Friday, August 24

Regarding Henry, or The Fish Who Lived

This is Henry. He’s a betta fish who came to live with me in May. Henry enjoys swimming and eating. I’m still trying to discern his taste in music. I think we can say he likes Pet Sounds, doesn’t care for Wilco and is ambivalent about the Beatles. For some time after he arrived, the theme song from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood would run through my head every time I fed him. Yes, Henry, I will be your neighbor.

He has done well for the most part. He seems to enjoy his home in a Pier 1 candle holder, as it affords more rooms for swimming than the vase he arrived in. That is until about 3 weeks ago when I slacked off changing his water regularly. He developed a white spot on his back, stopped eating, and hung around at the bottom of the bowl. When I finally realized the effect my negligence was having I was stricken with guilt and acted quickly. I started changing some of his water every day until it was clear, hoping that he could hang on until then. I have had fish die on me before, so I tried to prepare myself for the possibility that I could walk in one day and find him floating lifelessly. It was an anxious time.

Henry joined me just in time for Summer 2007, which shall be known in the future as The Summer of Harry Potter. I finished rereading the released books, saw Order of the Phoenix in the theatre, anticipated, read and afterwards discussed The Deathly Hallows. It’s no wonder that with so much Harry on the brain I kept wanting to call Henry Harry instead. During these days when his life was hanging in the balance I thought, “I might as well have named him Harry, seeing as how all I do is wonder whether he’s going to live or die.”

Henry must come from good stock, because his immune system rallied and fought off the white spot. Now in clean water, he perked up, starting swimming around and once again greeted me with those expectant bulging eyes at mealtimes. I breathed a sigh of relief. The rescue of Henry (from myself) was a success.

He still has his off days. Sometimes he sticks pretty close to the bottom, and I start to get apprehensive. But I’m proud of him for pulling though and sticking with me. He’s The Fish Who Lived. So far.


wendell said...

You write beautifully.

Sarah Jo said...

awww. i remember when Henry came :-] its nice to know he's still there to keep you company.

David said...

Henry needs a friend or two, don't you think? You could name them Reynold and Hebe.