Echo Presents: Mr. Tubs

Image from: Dr. Tom Bailey

By: Emily Papleux

This is the story of how I got my fish, Mr. Tubs. He’s always swimming about on my desk, watching me study and do homework, or write articles. Now, instead of talking to myself when im stressed or bored, I can to Tubs. Its like having my own personal best friend that almost always with me. No more keeping things to myself and stressing out about things I have no control over.  Not only is he therapeutic, but also makes me feel a little less alone every day.

I had never had a fish before, nor have I thought I would ever have one. My story starts at a car drive, with my older sister Laure and her friend Nico. They were talking about an ad they saw near us online for free kittens that had just been born. But having three dogs and two cats already, I was sure they were kidding. One night, when I almost asleep, my subconscious slowly slipping away into a darkness, I heard my sister calling my mom to see something. I was too intrigued to keep asleep and got up lazily, my vision spinning, altering my steps I took as I strolled down to my sisters’ room. There, was a small kitten the size of my hand named Sushi. He was gray and white, and had a little gray spot on hi nose, almost in the shape of a heart. That four legged wobbly creature was one of the most adorable things I had ever seen. I went back to sleep after a few minutes of watching him. Then, just the day after, I had a depressive episode and cried for hours about my self-esteem and the way I look, or how I miss my home town. My mother had comforted me as she always does and took me on a surprise trip afterwards.

 I had no idea where we were going, but I was hoping for some fast food to cure my rumbling stomach. We ended up in a Petco parking lot, and I thought “Were going for pet food”.  But I was wrong. We walked in the store, her hand holding mine as she led the way. I followed her to the fish section, and boy was I was confused. Even though we basically have a zoo at this point, we didn’t have any fish. And then we looked at the Beta fish they had in containers. My mom looked at me with a knowing smile and I started to cry out of joy in a pet store, with concerned strangers watching me quizzically. I had an instant connection to a dark blue King male. Every time I would look at others, whether they were bright pink or red, I could not keep my eyes from wondering off to where he was again. I chose him, and we picked out a tank, water conditioner, and food. My mother confessed to me she had liked that one as well and thought I was going to pick that one. She was right. 

In the car, we had a bit of a scare. I was holding the container he had come in, and I looked around to see him, since we were at our last stop sign until home, and he wasn’t there. Me and my mom searched frantically but then I saw a dark shadow swimming about and I said ‘Oh nevermind.” The tank had made it seem as if he had jumped out. We laughed until we got home. I had archery classes short after, so my mom compromised and said she would set everything up for when I was back. I kept thinking of names, and I thought of Mr. Tibbs. My friend at the time said that was the name of her racoon that visits her on her roof at night. I immediately chose a different name. I didn’t  want to think of her while I was spending time with my fish. So, the closest one I could think of was Mr. Tubs. I thought about him all session, and I even hit all three of the moving targets. Then when I came back, Mr. Tubs was in a clear tank and was swimming about on my desk. I could not express my utter joy and excitement as I watched him for hours and hours until I dozed off in warm sheets. Now, Mr. Tubs is on my desk, silently watching me and swimming in his round little tank. I got him a squid ward house, and I am currently saving up for a bigger tank so he can better enjoy his time with more room for decorations, but also to swim freely.

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