Bowled-over Bonz’s first fish chat goes swimmingly


This week’s innerview-ee is yet another first. There was the zebra; the piglet; the sugarglider; the bearded dragon; the duck; the wolf; an all the Super Crispy Biscuits poocheroos and Cool Catnip Fee-lines in between.

This week, I was tryin’ to fill a vacancy after a last minute post-PONE-mutt, when I ran into a pooch pal, Basil. Basil had mentioned my column to a fren who’d mentioned it to his roommate, Richard Kodis, who said he’d love to be innerviewed if I was interested.

Perfect timing!

Basil knows I love swimmin’ an said Richard was a terrific swimmer, so we already had something in common. Then he added, “Ackshully, Bonz, one liddle thing. Richard is a, well, he’s a member of the Betta Splendens spee-shes. That’s, umm, you know, a FISH.

Also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish …”

“Wait. Wha-at …” I blurted, but Basil kept yappin’.

“I KNOW you’re gonna love him. He’s a loner, but a Super Cool Loner. PLUS, He’s tri-lingual. An I bet you didn’t know Bettas are the national aquatic animal of TIE-land (usta be si-AM).”

“You’re correct. I didn’t know that. Richard sounds FASS-uh-natin’! But how’re we s’pose to, you know, TALK? I mean, do I hafta stick my face inna fish bowl?”

“Ackshully, Bettas can breathe air for little bits of time. Plus, Richard can READ.”

“Shut the doghouse door!” I exclaimed.

“You’re gonna love him!” Basil repeated.

In pruh-paring for this unusual innerview, I decided to pre-write a few questions on some flash cards. I didn’t know if it’d work, but I figured it couldn’t hurt, so we’d have OP-shuns.

Richard’s Primary Human (PH), Josh, welcomed me an my assistant an led us to a sofa an low table, upon which was placed what Richard later described as a “jumbo-sized Margarita glass,” filled with clear water, white stones, plants anna chI-KNEES tower thingy. I moved in as close as I could without nose-smudging the glass.

Suddenly there was a beautiful whirl of dark blue anna swish of red, then from beneath the waving plants emerged this small magical creature. He was dazzling. He swam right up to my nose an softly bumped the glass with his tiny fish nose, then swished a red fin in what I’m positive was a wave.

I held the “HELLO” card up to the bowl.

Richard looked at it, swam to the surface, an poked his face out of the water. I heard a small, precise voice.

“So happy for meeting you, Dog Bonzo. Most welcome, you are.”

“Thank you so much, Richard,” I gulped, peering gingerly down into his earnest liddle face. “It’s my great pleasure.”

“Say what you wishing to know and I providing my best responses. You asking, I be beneath. I nose out for answering. A special body part we have called labyrinth for out-of-water breathing.”

Down he went. I pressed two cards against the glass.

“How meet your human?” and “life experiences.”

From there, the innerview was partly written questions, partly spoken, as we relaxed into a sorta rhythmic (bubbly) conversation. Here’s Richard’s fascinatin’ fish tail.

Richard wasn’t born in The Wild, but in a human-made environment. His fish Mom an Dad constructed a Totally Cool Kibbles floating bubble nest for the eggs by ackshully blowin’ zillions of bubbles and stickin’ ’em together. His Mom laid the teeny-tiny eggs an put ’em in the nest, but some kept fallin’ out so his Mom an Dad hadda keep nosin’ ’em back in. Inna few days the babies (they’re called FRY for some reason) started swimmin’ around.

Richard continued. “MY PH rescue me from pet store so apartment not feeling so empty.

At store, I living in small, liddle cup. Very tight squeeze. Now am enjoying my own private abode.

“My spee-shees not what called CUDD-ly an uh-FECK-shun-ut. However, I NEVER having desire to be fuh-ROW-shus with PH. When he put hand against my bowl, I swim over for greeting. He be providing X-cell-unt caring, an foodstuffs, an fresh spring water, an is never wishing to devour me with tartar sauce.”

Richard explained that Siamese Fighting Fish don’t play well with each other, even their brothers an sisters. Never mind other spee-shees. An they offen fight with each other till one of ’em goes to Fish Heaven, for Lassie’s Sake. (Nemo’s Sake?)

In FACT, Richard emphasized, “I being troo-ly what is call LONER. No Fren Circle. Even to point where, if seeing my own self as re-FLECK-shun in bowl, I am puffing fins all up so as to appear fuh-ROW-shus. I PREFER alone. I am hearing rumors of perhaps a tortoise to be moving in upon coming summer but I am deciding to destroy, oh, a thousand pardons, meaning to say to CROSS that bridge when arriving at it.”

A subject change was definitely called for. “What about foodstuffs?”

“My food is in form of pellets for best nourishmints. Red ones an green ones. I NOT prefer red ones, therefore insist my PH remove them. I having spuh-SI-fick meal hours an, should my PH not produce required repast at appointed hour, I swimming very rapidly in circular motion to alert him.”

“How do you typically pass the time?”

Richard poked his liddle face out of the water. “I be floating about mostly, napping a bit.

Meditating on ocean things, listening to music my PH plays, particularly enjoying piece called ‘Sleep Walk’ which working quite well for floating and meditating. I also observing PH prepare foodstuffs an doing work, from my excellent vantage point atop glass cabinet containing old cameras.

“I NOT enjoying when PH cleaning my bowl cuz I getting scooped into measuring cup which being small an boring. But my home being at all times exceeding clean, my PH being kind and always removing the red pellets, so all is good.”

Heading home, I was shaking my head an smilin’ to myself, thinkin’ how endlessly new an fascinatin’ my adventures continue to be, as I meet yet another one of you amazing pets, week after week. I’m one lucky poocheroo.

Till next time,

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