A Golden Romance
By Susan Gordon
I was born in this pond, so it is home to me.
We all have regular feeding times, and Variety sticks are our current favourite. It is peaceful and quiet, and there are no cats in the area as safety is a priority.
My friends and family all come from posh pet shops and were the first to live here. We happily share the pond of course with other fish and a couple of married frogs.
When new fish arrive, we help them to settle in. We have rules and trained counsellors to help emotionally damaged goldfish. The worst cases seem to stem from fairs. These fish have had it hard. Travelling all over the country and never knowing where they will wake up is enough to damage the best of us. They are just putty in the fair owners hands.
These goldfish often have learning difficulties and insomnia. They are so used to swimming in jam jars, that it takes time to encourage them to swim in straight lines. They are used in such cruel ways. Passers-by keep throwing ping-pong balls into their bowls and sometimes hitting goldfish on their heads. If the passer-by gets the ball into the bowl, they win the poor fish, who is carelessly thrown into a plastic bag and carted off to an unknown future.
We have a swimming club and encourage the newcomers to learn different strokes. The breaststroke and backstroke are especially popular. I like to have a few lifesavers around, just in case.
We relish goals and have introduced Bronze, Silver and Gold medals. We have installed diving boards and frog ladders so that the frogs can access the club without a struggle.
Just to show you an example of how damaged a goldfish can be, I will tell you Flossie’s sad story. I have changed the name to avoid embarrassment, of course. Flossie was found sobbing in a secluded corner. She has always had a fear of water and had lost her swimming skills and only paddles in the shallow end.
We knew from the start what we were up against. Flossie had lost all her confidence and was shunned by family and friends. We encouraged her to use a small tyre or fin bands, but she just refused to try. Hypnosis was considered, but this was too expensive. We were just about to throw in the towel when something magical turned up.
Tod arrived home! He is the star of the pond, a very good looking and stylish goldfish. He has lots of money and knows how to show a girl a good time. Tod’s family are well-known aristocrats and go back years.
Tod is so fit and athletic and has gained all the swimming medals. Often abroad training, he is spotted in the most expensive spas.
Then one day, when Flossie was paddling in the children’s pool, their eyes met, and it was love at first sight! The next thing, Tod was teaching Flossie to swim and helping her regain her confidence.
She was so keen to learn and was seen practising the breaststroke. She was spotted in all the posh shops, buying bikinis, sun hats and designer sun specs. It was rumoured that she was using suntan lotion to avoid sun damage!
They are training every morning now and seem inseparable. Tod has his sights on the Goldfish Olympics this year and has taught Flossie how to combat her fear of water. They make such a lovely couple, lounging near the pond. Of course, they aren’t living together. We goldfish are a pretty conservative bunch. No love before marriage, that’s the rule.
Flossie and Tod party all the time and can be spotted in all the smart restaurants. They love variety sticks and order them all the time. Money is no problem, as Tod’s family own the lily pad franchise. They are now considering a holiday abroad.
Flossie’s swimming is excellent, and she swims six lengths before breakfast. The other evening at one of their favourite restaurants, Tod went down on one fin and asked Flossie to marry him. The restaurant erupted with cheers and clapping of fins and the delight on Flossie’s little face was captured by a photographer and printed in Goldfish Hello magazine. It is amazing to see how happy the pair are. This is one of the happiest pond stories of all time. Good luck to them both.