THE DAY MY PET FISH DROWNED!
Last year, a Chinese friend recommended that I fill my fish pond with Koi, a Japanese carp that could grow into a 3-pounder salmon. Swerte daw ‘yun. And so I went to my favorite pet shop and ordered a couple. Medyo mahal din pala ang isa, Php 1,500.00 a piece of the juvenile kind, the real McCoy according to the tindera. Samantalang sa palengke, ang isang buhay nab angus na ganun din ang laki ay nagkakahalaga lang ng Php 30.00. But the great difference is the lifespan. Accordingly, a Koi can live up to 50 years, some kind of a Galapagos turtle among marine species. And so, for that day, I bought two. I also bought a bag full of fish food to sustain its health and vigor.
I was thinking of the luck it could bring. There was even a poster in the pet shop depicting the charm Koi brings to its owner. Nakasulat nga lang sa intsik but I could read the illustration near it and there were lots of gold gift boxes adjacent the pond owner. Naturally, I got intrigued.
And so, there I was, like a kid, having an exciting day of his life at the banks of the pond watching two three colored Koi smoothly swimming. I thought that if I will procure two more, the resident Kois would even be adjusted. After all, this kind of marine life looks like tame and sociable. They won’t mind having new friends around. I sprinkled pellets into the pond and the Koi just loved it. I placed the pellets on my palm, dipped it on the water like a priest during communion and yes, the multi colored swimmers virtually licked my fingers and I got tickled pink. Hindi nangangagat, hindi tulad ng Flowerhorn, yun bang isdang puro bukol pero parang piranha kung sumagpang.
For a while, I realized that watching fishes on the flank of the pond is a relaxing proposition. It removes stress and anxiety instantly. Nakaka-kalma ng pakiramdam. Nakaka-tanggal ng buryon. It refreshes the mind and cajoles it in a profound way. Kaya naman ang isang batikang manunulat sa America, si Henry David Thoreau noong siya ay namuhay mag isa, pinili nya dun sa isang lugar sa tabi ng isang fish pond. Yun ay naging tema ng kanyang walang kamatayang katha pinamagatang “Walden Pond.” He showed the world that finest writing can be conducted while undergoing an experiment in solitary living.
I won’t go that far naman. Mine was just to appreciate the simplicity of watching and appreciating life from a little distance.
After a year, my kois were having a good time. Malalaki na sila. As it was my routine, I would feed it every morning. They loved high grain bread. And they were all robust and looking good. The morning sun would shine on their pectoral glory and there I was, like Neptune, the god of the seas, ogling at my subjects.
One day, reality of life dawned on me. Life must bear its concomitant consequence. There is mortality, there is impermanence, there is transience, and there is stillness. My multi colored pond dweller was floating without life. I had my shares of exposures of this experience and I was no longer a stranger to this phenomenon.
My father departed as a result of old age; mother as a consequence of tragedy; my sister and wife from ailment; my friend from sickness and accident and now my pet fish. According to my neighbor who had no forensic skill to boast but nonetheless considered by folks in the village as their wit, my fish drowned.
No wonder our village is not prosperous.