Saturday, February 7, 2009

Apple Pie and the Rapture

Last year my dear darling daughter-in-law called me up. "Do you want an aquarium filled with nine fish, complete with all the equipment? For free?" She'd said the magic word. A glass filled fishy tank to sit in my classroom and entertain, calm and intrigue me and anyone else who passed by - irresistible. And all for the low price of nothing. I took the bait. Bit the hook and was reeled in. The colourful array of aquatic little critters were beautiful - all except for the ugly brown sucker fish who, true to his name and job description, suctioned the algae off the sides of the tank 24/7.

Soon, I discovered caring for these aquatic creatures was not my forte. I thought, a quick toss in of food and the occasional clean out, was the approach. How hard could that be?

It turned out to be a little tougher than originally thought. All was well until I decided the cloudy water was indicative of a need for a scrubbing. I dutifully took each little glimmering gilled creature out of the tank and released them into their temporary bucket home. I scrubbed the aquarium clean. I released my little swimmers back into the sparkling clean water thinking they would be very thankful that I had cleaned up the muck and green stuff that was clinging to the sunken ship, the shells, the plastic flora. Instead, the next morning I was horrified to discover the first of what was to be a nasty repetition. Floating belly-up, there he was. Nemo. The biggest and the brightest fish - dead as driftwood. I felt awful. But I surmized that he must have been a bit sick when he arrived. But then the carnage continued. One royal flush after another, I would make the trip to the bathroom to give each lifeless gilled critter their send-off. I bid farewell to Nemo and friends. I tried desperately to do my part to put an end to the killer virus that was running rampant in my aquarium. I kept cleaning. The fish kept dying. I even had my dearly beloved, unimpressed happy hubby lug in a couple of jugs of distilled water. Maybe our water was poisoning them somehow. Two weeks passed and the only two fish that were left swimming were Raphael and Apple Pie.

By this time I had moved the aquarium to the bathroom so we could be closer to the place of commital, thinking it was inevitable that Raphael and Apple Pie would soon meet with the same fate. Meanwhile I had talked to a few fish aficianados and discovered that it is a no-no to remove all the water from the tank while cleaning. I stopped that practise and wouldn't you know it, these last two survived.

Five months later, I had relocated my fishy twosome to our bedroom, which was still reasonably close to the bathroom, just incase. But they were survivors. That was until Gilles and I left for Florida to celebrate the end of my chemo. Amanda was fishy sitting so she is likely to blame here. I did, however, forget to tell her that she needed to stick her finger in the aquarium daily and touch Raphael's back before she fed him (don't laugh - it's true.) He probably died of loneliness.
When we returned, I was saddened to hear about Raphael's royal flush but we still had little Apple Pie. Apple Pie was shifted out of the big aquarium and into a little bowl. But I broke that accidentally one day so he went into an old coffee pot. Then I got sick of looking at a coffee pot in the livingroom. So I moved him to my kitchen window and he seemed to like life in the measuring jug.

Okay, this next part is bizarre. Apple Pie was a minnow like creature - tiny and unsuspecting. But there was just something about Apple Pie that was a little different. Every time I cleaned his quarters, I would put him in a glass while I did my thing. Apple Pie started jumping out. Yes, pole vaulting sans the pole. This tiny little critter seemed to be wishing (or thinking) that God had created him with wings instead of gills. And his jumping got more intense. I had to make sure the water was not too full because he soon started jumping out of his delightful home on the windowsill. Once I caught him in the sink. I was about to fill the kettle then I saw this little...thing moving around on the bottom of the dry sink. Strange. Why would a fish jump out of a perfectly suited environment and onto dry land?

Then one day it happened. I looked at the measuring jug fish home. To my surprise - there was no sign of life. Apple pie had vanished. I searched and searched. I took out every piece of decoration, flora and shell. No Apple Pie. I looked in the sink, on the counter, in the window, even on the floor. Still no Apple Pie. It remains a mystery to this day. The only thing I can think of is that Apple Pie was raptured, which creates another troubling thought - why am I still here? Gulp.


Olga said...

Glynis, you make me smile. Love you lots! :D

Anonymous said...

I take NO responsibility in the death of ANY of the fish.....I cared for Raphael the way I've looked after all my fish.........oh wait, I've killed all my fish....INCLUDING the beta...[the unkillable fish!]...anyways, Apple Pie is in a better place now! Although I'm sure Trenton doesn't understand why Grandma let the fish go!! ;P Love ya! xo A

Lori said...

I love your stories! Thanks for the smiles!