All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Monday, 16 March 2009

Aeronautic Aquatics

You know what it's like. You think you've seen everything and then an event occurs, the likes of which you didn't think was possible.

A case in point.

Last night I was putting the kids to bed after a pretty stressful day. As I walked into the living room, I was greeted with the shocking sight of a goldfish lying on the parquet floor, obviously as dead as a dodo.

How the fish (one of two) had managed to get out of its bowl, atop of the piano, was pretty mysterious, but not as shocking as the realisation that it was still alive, despite having been on the floor for an unknown amount of time. Having scooped the poor thing up with the dust pan and brush, ready for the inevitable toilet flushing, I moved quickly to the kitchen and put the poor thing in a bowl of water.

My first worry was that it had lost a fin, but this proved unfounded as the second side fin suddenly reappeared and the goldfish came out of shock.

I changed the water in the fish bowl and put it back in. Soon enough it was swimming around as though nothing had occurred. I sat back on the coach, put a DVD on ("Dreamgirls", which I hadn't seen) and tried to get over my trauma at what had happened.

A short while later, out of the corner of my eye, I could hardly believe what I saw. Goldfish #2 , whose name I don't think we ever got around to declaring, jumped high into the air and landed in exactly the same spot as his/her friend.

I quickly got up, scooped the rather dazed creature in my hands and put it straight back in the water.

Mystery solved.

I went for a trawl (pun intended) on the Internet and to my surprise found out that for some reason or other, goldfish have a tendency to jump out of their water. Whether this is as a result of squabbling, boredom, distaste for their liquid life, a desire to try suicide as an alternative to swimming around all day, I do not know, but it explains why fish tanks should always be covered.

Suddenly, Shira's crime, as a tot seemed rather contrived. We had found a previous inhabitant of the tank dried up on the floor and naturally ascribed his/her fate to the experimenting fingers of a two year old. I'm not saying she didn't take the fish out, but now, her guilt seems a little less certain.

So there you have it. Fish really do fly. I've seen it with my own eyes and the very knowledge has given me just a little more humility.

I guess I don't know as much as I thought I did.

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