And so it came to pass….
….that living in the Land of Schwarzenegger, in the area of the Bay, there came to be a fish. A small fish. A fish who was filled with faith and hope.
A fish purchased under the accursed impulse-purchase vexation.
The fish was of the Betta clan, and was given the name of Benito, meaning “blessing” or “blessed one” in the Spanish culture (and meaning tiny little dictator in the Italian tradition).
And so it was that Benito came to live in the house of The Good Man and true to his name, blessed us all.
Benito swam and ate of the bloodworm. And it was good.
Until it wasn’t good.
And forsooth, Benito ceased to eat, and lay on the floor of the tank, flat on his side, and took on a gray pallor.
Which only raised memories of Frank, also of the Betta clan, who came before Benito and expired so painfully.
And so it was that The Girl wept, felt necessary to rend her garments, gnashed her teeth and howled to the heavens, “Why! Why must I have the curse of killing helpless fish?”
Then The Girl resigned herself to the knowledge gained that she was not meant for fish ownership.
Another matchbox coffin was prepared, and sadness befell the house of The Good Man.
In the last, desperate hours, The Good Man proclaimed, “he who believeth in the bettas shall never die.”
Thusly, The Good Man brought his mighty hand down and created freshly treated water and added the miracle of the antibiotic powder.
The limp body of Benito of the Betta clan was deposited into the fresh, medicated water and hope was not held out.
In the break of the morn, The Good Man, in his grace, went to the tankside of Benito of Betta, and proclaimed, “Yea, tho I believe this crazy fish is hungry!”
And chopped up pieces of bloodworm were deposited in the tank, and verily Benito of Betta did eat.
“No %$ing way!” came the cry from The Girl, who stared in disbelief at the miracle The Good Man had wrought.
“Yeah, don’t get your hopes up,” The Good Man admonished, but despite his downplaying the whole thing, The Girl did ignore him and did in fact get her hopes up.
And forsooth! Benito of Betta did continue to eat. And became more upright, and began to flap his fins in a normal manner.
And Benito of Betta was thusly nicknamed the Lazarus Fish, having risen from the dead.
So it is that some two weeks from coming to the house of The Good Man, Benito of Betta continues to live and eat and could almost be described as thriving.
And with the focus on a new, recovering fish, The Girl finds the sadness over the loss of Frank is beginning to ease.
With the help of The Good Man, guardian of the broken pets, The Girl may in fact learn to be a suitable owner of small helpless fish.
And for the moment, it was good again.
But don’t get your hopes up.
P.S. Margaret, female of the Betta clan, and The Good Man’s fish, continues to thrive quite nicely, thankyouverymuch.