(This was written back during Peepers’ pre-ghost days, and I just didn’t bother changing it….) I like to spoil my fish, and I care very much about her fishy happiness, so one day, I decided to give my popeyed goldfish, Peepers, a snack. I read that she could eat various aquatic plants, plus certain vegetables, like bell peppers (which seems bizarre, but okay), and since I had some bell peppers all cut up and ready for some hardcore fajitas, I gave her a piece. She didn’t like it, it seemed, and after trying and failing to coax her to approach it, I just left it floating in her bowl for a while, but she would have no part in it, or, to be more precise, she would have no part OF it. Still determined to give her a delicious treat, I then went down to the local pet store to see what kind of live plants they had for aquariums. I found several types and, having no idea which was best, I just picked the greenest I could find, and I brought it home and planted it in her bowl, though I felt a little guilty, as I thought this might very well be rather disrespectful to that poor, lovely plant, considering I was putting it there to get massacred by my pet.
But, she didn’t like the plant, either, and seemed, in fact, to be quite terrified of it for quite some time. Perplexed at this apparent plant-phobia, I left the flora in her bowl, nevertheless, hoping she would get used to it and munch on it a little, and hoping, too, that it would perhaps keep the bowl cleaner. And as I waited for Peepers to become best friends forever with her new, silent friend, I got to thinking of a larger fish bowl I saw while I was down at the pet store. It was twice the size as what she had now, and though it might be difficult to lift whenever I needed to clean it, I decided to return to the store and get her that larger bowl, nevertheless.
I was quite pleased to see she had so much more room in her new bowl, but I was pleased even more with what happened after. I decided to put Peepers’ bridge and plant back in her bowl after she was already swimming about in it, and as I put them in, she didn’t seem to be afraid of me at all (even when the plant frightened her very much at first). She kept swimming right up to me, and she would poke at me and swim around me, even brushing her tail all down the length of my arm several times. She once even swam right up against my arm, her whole body this time, and I was so surprised to see what was almost like affection from a fish. I always thought fish weren’t capable of caring for their owners, and I’m sure that is still the case, but for a moment, I could believe that fish might be able to care a little, after all….
Well, the plant is finally starting to get the abuse I expected. Kind of. The poor plant keeps floating to the top of the tank, where Peepers then attempts to eat the roots. She won’t touch the leaves, but the roots apparently look very tasty. I tried to stick the bottom of the plant under the corner of the bridge, but she picked at it so much, it’s now floating in the middle of the bowl, with just one root left to anchor it to the bridge. It looks rather ridiculous, but I suppose for now I’ll leave it be, even though the intention was for her to eat the leaves, not the roots, but she never listens when I tell her things. It could be because she doesn’t have thumbs….
The Best Duck a Fish Could Ever Hope For