Monday, April 4, 2011

Death of Our BBF

I mean, Death of our B, BF--that would be our Betta, Blue Fish. We adopted [bought] Blue Fish on April 20, 2007. That was the day after my second son's sixth birthday. For some reason I let him have a fish. I wanted to name him Charlie--the fish, not my son. My son wanted to name him Blue Fish. Obviously, I lost.

Bettas live between 3.5 and 4 years in captivity--that is, in fishbowls. They are the ONLY fish suited to living in bowls, because they breathe air as well as water... Also, they don't play well with others... and this is where my knowledge of the species ends. I guess I won't be writing a book.

In November we thought Blue Fish was seeming a little lethargic and that he might die over Thanksgiving weekend, but he bounced back. Lately though he has been hanging around the top of the bowl, seeming unable to swim to the bottom. Many of his food pellets were laying bloated on the bridge with him showing no interest in their consumption.

Last night I looked in the bowl and wondered if Blue Fish was still breathing. This morning my son was sure he was dead, so he touched him with the end (not the prongs) of a plastic fork. Blue Fish darted away like his fins were on fire, but the start probably gave the old fish a heart attack. He was floating, tail down and lips to the surface by this afternoon.

After dinner we gave him a proper burial in our garden (a generous term, for sure). I wrote and my husband read the following eulogy:

Here lies Blue Fish,
A fish always true to his name;
He lived in humble circumstances
Never seeking fortune or fame.

Clearly his life was well-rounded...
Ever living in a bowl.
Given the chance, he would
Likely claim to have lived mostly "half full."

The depth of his life was 10 inches--
From top to bottom, at most.
Surviving nearly four years
Like that surely deserves a toast!

In the end, he grew weary
And his stroke lost its speed--
Yet he continued to hang on
Until he could no longer feed.

He made a grand centerpiece
And a conversation start,
But making a petless boy pet-FULL
Was his most cherished part.

So we bid a fond farewell to Blue Fish and wish him well in that big ocean in the sky where we are certain all bettas go after they die. Au revoir!


  1. Cute! Wish I could have paid my respects!

  2. My sincere condolences of the death of BBF. Never get a dog, the funerals are much more traumatic!!

  3. Love it, Rebecca! Sorry to hear about the loss, of course, but love your eulogy. :)

  4. I'm going to keep you in mind for eulogies when any more of our fish die. Of course our funerals are a lot faster than yours, being that we give them a burial at "sea," so they'd have to be a lot shorter. :)