Martin's Japan Pages

Our Man In Japan

17 August 2006

Farewell at the Shinano River

Will all this moving flat business is (generally) going well (bigger place, very very quiet) there has been some tragedy.

Most of you know I was given two goldfish by a student last november, and I named them Albi and Rex, after the Niigata footy team Albirex. So, I kept them and they got bigger and bigger so I bought this tank for them and they've been happy ever since.

Of course, the tank had to move to the new flat along with all my other stuff. So rather than have the removers try to lift the glass tank full of water and fish, I put Albi and Rex in a bucket, attached the filter, emptied the tank and put it back in its protective box. I left the bucket at Keiko's while I went to run a seminar and the removers moved my things.

Just before I started my return trip home, Keiko emailed to say that one of the fish had jumped out of the bucket and had died. I suspected it was Rex, who had developed a habit of 'splashing' near the edge of the tank (to attract my attention to feed him?), and when I saw the fish I found it was Rex. Keiko was really upset because he'd died while she was looking after him. But she couldn't have stopped it could she? Maybe I should have put a lid onthe bucket to stop him from jumping, but who was to expect that Rex would do such a thing.

We had to do something with the dead Rex. Burying doesn't seem appropriate for fish. Flushing down the toilet is undignified. I remembered a half-joke I made that I would put the fish in the Shinano if they died. Actually, that seemed perfect; putting him in the Shinano and be taken his biggest journey ever. So, at sunset, that's what I did.

Albi is still alive, swimming around in the tank in my new flat. He looks lonely so I'm thinking of getting another fish for him as company. But I dont want to buy a replacement Rex. This fish has to be different and has to have a good name too. Any ideas?


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