Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Home for Fish


Beth could see that young Michael was in a frump. It was Saturday morning. He was playing with his waffle in the pool of syrup. His sister had gone over to a girlfriend's to work on a project for school. His Dad had left early for the Church. That Fast again.

"Mike, let's hop in the car and go down to the market. I have a surprise."

....The pet shop had been busy, and the five-year old was all eyes. Colourful birds. One that talked! A couple of sleepy puppies. Lizards that you could hardly make out on the dried sticks of wood on the gravel. And lots of fish of all colours. It had been a difficult decision as to which goldfish, but finally they were back in the car-bagged fish, food, dip-net, large glass bowl, special gravel and a little ceramic sunken ship.

Home in the kitchen Beth had already set out a bowl of water to attain room temperature. She gently poured the new family member out of the bag and into the bowl. The little guy froze for a moment in his new surroundings and then began to swim around cautiously.

Mother and son proceeded to warm rinse the new aquarium, lay in the gravel and ship model and half-fill the bowl with tap water.

"Do you think he'll like his new home, Mom?"

"Yeah, I think so, but it would probably be nice in a couple of weeks to get him a friend. Isn't he pretty with that brilliant orange and two black saddles by the back fin?"

"What should the next one be, d'ya think...black?"

Twenty minutes later and a warmer fish tank. "The idea here Mike is gently to approach him with the net, lay it below him and raise him out of the bowl. Carefully carry him to his new home and lower him down and in. Don't drop him from a height."

The little angler, biting his tongue, did as instructed. The fish flopped in a panic in the dripping net. For a few seconds Mike observed this struggle mid-air and registered a look of puzzlement.

"Why does he do that Mom? I don't want to hurt him. He looked like he was afraid for his life. But he's going into a nice new place. Bigger, brighter, good food, clean water and a new friend soon. I guess he just doesn't know what we know, eh?"

Beth thought of her husband down at the Church in prayer, focusing on changes which were coming for the fellowship, and the inevitable struggle in the process. She chuckled at the spontaneity of her little preacher.

Then, speaking quietly to herself, "So often we are in that dip-net."

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