Animal news: a speedy porker, a pugilistic roo and a BIG goldfish

From Harper’s Weekly Review:

A pig in New Jersey named Albert Einswine led cops on a 30-minute foot chase, and a kangaroo in Canada escaped while being transferred between zoos, hopped down a highway, evaded authorities for four days, and then punched an officer in the face.

The BIG goldfish news came from the Times. Actually, it is GIANT goldfish news. While you might believe any news about goldfish has to be good, this news is not good: the massive goldfish in question are dominating life forms in Lake Ontario, i.e., killing off and/or eating everything in sight.

I have a bit of experience with goldfish. Until I was eight, my family (including me) lived in the Bronx at a Grand Concourse walk-up complex called Thomas Gardens Apartments.* The “garden” wasn’t euphemistic: the complex had a large, landscaped interior courtyard, at the center of which were crossed arched bridges over a goldfish pond.

Since everyone had to walk through the courtyard to get to his/her apartment, the goldfish pond was daily territory for exploration. I have firm memories of standing on the bridge and gazing over the railing at the fish below. They were “goldfish” only in a generic sense; the pond was home to a great variety of colors displayed by those fish. Red, gold, white, black and whatever else. (The black one was my fave.) They were larger than fish-bowl size because, as I learned, goldfish expand in correlation with the size of their environment. But since those goldfish lived in a pond not quite as big as Lake Ontario, they never became as huge as the fish now crowding the lake.

Goldfish are, in fact, carp. I did not make the connection between the 840 Grand Concourse goldfish and the smoked carp my mom offered as a Sunday breakfast, along with the de rigueur lox and bagels. But, as I now consider this, I realize I don’t buy smoked carp, and never have.

The final goldfish experience was my brother’s. He does not now recall any reason why he had goldfish; that is, he had made no outcry for them. (My sister’s eternal outcry was for a dog; now she has two.) Nevertheless, my brother had two goldfish. He named them Thomas and Edison. Thomas died first; Mom gave him a funeral via a toilet flush. I don’t remember what happened with Edison but most likely not immortality.

I’m really glad I called my brother to fact check those goldfish because I was about to tell you what happened to one of them. Except it wasn’t to a goldfish. It was to my brother’s turtle. When the turtle died, my brother (at age maybe seven) wrote in memoriam:

I had a little turtle, his name was Tootsie Shor. He makes our garden fertile because he is no more.

*When I consulted my AIA Guide to New York (an utterly marvelous, often hilariously sarcastic book) for info on Thomas Gardens, I found they were financed by John D. Rockefeller as part of his plan to build affordable housing for poor people. I never knew we were poor.

This entry was posted in Animal news, Capitalism, The Facts of Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Animal news: a speedy porker, a pugilistic roo and a BIG goldfish

  1. Sue Thaler says:

    I never knew you were a native Bronxite! (Me, too, until age 23!) I remember visiting you at your New Rochelle home.
    By the way, your brother’s poem is impressive for age maybe seven. Or for any age.

    • Naomi says:

      And I never knew you were from the Bronx, too! We do like to believe this made us unusually intelligent. I’ve always remembered Eth’s poem I guess because it was impressive. And so dry. Who is dry at age 7?

Comments are closed.