When we were children we had a variety of small pets… mice who died very quickly, three budgies who were great characters and great fun, an escape artist Terry the tortoise and various fish which my sister won at the fair… they lasted a bit longer than the mice but not much. We lived in a flat so bigger animals were out of the question and I think at one time I did want a dog… but it was only a passing fancy.
My daughter is passionate about animals but we live such busy lives and go away a lot so we’ve only ever had, like my sister and me, small animals – adorable rats, an aggressive and unfriendly bunny, and now a hamster called Norris. Because she so loves animals we often visit pet shops and garden centres where there are creatures for her to look at… and I always drift over to the fish tanks.
I have come to the conclusion that fish do have distinct personalities. There was one fish I interacted with through the glass wall of its tank, and we had quite a conversation… there was another, a pessimistic character who would drift to the bottom of the tank, shaking its head as if to sadly say ‘no, no ,no, oh, no, no, no…‘ it would swim around then come back to the top and begin its descent again. We saw some upside down catfish who would swim around then suddenly flip over and swim on their backs, very exuberantly as if to say ‘hey! Look at me!’ I came across another who was singing ‘Suspicious Minds’… I think his name was Elvis…
The upshot of it was that my daughter decided that she and her brother would buy me a fish tank and some fish for Mothering Sunday.. First things first, we had to buy a tank… this has taken a couple of weeks because I’ve never had fish before apart from the fairground fish my sister won. So I had to decide on the right size and shape, and I’ve had to read up about fish to know what I want. I now have my tank, I just need to erect its stand, and then fill it with water and leave it for however many days until the fish can safely go in.
‘What are you going to call them?’ someone asked.
‘I’m not going to call them anything, it depends what their names are,’ I replied.
Watch this space for fishy tails – I mean tales…