Friday, October 16, 2009

Diagon Al

Diagon Al is a previously un-named tetra we've had for almost two years. At one point the kids referred to him as "Fred" because he was bigger than the other four tetras who were interchangeably called Daphne, Velma and Shaggy (they are much harder to tell apart). Eventually, they all just became "the fish" and seemed to have no distinguishing characteristics. That is, they were indistinguishable until a few weeks ago when Fred's rear swim bladder gave out.
We found him swimming in a persistent diagonal orientation with his nose toward the surface and his tail angled down behind him. He bobbed along in little bursts of elevation, nose ever tilted toward the surface of the water. His appetite seemed fine, but he seemed to struggle to stay off the gravel at the bottom of the tank. I thought his days were numbered and I said a little prayer for his little fishie soul. But days went by and Fred didn't die. He still bobbed along, oriented at a 45-degree angle. We began to call him Diagonal Fish, then later Diagon Al;

Diagon Al is a portrait of perseverance. Though he can no longer glide and rest like the other fish, and his gills have enlarged under the strain of their new workload, Diagon Al soldiers on.