Margaret Thatcher famously used the Royal ‘we’ when son Mark’s wife gave birth.
We are a grandmother of a different sort; and I accidentally killed the little blighters. About forty of them.
The Hub’s Kribensis gave birth. An Albino Kribensis at that. The Hub likes Kribensis because they care for their young instead of giving them a twelve-hour head start and then eating them. He bought a special spawning net for a nursery, because the other fish don’t respect babydom when there’s the chance of a good meal. The net floats near the top and is attached to the glass by suction pads. The Hub is soppy over his fish.
When I put on the tank light the other morning, two of the Siamese Fighters appeared to be trapped between the tank wall and the net. Fish need to keep swimming to breathe, something to do with the movement and the water creating their oxygen. Here endeth the science lesson.
I pulled the net away and prodded the Fighters to make sure they were still alive. They swam away in a huff. The Hub told me later that they don’t need to move as much as most fish and like to snuggle in that space from time to time.
I was rather pleased with my act of charity. The net frame had come away from the suction pads but it still floated so I didn’t wake the Hub to fix it.
The Hub came downstairs a little later and did his usual fussing over the tanks, talking the baby talk he reserves for his millions of little fishies in his five – yes, five – tanks. He got to the big tank last and exploded with angst-ridden rage: in the
nursery net he found a bloated Siamese Fighter, licking its lips and smiling smugly.
I don’t know why it was so smug – it missed the two baby Kribensis hiding in the corner.
It transpired that the nursery net had somehow come away from the suction pads and sunk just enough for the Siamese Fighter to jump in and participate in some fine dining.
I confess, I blanched. I considered packing my handkerchief and stick and running away to the circus. All that stopped me is that I don’t have a handkerchief big enough for my Malteser stash.
I blanched again. I confessed. I told my sorry story of mistaken heroics to the Hub, and he forgave me. He’s like that. It’s so annoying.
Several days later, I decided it was time to put the kitchen voile back up on the window. I took it down for the Christmas lights and, once washed, stuck it in the ironing cupboard.
The ironing cupboard holds the iron (three of them, for no reason that I can fathom; I’ve no idea where the other two came from), several tons of clean washing (always, no matter how much ironing I do which, okay, isn’t a lot, but even so…), bits of material that we kept from the many, many costumes our kids have worn on school activity days (Obi-Wan Kanobe? Here’s an old brown blanket and a bit of Hub wizardry. Punk rocker? Let us just zip one up), sundry items like the sewing kit (never sewed anything), silver polish (never polished anything) and kitchen roll (never rolled around the kitc…oh, wait…blush).
I picked up the voile; it was rather small. There was another piece, also rather small. I put the two pieces together – talking of pieces, in church on Sunday, our vicar got the biggest laugh of the morning when the congregation read on the overhead projector, The piece of the Lord be always with you. We wondered which piece it was – I put the two pieces together and there was a huge hole in the centre.
I’d no idea what had happened but I knew who to blame. I didn’t want to rollick him when he had just woken up so I left a heart-shaped note and a snippet of voile stuck to the Hub’s mug when I took him his coffee. It read: I love you but you are in BIG trouble.
He was pretty sheepish when he came downstairs because he realised what he’d done. His explanation was that, when the Kribensis gave birth, his little catching net broke, it was late at night, and he needed to repair it quickly so that the other fish wouldn’t eat the babies. He went in the ironing cupboard, found what he thought was a bit of spare material (what? From the time one of the boys played a bride?) and the rest is history…
I haven’t forgiven him yet. He finds that so annoying.