So we have our goldfish, Chris and Quille. And they are still alive, thank you very much.
Unfortunately, goldfish was not what I was planing to have. I was thinking of some smaller, less territorial fish. But goldfish is what we have. And goldfish get big, they are highly territorial, and if they get pissed off at each other, they tend to chew each other's fins off. So I woke up one morning to discover Quille basically had no tail fin, and his dorsal fin severely munched.
I made some changes. I don't have a second tank. I have been keeping the water superlatively clean, and I re-arranged the stuff in it so that Quille can hide in the fake plats and get away from Chris. However, the damage is done. Quille's tail and fin are healing, but I doubt they will ever fully recover. Also, the injuries were severe enough that he was a pretty sick fish, and so Chris has now well outstripped him in size. Quille is looking better, but he's smaller than Chris. Hence Quille's ability to hide in the plants and avoid his nemesis.
Yesterday, Joey noticed.
We were watching the fish, when Joey started insisting that Chris was Quille. With the kind of odd, since he knows the two fish and can tell them apart, or at least he always had before. When corrected, he frowned.
"My fish is small. Quille is the smallest fish ever. He is small, small, smaller." We began a spiral into the depths, and just before school is not a good time. So I put on my mommypants and tried to talk about it while we put ourselves together, while we walked to the bus, while we waited.
Yes, Quille was smaller. He had been sick, but now he was better.
Nope, that wouldn't do.
I reminded him that fish do not live long. We talked about acceptance of others as they are, about Nemo and Gil and their fin issues, and what it meant to love a pet or anybody- just as they are, not as we wish they were.
But Quille was still small, small, small and Joey was still upset, upset, upset.
And then I remembered watching the fish darting around the tank that morning. You would think a bigger fish with a bigger tail would win that race, but our little Quille is a tough little fish.
"Well, because Quille is smaller, he is faster than Chris. And he hides better."
"My fish is faster?"
"Yes. Quille is faster, because he is smaller."
"My fish is the fastest!"
On to the bus he went, quite happy.