My son's beta fish, Tyler, has his own home gym. It consists of a plastic bubble attached to a round mirror, about an inch and a half in diameter. The bubble keeps the mirror from drifting down to the bottom of his bowl. If you know anything about gravity, you'll understand why the air filled bubble is necessary.
In case you aren't up on beta fish lore, they don't know the difference between another real fish, and their image. We don't need to call them stupid. 'Not the swiftest swimmer in the bowl' works, without any animal cruelty in this post. When confronted with a mirrored image of themselves, the reaction is one normally reserved for a true threat on their territory.
Our last beta would flare her gorgeous rainbow hued, flowing fins at her rival. She would head butt the mirror with savage thrusts. Not only did this provide us sick-o fish owners with joyful amusement, she got exercise, released endorphins, and had a daily adventure. This was so intense for her, that she was only allowed five minutes at a time with the horrifying reflection.
But Tyler, well, he's been not so great for us to gawk at. He just swims away and refuses to face his enemy. I won't use the word wimp here. Bravery-challenged is more politically correct. Fish are sensitive, after all.
At the farm behind our house, we have been thrilled with the arrival of four young alpacas. They have the 'Beatles from the 1960's hairstyles. If I wasn't so stunned with their sudden appearance, I would have thought to holler at them to get a haircut. How can they bloody well see with all that fur in their eyes?
Our dog, Daisy, ran along their fence. The alpacas (is it too soon to name them George, Paul, John and Ringo?) were already unsettled from their landing in a new home. Now, they were encountering their first St. Bermastiff. Confused looks abounded. They knew it was not an alpaca, not part of the long neck pack. So what was it, covered in tan fur, long tail, and way too much energy? Such a long strange trip that day had held for them.
When I went back to say hello to them yesterday, the alpacas had gotten over their initial disorientation. Heads lowered, all four were chewing grass. It felt a wee bit discombobulating to me, though. All the other grass eaters have normal length necks. Alpacas have the look of goofy royalty--not a creature that spends it's day doing regular farm animal stuff. It was a week of expanding horizons for all of us.
In the excitement of the alpacas, I forgot the turkey incident. Another new arrival, a few days before Christmas, was a dozen turkeys. Although they are not expert pilots, turkeys can awkwardly flap up onto a four foot high fence. One brave turkey made it to the top of his enclosure, and then kept going to the other side. Free at last!
Daisy was so excited, she raced over to give a little nip on turkey feathers. Thankfully, she is a well trained dog, and backed off as soon as I told her to stop. The turkey gobbled displeasure at us. Daisy and I decided it was a good time to slink away. Pissed off turkeys are not fun to deal with.
I have no idea what could have happened to those turkeys, but when we returned the day after Christmas, they were gone. I'm as perplexed as you must be.
Hope you are enjoying as much entertainment this holiday season as I have been with my animal encounters. If you own a beta, be sure to buy the exercise apparatus at your local pet store. Happy New Years!
Resolving to include more entertainment and laughter in the new year?
Easily entertained by other creatures