Sorry Dr. Seuss. I got that title in my head yesterday following the death of Apache II, who died before he even got a proper name. I couldn’t even be bothered to do the toilet photo. After the one remaining fish from the last die-off survived two weeks, we decided to get more, but fewer this time. The one remaining fish, formerly known as General Chow, shall henceforth be known as Old General.
Apache II's deathwatch was a few hours long. He’d been hanging out in the Corner of Impending Death since the day before, a quiet spot behind the filter where most of the other past fish had gone to while away their final days. Then he got stuck to the filter and gasped for a little while before reaching the “Is he moving because he’s slightly alive or because the water’s pushing him?” stage. I find myself wondering which sucks worse-- being stuck gasping to the filter or being flushed. I can never be sure which would be a less painful and unpleasant ordeal for a fish, and I always figure it's better to die at home. It's not like the other fish were nipping at him or anything, not even Jerky Orange, another new fish who's a bit of a bully.
Then Apache II was for sure dead. I could tell because his mouth wasn’t moving anymore. I looked into the tank and said, “Ooh. Apache II is dead.”
LE climbed into the chair beside me and said, “Fish! Ooh, mess.”
“Yeah, mess, “ I said. “That fish died.”
“Die,” said LE. “Fish.”
“Yeah, he died.”
This was LE’s first lesson in mortality. He took it well, I think. Afterwards, he looked at me and said “Oy.”
Which means “olive,” actually. And that was the end of that.