Daniel picked out a pair of small fish last summer for the tank in the living room. I forget what they are because I hardly ever see them. They hide behind the artificial volcano among the plastic plant fronds. Every so often, one or the other will dart out for a moment, but that’s about it.
Daniel got up a few minutes early. He was ahead of schedule through his shower, cereal and putting on his shoes (we have this timed down to the second). I was finishing up my breakfast banana when he called me from the living room.
“Come see!” I walked in and there were the fish, swimming placidly in full view. We shared a moment, watching them as they slowly swam in circles and darted around the rocks Grandpa Dave brought back from Canada.
“I think I’ll name them Swimmy One and Swimmy Two,” he told me.
“You mean you haven’t named them in all this time?” I asked. “We’ve had them almost a year.”
“I never see them to say hello,” he explained as he put his jacket on. “I forget if I named them or not.”
Daniel had a point. I say hello to our hamster – Hamstersaurus Rex – when he pokes his nose out of his nest for an evening stroll around the wheel. I talk to Akane and Pepper – our rental parrots – and threaten them with consumption by name at least once a day. But the fish hide so much, I think Meka just feeds them on faith; assuming they’re still in there… somewhere. Almost every guest we’ve had to the house has asked if we plan to get fish for the tank.
Later, at lunchtime, I did check on the tank again. No fish in sight. I hope they make a repeat appearance; I like the names Swimmy One and Swimmy Two and would hate for them to slip into anonymity again.