Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The (Abbreviated) Life and Times of Mr. Goby

A. and his dad took Cubby and Charlie on an adventure to Lake Ontario on Sunday. While they were fishing on the pier, they saw a man catch a goby. Gobies are an invasive species of fish in the Great Lakes. They are caught with some regularity, and are not supposed to be returned to the lakes. So A. gave the fish to Cubby to examine.

He does love to examine fish.

After about fifteen minutes of close study, A. suggested maybe they could take it home and keep it in a fish tank in Cubby's room. Cubby, of course, was all for this idea, so the goby was placed in A.'s rinsed-out coffee cup with some lake water and transported home.

Needless to say, I was thrilled to see it.

Also needless to say, that was sarcasm.

But who can resist the excitement of a boy with a fish tank? We fortuitously had a 50-gallon fish tank in the cellar, which A. hauled up to Cubby's room, put on his dresser, filled with water, and deposited the goby into.

And then the goby sat. Or rather, hung out there on the bottom of the tank. He didn't eat the worm A. dropped in for him. He didn't swim around. He just . . . sat. This did not prevent Cubby from running back to his room every five minutes to check on Mr. Goby.

When Cubby went to bed that night, Mr. Goby still hadn't eaten his worm. An hour after he should have been asleep, I found Cubby in his room with the lights blazing, checking on Mr. Goby. When Cubby came down early the next morning, he told me he got up early to make sure Mr. Goby hadn't died.

He hadn't. But he also hadn't eaten the worm.

Yesterday Cubby collected some stones and shells from the lake for Mr. Goby's tank, as well as some of the dried corn that had been used to chum for carp on the beach. Mr. Goby didn't seem interested in these offerings, although he was at least swimming around in a more lively manner.

Then, this morning, Cubby came downstairs and told me he thought Mr. Goby was dying. When I asked him why he thought so, he said Mr. Goby used to be gray, but now he was white.


I told Cubby to go find his father and show him. Better him than me.

Mr. Goby was indeed gone. But he is not forgotten, oh no. A. made sure of that by popping him right into the jar on Cubby's dresser that contains the pickled lamprey eel. How touching.

And thus ends Cubby's first experience as a pet owner.


Anonymous said...

Ew indeed. Better you than me....


tu mere said...

Sounds like the fate of the fish we actually paid money for when y'all were kids. At least Cubby's was free and provided much enjoyment. Can't ask more of a non-edible fish now, can you?

I, however, much prefer our method of flushing the dead ones down the toilet, as opposed to having them on y'all's dresser. No judgement here, just a preference.

Anonymous said...

You always make me laugh, thank you for that.
I hope it kept the kids busy for a while.

Daisy said...

A budding naturalist, don't you think?