It started with a goldfish I got at the Ionia Free Fair. We put it in a small round fish bowl. I have since learned that it probably didn’t live very long because of the small size of the bowl; goldfish need room. After learning more about the hobby of keeping fish, we got a ten gallon tank with an air pump to oxygenate the water, and bought some tropical fish — mostly guppies. It was fun and educational to watch the baby guppies form inside the females. I could see their tiny black eyes. Then we scrambled to rescue the babies as they were born so the male wouldn’t eat them.
Tropical fish are more sensitive to the cold, so we lost them when the power went off during a winter storm. Everyone enjoyed watching the fish, so we got a fifty gallon tank, and two Japanese fantail goldfish; one was bright gold with a beautiful double fantail, the other was pure black with a single fantail.
This time, the fish made it through the winter, and when spring came, we had the great idea to put the goldfish out in the lily pool in the backyard for the summer. After uncovering the pool, getting the straw out, and filling it with water, we put the fish in, and they disappeared under the lily pads. Once in a while during the summer, I would see a flash of gold in the water to know the gold one, at least, was still okay.
As cold weather approached, we scooped the two goldfish out to transfer them to the tank inside, then started dipping buckets of water out to empty the pool. When I dumped the bucket, the lawn suddenly came alive with little bronze-colored fish flopping around like fish out of water, which they were! As quickly as I could, I grabbed them and put them in the half-empty bucket. We took the rest of the water out of the pool carefully, and looked under lily pads to find any that might be trapped. In all, we had about a dozen bronze “goldfish” with straight tails in the tank that winter.
GOLDFISH ON A SPREE
We’ll move the fish from the tank to the pool,
While the days are warm, ‘til the nights get cool.
A summer vacation for a change of scene,
Swimming around in the pool’s lush green.
Are the goldfish swimming? I cannot see;
In the lily pool by the willow tree.
Under the lily pads, did they survive?
We’ll scoop them out, if they’re alive.
One gold, one black; have they died?
What a fun surprise! They’ve multiplied!
Two fantail goldfish out on a spree,
Swam in the pool by the willow tree.
So get some fish, learn what to do,
To keep them alive and happy too.
Like all wild things, fish like to be free,
As they swam in the pool by the willow tree.