Well on the up side I got better but on the down side the fish just died. I mean "just" died - I found the body about 40 minutes ago. Yuk. Yuk. Yuk. Little fishy eyes staring up at the surface; its silvery body huddled up against the pump and resting dolefully against the rainbow gravel. I am traumatised and I am in my forties - what is it going to do to my seven-year-old? It had to be his fish of course when he is the one so desperate for a pet. This is so why I did not want pets. And what is worse is the length of time it has taken. First, one fish got sick, then this second one got sicker, the third one is OK (so far but you have to wonder). The first fish is still sporting what is apparently a bacterial ulcer but the second fish looked like its fin was thinking about coming off. I thought pets were supposed to make you feel more relaxed and at one with the world. I knew its chances of survival looked slim. This afternoon, it had taken to swimming but not moving forward, either at the bottom of the tank, at the top or hiding in the green stuff. It looked so bad, I had decided to set the alarm early to make sure the seven-year-old did not make it downstairs and find the corpse before I did. As it is, I am still going to have to get up early because I had to put a plastic bag on my hand and pull it out the tank and he will come down to find the damn thing is missing. There is no getting around it - I am going to have to tell him it died . Unless I tell him it escaped.
I do not know whether he will want to bury it. At first, I pulled it out, wrapped it in another plastic bag going "eeeeeurgh" and put it in the kitchen bin. Then I thought: "What if he is really upset and wants to bury it?" So I had to "fish" it out of the bin, dig out a plastic box from a bicycle repair kit, cover it with silver foil, line it with a baby wipe and lay the fish in there (still going eeeeeurgh.) I also had to make sure it was lying with its good side up because I really do not want him getting a close look at the other side. I then wrapped it in a third plastic bag and put it in the freezer. (Perhaps I could hold out cryogenics as an option?) It certainly has not had what you would call an ecologically sound death so far. God. Now all I want is for the next one to die and the waiting to be over.