Cady Gray's dearest wish for this Christmas was to get a pet. After much discussion about the responsibility of caring for a living thing, everyone agreed that a fish was a possibility, and fulfillment of this dream was left to Santa.
It was a longer wait than it should have been. Santa brought the miniature aquarium on Christmas day, but that evening our furnace conked out, and our trip to the pet store had to be delayed until the house was at a temperature healthy for tropical fish. Not until the following Thursday morning was our heat fixed -- a long time for a little girl to wait, especially since we couldn't tell her for sure when the big day would come.
Thursday afternoon, though, she went with her dad to the pet store and emerged with a beautiful scarlet betta. She named it Goldeen, after the goldfish Pokemon.
The first few days were a little anxious, as they always are with a new arrival. Would the water temperature and pH be well regulated? Would the fish adjust? Would it eat? Stay healthy? Goldeen, though, proved adaptable to his new home. Never was a fish more loved by its caretaker.
And I admit that I enjoy watching him as much as Cady Gray does. When I tuck her in and turn off her light, I linger in her room to see the show. Goldeen's lighted tank suddenly throws back his reflection to him in the newly dark surroundings, and he responds to what he perceives as a rival by flaring out his long tail and feathery fins in a way that's gorgeous to behold. I could stay there, mesmerized by the grace, color, and motion, for hours. But I leave the sight to Cady Gray, nestled under her covers, eyes drawn to the glowing cube of water and its beautiful swimmer until she can keep them open no longer.