The Man in the Mirror...

Don't worry, I don't plan on turning this into a blog where I ramble incessantly about my pet, but bear with me for a while, as Zoubie is new to our lives, and very cute.

In case you didn't know, betta fish are very aggressive, territorial creatures. Originally, they are from Thailand, and are also known as "Siamese Fighting Fish," because they were selectively bred to kill each other for sport, kind of like a Southeast Asian version of cockfighting. Today, they are valued more for their bright colors, but all those generations of breeding for their fighting prowess mean that bettas don't play well with others. Zoubie will be an only child for his entire lifespan.

Not only do bettas not get along with one another, they can even become enraged if they spot their own reflection. Unfortunately for Zoubie, the walls of his tank are somewhat reflective, and he will puff up his fins and rush at his own image in order to defend his home from this perceived threat.

I'm aware that the glass fishbowl is upside down here. You can blame Zoubie's dad for that one.
All of this makes it all the more sad/ironic that Zoubie's only companions are a pair of tiny glass fish, locked together for eternity while Zoubie is condemned to a life of solitude. Sometimes, I catch him swimming near them, and I imagine him musing on this existential torment in the anger-inflected French accent that I have created for his inner monologue. Perhaps it is as Sartre said, no? "Hell is other people," even if those other people are a couple of tiny fake fish who forever mock your loneliness.

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