Sunday, March 29, 2009

R.I.P., Coral the Goldfish

I'm sad to report that Coral the Goldfish has gone to that happy goldfish bowl in the sky, after only 32 hours as a member of the Peevie household.

Last night, Mr. Peevie and I were out dancing the night away and mostly refraining from drunken bidding on frivolous baskets of goodies at the fundraiser for C. Peevie's school. When we arrived home, C. Peevie presented us with the sad news that Coral the Goldfish was either a) on his last fins or b) deceased.

"I prayed for Coral with M. Peevie," my tender-hearted boy said, "but I think it might have already been too late."

Even though it was almost midnight, M. Peevie was still awake when I went into her room to check on the presciently-named Coral (Nemo's mom, Coral, was devoured by a barracuda early in Finding Nemo). "Where's Coral?" I asked, trying to keep the concern out of my voice.

"He's sleeping over here by me, on the bottom," M. Peevie said confidently. "Mom, do goldfish sleep with their eyes open?"

"I don't know, M.," I said.

"Well, I hope so," she said, "because he's laying there with his eyes open. I think he's just sleeping, but C. Peevie said he might be sick."

I had a sinking feeling, but I didn't want to deal with a hysterical eight-year-old at midnight, so I let it go. "Let's just check on him in the morning, M. Peevie," I hedged.

Of course, in the morning, Coral's condition remained unchanged--but M. Peevie clung to denial and hope: "Maybe he's sleeping in!" she suggested.

"No, M.," I said, as gently as I could, "Coral is dead. I'm sorry."

M. Peevie's face fell, and she was quiet for about 35 seconds.

"That was the best name, too," she said sadly, but then she perked up. "Can I get another goldfish, Mom?"

Ah, the optimistic resilience of youth.

3 comments:

jill said...

if its any help, keeping goldfish in a bowl is really hard. i kept parking lot jack alive in a 5 gal bowl for over 5 years before my roommate's cat got him, but i used bottled water and special pH drops and had a little bubbler attachment and had to clean the bowl once a week. they are super sensitive to abrupt changes in temp and water chemistry, so those first couple of days are the key...

and in lots of the goldfish books i have read (i now have 2 large fancy tails in a 15 gal aquarium) that whole "they'll only get as big as their bowl" is pretty much bunk. they can definitely be/get too big for their bowl. 5 gal per inch of fish is the best formula =)

guppies are much easier.

Boy George said...

Interesting info about the goldfish, Jill. I never had goldfish get too big when I had them in grade school and junior high. But then again, they never lived all that long, either. They had a tendency to jump out of the bowl or tank... (And I swear I was good at keeping the water clean!) And since I lived in a rural area and our house had its own well for water, I didn't have to worry about problems with city water.

With guppies, unless you have a super-low budget for fish food, you want to make sure to put the pregnant guppy into a breeding tank and let the young'ns get big enough that Mama and Papa don't gobble them up. (How do you explain that to the kiddies?)

E. Peevie said...

Jill--Thanks for your insight. I tried the Ph drops that the fish store sold me, and let the water reach room temp, and even checked it with a thermometer...so I don't know what went wrong.

Five gallons per inch of fish! That's huge! We have a little one gallon bowl--but the fish was tiny, probably less than an inch long.

Maybe we'll try guppies next. AFter all, we have $35 worth of equipment!