A fishy situation

Dana Buckhorn

Thud. Eight inches of pure golden magic headbutts the tank wall. A quick recovery and then, thud, another collision. Welcome to the life of my blind goldfish.

I made my first friend at the age of five when my kindergarten school carnival brought in an adventure even greater than that of the treacherous dunk tank. After 8 tries and a grand total of one bottle knocked down, fate delivered my soulmate complete in a plastic bag filled with water.

My new friend, whom I named Ariel, was not your everyday goldfish; she was a survivor. The more-often-than-not fatal car ride home did not phase her, even with my mom “accidentally” driving onto sidewalks and going out of her way to hit potholes. Ariel was clearly a Superfish.

It wasn’t until I dumped Ariel into her makeshift fish tank––also known as a blender––that I realized something was different about her. Not only was she morbidly obese (by goldfish standards), but she was also going blind. My baby fish would never be able to see mama’s face; I was heartbroken.

With time, I accepted Ariel’s disabilities and came to love her for who she was. When she ate two of her fellow goldfish in under a week, that’s when I truly fell in love. She was a Buckhorn after all. My Disney princess had finally earned herself the name “Killer.”

Now carrying the weight of 2 other fish, Killer upgraded to a fish tank meant for six. When puberty kicked in, there was just no stopping her. Eight inches long, she was the equivalent of an offensive lineman-sea lion crossbreed. Try to flush her down the toilet now, Mom and Dad.

Killer’s blindness comes with issues. For example, Killer’s favorite food is rocks. Though full of minerals, rocks aren’t considered superfood for fish––or anyone really––and their consumption is a possible cause of Killer’s hourly seizures. These twitching fits create tsunamis which lead to swimming pools on my bedroom floor. But as a loving mother should be, I’m always understanding of these accidents.

Going on 10, or 8140 in fish years, Killer continues to thrive on a diet of her family members and rocks, while managing the 15-20 concussions a day from head-on collisions with the dreaded tank. And even if she could fit down the toilet, Killer cannot die. She is Superfish.