Monday, April 17, 2006
Death and rescue in the Three Amigos
Shadrach...what kind of name is that?
Meshach...who has a name like that?
For anyone who has ever done the musical "It's Cool in the Furnace." they are probably singing along with the above lyrics. It was one of my favorite musicals I did as a child. It is based on the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the Bible. I always loved those three names.
I love aquariums (See Finding Nemo post) so I have a ten gallon and a two gallon that hold my four fish: Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and King Nebuchadnezzar. King Neb. lives in his own two gallon tank because he is a male beta and does not like to share his domain (hence the name). The other three live together in the ten gallon and I call them my three amigos. I have had the three amigos for almost a year and a half, which to me, is an amazing life-span for fish owned by this Imp.
Unfortunately Abednego passed away before Easter and I was very sad at this loss. My Three Amigos have become the Two Amigos. Since his death had occured though, I needed to clean the tank so the remaining two would have fresh water and no Abednego leftover.
I cleaned the tank as routine, placing Shad and Mesh in a small bowl and up out of reach from Mr. Kitty.
It was late and so when I went to pour them in a bag to float them in the new water awhile to acclimate them to the new temperature, I did so over the sink. Not thinking it was the sink with the garbage disposal, I tipped that bowl and poured. Meshach went right into the bag, but Shadrach, grieving over the loss of his brother Abednego, jumped straight down the drain, into the garbage disposal! Let me tell you folks, had he been at a diving competition he would have won. He didn't hit the sink, or the black plastic thingy in there, he went straight into the hole.
I had just lost one fish to natural causes, and now I had just lost another fish to suicide by garbage disposal. I quickly put Meshach down, calling out Shadrach's name in distress as I tried to look down in the drain in case perhaps by some miracle I could see him. As you all know when you bend over a drain, your shadow gets in the way! I flung open the cabinet below and pulled all the cleaning supplies out and tried to see if I could unhook the garbage disposal....no luck.
Almost in tears, I resigned myself to the fact I had just let my fish jump down the drain, so I turned on the cold water to let it pour down the drain, hoping that would help him (like Nemo) find his way to a lake or something. Then as I was thinking about that, horrid images of water cleaning factories went through my head and I could see Shadrach (like little Nemo) scared to death as strange things came at him from all sides.
I sank to the floor, bemoaning my poor sweet Shadrach and his impending death. Suddenly I hear something...what was that? It was coming from under the sink. I lean closer to the garbage disposal, the cabinet door still open, and I hear...flop, flop, flop. OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He was in there, flopping around, gasping for....um water!....dying a slow death in the nasty, stinky garbage disposal! I cried out to him "Hold on baby! I will save you!" and tried again to find a way to open the disposal....no luck again.
I rushed for a flashlight to look down the drain again. Holding aside that black plastic thingy, I shined the light within and...oh my gosh...there he is...right there...lying on a flat place...gasping for...water...if I could just....
I raced for my smallest net, bending it so it would fit in the hole, and holding: flashlight, net, and roundtip knife, I set to work on rescueing Shadrach. "Just flop in the net!" I splash alittle bit of water of him. "I am sorry it has chlorine in it!" After some coaxing and a small push with the roundtip, he is in the net. He is safe! Hooray!
I rush him to the bag to join his brother and breath a sigh of relief. Mission accomplished, fish is saved! Next time I will pour it over the counter, far away from the sink!
(He actually ended up having to spend the night healing in the fishbowl, but the next morning was fully reunited with Meshach in the ten gallon and is still happily swimming!)