July 5, 2009
Flounder Floyd Fish
I was five years old, new to a neighborhood and to the 1st grade. Still searching for friends and community my parents decided to take me to a Christmas festival at the local high school. Full of carny games and silly prizes, I spotted the one and only prize I wanted to win... a goldfish.
So we headed over to a game where you had to throw balls into holes creating a tic-tac-toe affect. My memory is not so sure, but I would go out on a limb and say that I didn't actually win the game, but did indeed win a pity fish. My goldfish.
Thrilled to no other, I had my first pet ever. I beamed the whole way home, concerned about where he would live. My parents stopped at a store, got a small plastic fishbowl and some food and said this will be "good enough...he can't live that long anyway."
Satisfied I quickly moved on to more important topics, such as his name. Not sure what to name such a beautiful fish I asked my parents what they thought. Dad said... "name it Fish." Mom said, "I like Floyd" and I decided that "Flounder" seemed super practical. In that moment my new fish had a name... Flounder Floyd Fish. Alliteration at its finest.
Flounder Floyd Fish was a strong fish, full of energy in that tiny bowl. He spent many months swimming about that home of his and continuing to thrive. It was finally clear that Flounder needed a larger home and this is when we bought a ten gallon fish tank. Flounder loved that home. We decided to add some company to the tank thinking it would give Flounder a better environment. We got a few more goldfish, some tetras and a sucker fish... Flounder made it clear within the first week of having new roommates that he preferred a home all to himself. Within a few weeks Flounder had eaten all his roommates, and was happy to be back to his content self. A little larger from his massive meal, he swam around enjoying his space. We began to notice that Flounder would not stop growing, no matter what we gave him to eat he grew and grew...
Eventually we had to get a 40 gallon fish tank...moved Flounder to his new home and watched him get larger and larger. Giving him more space only meant that he would grow to the biggest limits possible. One day I noticed that Flounder seemed larger than before, around his belly that is. Mom explained that Flounder is a 'she'. Not wanting to believe it I said it was not possible and continued believing that she was a he. Once eggs were laid, the truth was told. However I still believe he is a he and will continue to refer to him as a he.
Flounder was brought into our family when I was 5 years old. Unbelievably Flounder is just as strong as he was then, however almost approaching his 18th birthday. Yes Flounder still swims happily alone in his 40 gallon tank. He has lost all of his color due to his size, and has pretty much morphed into a carp. But we still love him/her and are so thrilled that he has decided to stick around for so long.
The story of my fish is also the story of my childhood. I remember thinking that when we moved from Brooklyn Heights to Port Clinton, there was no way that he would live through the move. I had it made up in my mind that he would die and it would be okay. Because getting him my first few months of living in a new place meant that it was okay for him to end along with all the amazing things I had in Brooklyn Heights. But Flounder was not done yet, nor is he done now.
Yes, this maybe a silly story of my childhood, but what a sweet fish I have. Don't you wish you had a fish as cool as mine? These are present day pictures of Flounder Floyd Fish...going strong.
*January 17th, 2013 at the age of 21, Flounder Floyd Fish has gone to fishy heaven. Who knew I could be sad over a fish? Turns out it's possible.