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Simon the Fish
by Paula Lonergan
Vol 6 Issue 2

About two years ago, we took a trip with my father-in-law to the east coast. The events of the trip are a whole 'nother story for another day. But on this trip my mother noticed how much my father-in-law seemed to like fish. My father has a few fish in an medium sized aquarium at home.

So my mom suggested I buy a fish for my in-laws. She told me Betas are easy to take care. So I  bought my in-laws a Beta fish and a small octagonal plastic bowl with some food and bowl cleaner. I think the bowl's shape was octagonal. Well, whatever it was, the fish's name was Simon, Simon Lonergan. I think I named him.

Simon in his bowl sat on the kitchen table. He was truly a beautiful fish with his aqua green and blue colors. I always enjoyed watching Simon when I visited my in-laws. He would always come to the top of the bowl when we sat down to eat. He knew when the humans ate, he ate, too.

He like the little small round fish food. He refused to eat the flakes. His bowl was small, but he had a little plastic tree attached to a rock to weigh it down to hide behind.

He always seems happy to see me. Well, it was probably more the other way around.

Betas typically live about a year. However, I talked one young friend who said his Beta only lived three months.

On my last visit to my in-laws, I asked about Simon because I noticed he wasn't on the table. My mother-in-law told me Simon died. Simon lived a whole year and six months after I bought him from the pet store.

It made me a little sad for I always had looked forward to seeing Simon when I would visit. When I asked what was done with Simy, she told me she put him in a plastic baggie and put the baggie in the trash. I was a little hurt he didn't even get a proper dirt burial. But, oh, well, you can expect too much if you are just a fish, eh?

While there, I had a little "play" eulogy by myself (and my husband, who unfortunately for him was in the room as I talked into the air about Simon) for Simon in the living room. However, I didn't shed a tear. There's bigger things on this earth to cry about. Besides, I think he lived happy and long for a Beta.

Copyright 2003 Paula Lonergan
All rights reserved.