While we were in Spain I left The House in the Middle of the Street with The Siamese Princess, Big-Boned BabyCat and The Big Black Dog in the capable hands of my friend, The Pond. When I landed in The City Beneath the Mountain after our trip to Spain I turned on my phone, as one does. There was a message from The Pond:
Hello, it’s me. Everything is fine at your house. Call me if you have any questions about the dog or cats. Or fish. Byeee.
Fish? I wondered if I’d heard right, having just flown and my ears being slightly blocked. I was sure I’d misheard, so left it at that, choosing to make numerous happy-I’m-home phonecalls all starting with the obligatory “Hola! Como estas?” that is necessary after a Spanish holiday.
On entering my kitchen I realised that my ears had not in fact been that blocked. There on the kitchen table in what I can only explain as an enormous champagne glass was a lone goldfish, swimming around and around, as goldfishes are meant to do.
We nodded (well, I nodded, he kind of waved a fin) in slightly embarassed acknowledgement of each other’s presence, not really knowing what to say, and I sidled off to wash airport off me, not seeing him again until the next morning.
In between time I called The Pond and exclaimed my horror of her not telling me the name of my houseguest, and therefore causing the embarrassed encounter.
His name is Lucky. I introduced myself at breakfast while he eyed my oatmeal porridge. The Pond says I may not give him any, no matter how much he looks at it. I enquired whether a boiled egg and toasty soldiers were a better option and she tutted and mumbled something about coming to collect him, possibly within minutes.
In the meantime, I’m to give him only three little flakey things each day. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not a goldfish, even one called Lucky Fish.