Following is a tale of a very special journey, by one very special family of fish.
It all started like this:
One day in early June, my boys decided to buy their kid sister a birthday present.
Since my wife and I agreed it would be ok for her to have a couple of hermit crabs, the boys thought it would be nice to buy her a little plastic "habitat" for them to live in. However, on the way out of the pet store, the boys also decided that a few 99¢ goldfish would be an added bonus for their sister - and so 2 black and 2 gold-colored fish were added to the gift package.
Of course giving the new fish to their sister in a plastic bag wasn't going to cut it, so as soon as they stepped outside into the parking lot, they decided to dump the water and the fish into the crab house. What a great idea!
OOPS! The crab house was not a completely watertight unit!
No sooner were the fishies swimming around in their new little home than they were suddenly flopping around in the bottom, and gasping for... er... air? Or is it water?
But wait! No need to panic. Luckily for the boys it was pouring rain outside and within only a few seconds they were able to capture enough rain water in the plastic bag to put the oxygen starved fish back into some water. Phew! Close call.
No worries, lesson learned. The hermit crab house was not made for fish and all was well again.
The boys got home and decided that our swimming pool would make a very fine home for the little fishies. AND - not only would the fish have tons of room to swim around in, but the boys could actually climb in the pool and swim right there with them. Which is exactly what they did.
They decided that simply swimming with them was getting boring - but playing FISH-TOSS with them was much more entertaining! Which is what they did for the next several minutes.
I looked out the back door and screamed "What the hell are you doing!" and made them put the shaken little swimmers in an aquarium, where they could be left alone.
Charli came home and immediately proclaimed that "We will not be having any more fish in the house that we have to constantly care for and clean and blah blah blah until they die. I've done that too many times!"
We came to the conclusion that the pond next to our deck would be the PERFECT place for the fish to live. Which is exactly where they were when they decided to have babies about a week later and produce another 4 little itty-bitty microscopic black mini-fishies, giving us a grand total of 8 - all of whom have been growing like crazy and living happily ever after.
Now, when we decide what to do with them for the winter.
We've been doing a lot of reading about how to "over-winter" our fish but we're not comfortable that our pond is deep enough to not turn them into little black and orange fish-sicles instead - so now we're seriously considering firing up the old aquarium once again.
Well, until next spring I guess when we toss them back into the pond where they can continue to go forth and multiply. And live happily ever after some more.