“How do you think they can stand being in there all the time?” Tom asked.
Angela shrugged. “That’s all they know. They don’t know what it’s like to not be inside their dome.”
Tom frowned. He poked the glass and Angela swatted his hands away.
“You’re going to scare the fish if you do that. It hurts their ears.” She said.
“They have ears?” Tom said in wonderment. He turned his attention back to the goldfish with wide eyes.
“Everyone has ears.” Angela replied. “Now, did we come here for a fish or not?”
Tom put his index finger to his chin. He paced in front of the various tanks that were before him. When he made it to the saltwater fish, his mother called him back.
“We don’t have a saltwater tank, we set it up for freshwater. You have to get anyone of these.” She said.
Tom, without responding, walked away from staring at a starfish and moseyed back over to the freshwater tanks. There were guppies, tetras, platies, goldfish, and so much more. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to get.
“Are you stuck?” Angela asked. “Can I make some suggestions?”
Tom nodded and looked up at his mother.
“Our tank already has tetras and platies in it. Should we get a couple more so they fit in? We have red platies and orange platies. But look, here are some yellow platies.” Angela said pointing to one of the Platy tanks.
Tom grinned. “Yes! How many red guys do we have and how many orange guys do we have?”
“I think we have three of each.”
“Then get three yellow guys.”
“Sounds good,” Angela said. She called over a worker at the pet store and they came over. As the worker scooped out three yellow platies, Tom looked at the rest of the fish.
“We only have two neon tetras and two black neon tetras. You know, tetras are schooling fish. Should we get a couple more of those?” Angela suggested.
“Yes!” Tom said giddily.
Angela smiled at the worker. “Two neon tetras and two black neon tetras, please.”
“And this goldfish!” Tom exclaimed.
“What?” Angela asked.
“There’s a goldfish in this tank that I want.”
Angela peered into the fantail goldfish tank. There were only five fish in there and they all looked the same except for one. “Which one did you want?” she asked cautiously.
“The one with only one eye.” Tom stated with a proud smile.
“Are you sure?” Angela asked.
“Okay, then.” Angela turned to the worker. “Can we also get the goldfish with one eye?”
“That fish probably won’t live very long.” The worker warned.
“That’s okay.” Tom said pressing his face against the goldfish tank. “We’ll give him a good home so he can be happy before he goes!”
The worker chuckled. “It’s only a fish.”
Tom frowned at her. “And you’re only a human, but people care about you.”
Angela pressed her lips together. She tried not to laugh as the worker scooped the one-eyed goldfish out of its tank. She didn’t want to in front of the worker, as her face had turned a nice shade of red, but Angela would remember to give her son a fist-bump when they got in the car.