floor, which thankfully meant it had initially survived the flying expedition. It also meant more screaming ensued. My throat hurt all day from those screams. I don’t think that has ever occurred in my entire life, so obviously there was no one else home on our street or 911 would have been called by a neighbour and the proper emergency response personnel would have promptly arrived at my door. I ran back to the kitchen, grabbed another smaller spoon, and returned to the room to get this rogue fish back to its true home. The algae eater must have figured that the grass (or water, in this case) is truly not greener on the other side, and cooperated with me, allowing me to scoop him up with the two spoons and holding it together for his grand ascension back to his tank, the true land of plenty. The lid on the tank was then very quickly closed and the floor cleaned.

Shortly afterwards we left for the day to go to the beach. Hmmmm. Maybe poor Oliver wanted to go to the beach with us. He wasn’t trying to escape, he just wanted a (school of fish) field trip. Groan. Ok, maybe he was trying to escape, but regardless, from now on, we’re keeping an eye on that one. We don’t want him to be the one that got away!


2 responses to “Our Flying Fish

  1. Anna says:

    Danya’s here with me and we’re both laughing a LOT over this episode! Bwaahahahaha!

  2. […] there was no way I was sticking a net into that tank and trying to retrieve a dead fish while that untrustworthy algae eater was in there looking for any opportunity to escape his fish […]

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