Friday, April 8, 2011

The Geriatric Goldfish

                                                                                                Julie Kemp Pick

When my youngest son was in kindergarten, we attended a school carnival where he was awarded a tiny goldfish for winning at ring toss. We proudly carried him out in his baggie, and set out to purchase his starter home. Sensing his loneliness, my boy suggested that we find him a roommate. When there were two, they were known as Red Spot and Gold Dot respectively.

By the time they moved into their third residence, Red Spot had passed on and Gold Dot continued to grow bigger and stronger. Once we arrived home from a 10-day vacation, and found the automatic fish food feeder had broken, but Gold Dot was still going strong. This miraculous orange fish grew larger than any goldfish we had ever seen.

When my son was a freshman in high school, Gold Dot miscalculated his leap from the tank to the bowl during bath time, and ended up on the kitchen floor. I was wearing my slippery dishwashing gloves, and called my husband for help. He saw the fish wiggling on the floor and simply stated, "It's his time," and walked away.

My son came running into the room in tears, so I yanked off my gloves and swooshed him back into the water. Then he saw something red in the water and yelled, "He's bleeding! He's bleeding!" So I put him into the smaller bowl, applying pressure to his wound by using a napkin as a tourniquet.

Meanwhile, my husband added, "There's nothing you can do. He had a long life." My significant other's comments were especially comforting considering  he's in the healthcare business. It really made me reconsider having a living will, "Indigestion, nonsense! It's her time."

Fortunately, Gold Dot survived physically: mentally we're not so sure. As my son tells the story, his dad was the hero who saved his favorite goldfish after his mother carelessly let him jump out of the tank.

A to Z Blogging Challenge 


  1. I just loved this one as it reminded me of when my husband was alive and kept tropical fish, we found a fish.....the sort that sucks all the algae off the side of the tank was found on the carpet, the fish was put into the tank and lived for many years.

  2. Wow, this sounds like a very determined to live goldfish! :) What a cute story. I'm glad there was a happy ending!

  3. When that goldfish does die it is going to be traumatic. Great story.

  4. Great story. As I have been told, Goldfish can live a long time and continue to grow in size if the space is increased.

    At this point I think it would be fun to see just how long a life that goldfish could have. Of course, I am not taking care of it.

  5. It's amazing that a goldfish could live so long! I didn't know the life expectancy of a goldfish, but I thought at most, it would only be a year or two.
    Great story.

  6. I don't think I've ever felt so much warm emotion toward a goldfish! Thank you! :)

  7. We need to discuss goldfish stories.

  8. Hi Julie .. that's funny .. poor Gold Dot .. but as Rachel said .. I too don't think I've ever felt warmth for a goldfish before!!

    Typical males .. still there we go - we either love them or hate them .. usually love them!!

    Great story .. Hilary

  9. Julie-
    I think you should write a children's book about Gold would be great... you could have Tina do the illustrations

  10. Excellent, ok here is one. Each summer where I grew up, at the end of the season, they would fill up the pool with gold fish and you got to take up all the fish caught. Do you know how many heart broken kids there were so just a few short days later as with fish dying from lungs filled with Clorine? They have since stopped. Lamp Chop.

  11. Yvonne - Thanks...I wonder if they could've been related?

    Thanks Talli, I like happy endings too.

    Rachel - I think he surprised all of us. Thank you!

    Hilary - Thanks, I think you hit the nail on the head.

    mybabyjohn - Gold Dot passed on about 6 months later, but we believe he is in a better place.

    Jeffrey - He was our favorite fishie so that means a lot.

    Anonymous (ha!) I would love to discuss that idea with you.

    Lambchop - Sad but interesting story.

  12. After all that trauma, Gold Dot deserved to move into his next home, the bathtub.

  13. Another wonderful story. That goldfish must be getting really old by now. Loved your hubbies contribution.

  14. The joy of having Children, right?

  15. Anon. - Yes Gold Dot is probably swimming in a big bathtub in fishy heaven right now.

    Rhonda - Thanks Rhonda, one day he will get me for this.

    Noemi - I agree...Thanks for tuning in.

  16. Ha! I saw your comment on Arlee Bird's blog and hopped over for a visit. When I saw this title, I had to read this and am so glad that I did! This was so funny! Your husband especially! And I loved this part -
    It really made me reconsider having a living will, "Indigestion, nonsense! It's her time."
    Gosh I have tears I'm laughing to hard!