Charlie has been a valued member of our family for at least 6-8 years.
Charlie joined the family with 5 other goldfish one day when a very young Mawin asked his Mum for some fish we saw at a Bangkok footpath stall. We bought a tiny plastic bowl with a small electric filter and a couple of plastic waterplants, and the stallholder gave us the fish for free, saying "These fish are very common and worth only about 5 baht [US$0.12] each"...indeed, they were very unimpressive looking fish.
After about 24 hours, Mawin lost interest in the fish, and so I looked after them. Within 2 weeks, Charlie was the only fish still with us!
Charlie keeps growing, and this is his 4th bowl. He has survived a 6 hour trip, in a plastic bag with about 1 litre of water, from Bangkok to our new house. He has transformed into a gorgeous fish, with lovely flowing veils of fin and tail. I feed him 3 times each day, and often let him suck one of my fingers. I have put a couple of marbles in the bowl with the pebbles, and Charlie makes quite a lot of noise moving the marbles about and re-arranging the pebbles.
About 18 months ago we gave him to the Village school, as they had an enormous tank with just a few small fish in it. After about 6 hours I went to the school and rescued Charlie, as the concerned teachers reported that the local fish had attacked Charlie and eaten off all his lovely fins and tail...they quickly grew back...
Our cats have little interest in Charlie, except for Mek and Little Mum who often play near his bowl and are perhaps thinking of a fish feast.
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