Someone who knows me well once said that I cannot rest unless I have a certain quota of critters around me. When I lost a cat long ago, I put a cage of breeding finches in the kitchen. When we moved and the finches had to go, I got goats. When my goat days were over I got another dog. And now that I'm at an all time critter low for me--just two dogs and nine hens--I've developed this thing about fish.
There's the betta in the big glass vase next to the kitchen sink. And there are the goldfish in the little pond just outside the back door. But the goldfish are mysterious beings who prefer to hang out in the murky depths instead of swimming decoratively among the water lilies.
So I've been longing for some goldfish that I can talk to and get to know, and now I have a pair. They live in the house in a tub originally intended for a small water garden. These goldfish are the round-bodied type known as "fantails." They look like a ping pong ball adorned with fins and a long swishy tail. Which is why I have named them Ping and Pong.
Pong is red and gold all over, and Ping is white with a big red splotch on his or her head. Pong swimming around in the water looks a lot like Bisou when she runs on the grass, with her red and gold "feathers" waving in the wind and her long ears splaying out like fins.
When blizzards rage next winter, I will look into my little pond at Ping and Pong trailing their tails and flashing their scales and I will feel like I'm on a tiny Caribbean vacation.