YELLOW FISH

A year and a half ago, I adopted 6 fish in a ready-to-go-tank, plants and filter included. I knew my little granddaughter would watch them. They have a prime spot in my living room.

Some of the fish are close to their “life expectancy.” In fact, they’ve lived beyond their years, per the pet store fish experts.

My yellow fish started acting a little weird about 5 months ago. In fact, my granddaughter said, “Boo Boo,” because it stayed on the floor of the tank, unlike the others who darted back and forth. Initially, the fish (think it’s a she) seemed disoriented for a few months, like she was in overdrive, high gear and trying to escape, bumping up against the glass. Then two months later she became a flounder, floating sideways on the top, half speed, and seemingly totally chill doing it.

But she’s not a flounder.

All through Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m defending the fish, telling family members to leave her alone. I hid the fish net.

Nobody is putting my yellow fish out of her misery.

Granddaughter and grandson now try to touch yellow fish when we feed her, instructing me that “Yellow Fish hurt." Yellow Fish floats on the top sometimes, very still. Sometimes she lets herself drop to the bottom of the tank, to her corner.

Yellow Fish doesn’t act miserable, not struggling, just taking it slow.

First thing every morning, even before making coffee and sending my hound out the door, I look for Yellow Fish, hoping to see her “floundering” around on the surface or near the new bamboo, which she seems to really like. I am happy when I find her alive.

It’s January now, and Yellow Fish is thinner. I put food close, so she might bump into the flakes or dried worms. And she does, sometimes. She moves slowly and rests awkwardly on the rocks.

This is one of many lessons from my fish tank. I’d better pay attention, accept that change is inevitable and focus on the work that matters. Grandchildren will be over soon and ready for a walk in the woods, enjoy a messy lunch, and feed the fish.

I aim to take care of my wonderful.