January 7, 2009
My niece was given Fred for Christmas. Well, a fish; she then called it Fred. She was given Fred by her friend, who also has a Betta fish (but not necessarily a better fish). That fish is Mary, and she stayed with us over Christmas. They were in separate bowls, in separate rooms. That’s because Fred and Mary, both Betta fish, also go by the name of Siamese Fighting Fish. Put them together and they will fight to the death.
Fish who fight. And I won’t have anyone tell me any different.
When I was at Brentnall Primary School, in Salford, in the late 60’s, the school had two Siamese Fighting Fish. They were in one tank, but separated by a sheet of glass. The glass could be covered and uncovered. When the glass was uncovered the two fish would puff up their gills, flare their fins, and head butt each other through the glass. This is how, from when I was about 6 years old, I remember it. And I won’t have anyone tell me any different.
So Fred comes on the scene. As a gift! Now I wasn’t so sure. After all, a fish, like a puppy, is for life, not just for Christmas. And if it’s possible for a young child to get bored of a puppy just imagine how easy it would be to get bored of a fish.
But no. Fred’s a revelation. Fred is a fish with character. And that’s because if you go anywhere near his bowl, he comes over to you. It could be your finger or your face. He’ll swim towards it. Trace your finger around the bowl, and he’ll follow it. And he’s doing all of this because he wants a fight. He’s itching for a fight. And he’ll fight you, even though you’re one million times his size and you live out of his comfort zone. If Fred could, he’d batter that glass bowl until small cracks appear and then he’d go on battering until the bowl shatters and then he’d fly out at you, smacking you in the mush. If it was possible for Fred to get his head shaved and to get “love” and “hate” tattooed on his fins, he’d do it.
Each night I dabble my fingers in the bowl; saves cutting my nails and stops me biting them.
p.s. I’ve chosen to do no research for this post. If any of it is wrong, then keep away. I’m not having anyone tell me any different.