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By: Audrey LintnerĀ 

You may have noticed this already, but it's ridiculously hot outside. Summer jumped on us with feet and elbows, pinning us to the ground in a superheated frenzy of wretched temperatures. We have more or less retreated to the indoors for the duration.

The pond fish have it pretty good. Friends donated some aerating plants that provide shade, and Larry and I have been up to our elbows in bleagh, trying to keep ahead of any potential algae bloom. The indoor tank has had its own special kind of issues.

Our goldfish thinks he's an alligator.

He looks like an ordinary goldfish. About two inches long and covered in shiny orange scales. Don't let that fool you; he's a killer.

Seeing that the tank population had been reduced due to normal fishy age progression, we decided to get a few more to keep the lone survivor company. A couple of small goldfish and some brightly-colored tropical fish seemed like fine additions. Our "big" fish seemed to agree, because he promptly ate them.

Perhaps they tasted like chicken.

Faced with a twice-depleted tank, I scowled at the would-be piranha. "You'd better mind your manners, or I'll bring back a stingray!" I left for the pet store in a huff. Actually, I left in the car, but I was pretty irritated. The clerk sympathized with my scaly losses and steered me to the feeder goldfish tank.

Ah! Swimming in the depths were quite a few big goldfish, all slightly larger than Mr. Wannabe Alligator. In nothing flat, four of them were scooped into a bag and paid for. I soon introduced them to their new home. They were pleased, the alligator goldfish was not. He scowled at me through the glass. "Are you nuts?! I can't eat these!"

That's the plan, little buddy. Play nice, and you won't have to go live in the pond with the HUGE goldfish.

Everybody seems to be getting along. No fin nipping, even on Shrimp Pellet Day.