Tuesday, 16 September 2008

R.I.P. Chlodwig von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfurst

There are stringent rules here about pets: aquatic pets are allowed but nothing else. So, when there was a man on the green outside the campus centre selling fish I leapt for joy and wiggled my nose. I purchased one of said fish, carefully selected for the beige gravel in the bowl. Those who know me well will be aware of my extreme fondness of all things beige. After having a discussion with the vendor about how I was a 'natural' girl and that is why I had not selected a bowl with flourescent pink gravel in, I set off back to my room.

The fish (male Siamese Fighting Fish) was named Prince Chlodwig von Hohenlohe-Schillingsfurst after the German chancellor 1894-1900. He was known by friends as Chloddy, and we were all very fond of him.

Chloddy's life was a short but precious one; he was loved by all, and spend three carefree days swimming about in his bowl before his own stupidity lead to his demise.

Fish are not known for their brains or their intelligence, and such was the case with dearest Chloddy: he was not blessed with powers of the mind.

I had every intention of buying a larger bowl or a tank for my new pet, but such an opportunity never arose. Poor Chlodwig's life was brought to a bitter end.

I arrived back in my room on Friday night after a very energetic rugby training session and was looking forward to some quality time with my newest friend and dependent. However, it was not to be. On arriving in my room I sought Chloddy's company, but he was nowhere to be found! I searched high and low within the bowl (this did not take an especially long time as the bowl is 6" in diameter). Chlodwig was found lying still on the work surface a mere 4 inches from his home. However, a small amount of poking revealed that he was, miraculously, still alive! And so I returned him to his bowl in the hope that the water would revive him.

Sadly, Chloddy lived only 24 hours more; he was limp and unhappy looking for the last part of his short life, floating around at an odd angle, not eating, and only showing signs of life when poked with a spoon.

When I arrived home on Saturday afternoon, Chlodvig was no more. He was an ex-parrot, he had passed on after pining for the fjords for a day.

His funeral was this evening, and a very sombre procession marched from Buckland to Mary Lyon's grave, and Chloddy was buried. Moving words were spoken, songs were sung, and we left our dear fish to rest in peace.

We will miss you, Chlodvig; good friend, dearest fish.

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