Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Handicapped fish zone

A rather remarkable drama is playing out in a corner of our basement, where we keep our pond fish in a big horse trough over the winter. A few days ago, I went in and found one of the younger adult fish lying on its side at the bottom of the tank, a red blotch around one of its gills.

I sighed and grabbed the fish net for the inevitable disposal process, but to my surprise he darted away when I came near.

For several mornings now, I have come in to feed the fish and found this little one on its side at the bottom. When I come with the net, he rights himself, and when I set the net aside and drop the food on the surface, he wriggles all the way up - taking one or two wide, shaky arcs to get there - and grabs a flake or two. He's obviously sustained some physical damage, because he tends to overshoot the surface and get his whole face out of the water in his effort to grab some food.

No doubt the "humane" thing to do would be to "put the poor thing out of its misery." My guess is he's had the fishy equivalent of a stroke and may never be "right" again. But as long as he's so interested in food that he makes that daily struggle to the top, I think I'll let him and nature decide when it's time to kick off. Every little life deserves that chance.



Blogger Kirsten said...

aHow's the fish?

2:23 PM  

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