Thursday, November 18, 2004

fish of buddy don: is fish lack folks?

i aint never sed nuthin bout this tank of africun cichlids me n miz bd has sittin in our livin room. tiz a big un, 6 feet long by 2 feet deep by 2.5 feet tall, witch thats good fer holdin about 155 gallons of water.

we gut it stocked with africun cichlids from lake malawi, mosly whut they call pseudotropheus saulosi, but thays also a pair of catfish in thar, witch thar scientifick name is synodontis but we named ourn felix n fritz, witch we dun had felix fer nigh onto 9 years n he wuz purty well full growd by the time we gut im.

thang bout cichlids is how they dont use thar color to hide so they kin git verr britely colord, almos lack marine fish, witch they call them fish that lives in salt water 'marine.'

ifn ye aint never kep no fish or ifn ye kep gold fish or sum such, ye mite not bleeve jes how smart fish kin be. aint minny of em much smartern africun cichlids n they gut em a verr highly deeveloped soshul order, so to speak. in ever tank or pond or lil area, ye gut yer big fish, witch thatns the one that ever other fish backs down frum.

we had our tank a'goin so long that moren half the fish in it wuz born thar. they gut em a method of hatchin lil fish known as 'mouth breedin,' witch it wurks thisaway: whichever male fish kin git the female to pay im sum attenchun -- taint always the big fish, by the way -- that male gits to swimmin over by the female n a'waggin his tale, speshly his anal fin. hes gut im sum lil spots on that tale name of 'egg spots,' on a counta how whenever he gits to waggin his tail jes rite, the female gits to thankin thays real eggs (so they say, witch makes me wunder how they gut inny idee whut female fish thanks since humans caint hardly figger out whut thar a'thankin!).

inny who, the two matin fish gits into a lil dance whar furst the female puts her mouth by the males anal fin n sorta pertends to bite at it n then they swap spots so the male kin do the same thang to the female. purty soon, the female seems to burst n a passle of eggs pops out. all the fish in the tank wonta git a bite of em, but the female fish is generly quickest to git all them eggs in her mouth. once shes scooped em all in, she gets back to the bizness of the dance, witch the two fish keeps on a'doin till the male lets out his seminull contribushun to the nex generayshun. the female scoops it up, the eggs is fertil-eyesd, n she carries em in her mouth without eatin nuthin fer about a month.

we call her 'pouched' durin this period on a counta how she has a pouch of lil tiny fish jes below whar her mouth is. ifn she looks ye in the eye, ye kin see all them lil fry in her mouth, thar lil eyes lack brillyunt black dots.

after shes dun without no food fer a munth, she turns em a'loose, spreadin em out in the tank n puttin em in places whar they kin hide. thang is, tuther fishes aint gut no cumpunkshuns bout eatin em.

durin my years of keepin this tank, i seen a'minny a big fish cum n go. ye gut yer goodns n yer badns. yer goodns wont let tuther fish fite, lessn they wonta fite with him, witch the big fish is always a male. corse, ye gut yer badns, witch all they wonta do is chase all tuther fish round the tank n try to kill em.

as ye mite magine, they git em a peckin order wurked up n whenever the populayshun gits too big (thays a ebb n flow toot on a counta how they live bout 4 years at mos, lease in our tank), ye git to whar sum fish is whut we call 'banished,' witch that means they aint allowd to go no whar but up in a top corner of the tank with no perteckshun, stressd out till they die.

i dun tride savin such banished fish befor, but tiz a waste of time. ye take out the banished fish, put it into a nuther tank, n purty soon, the main tank has a nuther banished fish. ye caint stop em frum a'doon whut thar a'gone do.

corse, taint ever fish thatll take such treatment. sum of em wont give in n let tharself be banished n whenever that happens, the fish gits beat up purty bad. tuther fish generly eat off as much of thar caudal fin as they kin to keep em frum bein able to swin verr fast. after that, the fish has gut to hide as much as possibull, but twill git beat up a lot. we call fish that gits into such a state 'batterd.'

i once had a batterd fish name of stubby, on a counta how he dint have nuthin but a stubb lef fer his tail. he gut attacked ever time he cum out to eat, gittin a bite of food in while bein chased by the big fish n then goin to hide agin. i always felt fer im n wonted to git im out sos he mite git a chants to grow his tail back n quit a'gittin beat up so much, but ye caint hardly catch them fish, speshly one lack stubby that lacked to hide so much.

innywho, thar cum a day whar i had to move, so that meant takin the tank apart n givin away mos of the fish. corse, i always keep them catfish, speshly felix since hes so old (we dun had fritz fer near five year) n i deecided i wood keep stubby also. ye kin take yer other fish to most inny fish store n give em away only they wont pay ye nuthin on a counta tiz a favor fer em to take em offn yer hands.

i give stubby to my son, witch he kep fish in them days. he put im in a tank all by his ownself n purty soon, he had dun growd his tail back. twernt lack he wood cum out much, but he gut his tail back. twuz a nice thang to see. he gut biggern n twuz rite nice.

purty soon my son deecided to git sum tiny lil new cichlids fer the tank n funny thang is, even tho stubby wuz three times the size of em, purty soon one of them new lil fish wuz the big fish n gut to whar he had dun et stubbys tail back down to a stubb. sad thang is, ye caint change the persunalty of a fish!

as i dun writ, the big fish kin be peacekeepin types or warlike types. we had one we give the name of 'pol pot,' on a counta he killt minny of his brother fish. he wuz born in the tank n gut to be big fish by havin a fite to the death with his own daddy. he wuz a awful fish n twuz sad to watch how he terrized the rest of the tank, bothern mos ever fish ceptn his own mama.

then one evenin, he wuz a'gittin too rowdy even fer her. she chased im a bit, witch twuz a nuff to git our tenchun, so we watched fer a while. after he had chased near ever fish but his mama down into thar hidey holes (they all gut em a place to hide), his mama turnt on im suddenly n killt im in a sangle strike. twuz amazin. she hit im so hard, he turnt over backerds n drifted down to the bottom of the tank. he dint git uprite agin n wuz ded by nex mornin.

even befor pol pot gut his chants to be big fish in the tank, thay wuz a nuthern that wuz batterd so bad we named im 'bedraggled.' bedraggled refused to be banished n paid fer his refusal with his bidy, a'gittin so beat up to whar his eyes wuz clouded over, witch generly that means thar near ded. but bedraggled refused to die n thang wuz, he survived four or five differnt big fish. sadly, whenever we moved over to new jersey, he dint make it, tho we tride.

ye could larn ye sum lessons frum how them fish wurks.
  1. ever fish is different
  2. the big fish in the tank dont last as long as the lil uns
  3. ifn a fish lets itself git banishd, twill die
  4. ifn a fish kin take a punch, twill outlast lodes of them big fish
  5. big fish cums in two forms, peaceful n warlike.
  6. a warlike big fish has to spend mos of his time chasin all them other fish around to proov how hes the biggest
  7. a peaceful big fish lives a verr long time n only chases tuther fish ifn a fite brakes out twixt em
  8. ye caint save a fish that wont save itself
seems to me thays at lease one lessun fer them dimcrats in all of that, ifn ye bleev inny of them lessuns kin apply to humans, witch is
  1. ye caint let yerself be banished to no canada
  2. ye gut to take a punch
  3. ye gut to suck it up on a counta how them big fish dont las as long as lil uns
  4. ifn ye caint save yerself, caint nobidy else save ye
corse, humans aint fish, so mayhap nun of this signifies innythang.

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