Monday, November 24, 2008

The Amazing Captain Splee

I want to tell you about my first son, I owe him that much. His name was Chinny and he was a goldfish. He started life on another world, in another place, probably filled to the brim with fish. But he began life as my son on my mum's dining room table sitting in a little fish jail with his cellmate, swimming round and round. Unfortunately for Chinny he was the prison bitch of his cellmate Fishy, who was driven insane by the cramped living conditions. Every morning I would watch them while eating my breakfast and promise to save them from this tiny hellhole.

Fish love eating shit. That's their pastime; it's what they live for. Fishy became a bit too institutionalised though and would eat Chinny's shit straight from the source. Chinny was a passive little soul though and would barely swim away when he was pestered in this way. Fishy eventually lost it and, after several attempts, finally killed himself by escaping the bowl.

I kept my promise to Chinny though and when I moved out I took the little guy with me, and bought him a roomy tank with the space for 6 fish. We also got him a friend, Mr Bospangles, whom he loved deeply and they played together all day every day. Mr Bospangles was lost to us too, one tragic morning, and Chinny mourned more than I knew a fish could.

Eventually we got him two more friends, but despite Chinny's wonderful demeanour, they only ever got to achieving a friendly nonchalance. He would rub up against them, or chase them and they would be more freaked out than amused. He never stopped playing with them though, and they miss him too.

Last Sunday see, my first born died after a struggle with his buoyancy gland. He will be missed more than anyone will ever believe.

I loved that fish, and I hope more than anything that the 18 months in which I freed him from his little cell on my mum's table were the happiest he had. I sang to him, I played games with him, and I sometimes hugged his tank. He would get excited when I was near, and I even taught him a trick once, although he forgot it quickly. He was beautiful and wonderful and I will always be deeply saddened by the thought that I may have contributed to his death somehow.

I'll see you around little swimmer. I'll blow some bubbles for you.


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