I remember recently reading a post from a mother who complained that her child went on a school excursion and came home with a plastic bag of fish. Apparently it is common practise when children visit fish farms to be given fish to take home. She was lamenting about how this is rather irresponsible of the fish farmer as most children are not ready to take on the duties of being a pet owner and many of these fish would end up dead.
I read the post and actually thought to myself how lucky we are that Zoey is currently too young to be going on such excursions without us. Even if we did go with her to such a place and she was given some fish, we would have politely declined.
Fast forward to yesterday, I was looking for a plastic bag in the kitchen when I noticed an unfamiliar plastic container on the floor. It was one of those clear containers with a red cap, commonly used to store Chinese New Year goodies. What was interesting was something was moving inside. I moved closer and found it was filled with guppies! I immediately asked Siti where the fish came from. Apparently, Mr Khoo, our neighbour had been rearing them in his water plant pot. Due to the rate that guppies multiply, his pot was getting crowded. So he scooped up a few and asked Siti to give them to Zoey for “playing”. This had occurred last Saturday when I wasn’t home and no one had told me. When Irene found out, she had told Siti not to accept such gifts in the future and assumed the fish wouldn’t survive without a proper tank set up. So for the last 7 days, the fish had gone without any food or water change because no one knew how to take care of them and expected them not to last.
When I asked Siti why she had not told me about it, she said it was because she didn’t want to throw the fish away as she believes the fish were still alive and she believes them to be lucky for her. So tonight I went down to the fish shop and ask them for a proper set up. Apparently guppies are so hardy that they don’t even need aerated water. Just a plastic container with water changes every 3 days will do. Siti has volunteered to take care of the fish and Zoey seems to enjoy watching the fish, so I guess we are now fish owners.
It makes me uncomfortable that people give such gifts without consulting us and expect our two year old to be able to look after live fish? She’s not even toilet trained and can’t even feed herself without getting food all over. Plus honestly, live animals are not toys. They should not be treated as such. So sometime this weekend, I will need to have a chat with Mr Khoo about it.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of the fish in their brand new tank.