Goldfish Moment

The Rosehaven Cottage pond has been home to goldfish for quite a few years now. The original batch came from Wal-Mart and proliferated each spring until we have the two generations we do now. Sadly, all the original goldfish have long since gone to fishy heaven, but their progenitors still remain. This spring I added two new baby shubunkins to the mix hoping that it would add interest into the gene pool (pardon the pun). The 5 adult goldfish (3 of which are descendants of the original Wal-Mart fish) were very prolific this spring, and we have a lovely school of babies this year in lots of interesting patterns and colorations.

For all the years that we've had goldfish in the pond, the goldfish have always been afraid of me. If they would see me moving around the pond, they would quickly hide in the foliage. It was only when we had to remove them from the pond in order to reconfigure it, did I get a chance to truly enjoy them while they resided in an 100 gallon Rubbermaid horse trough. When it was time to go back into the pond, I cried. I thought that would be the end of the fun moments I had with them coming to the sight of my hand and "asking" for food with their little fishy lips. It was a bittersweet moment as I put them back into the pond where they would be happier and healthier and do the job they were intended to do... eat mosquito larvae.

I've noticed over the summer as the babies have gotten bigger, that the goldfish were seeming to recognize me when I would come to the same spot every other day to feed them their goldfish flakes the way the older ones used to when they were in the horse trough. Were they actually recognizing me? They seemed to be.

Then just yesterday, I had to wade into the pond to replace the smaller pond pump that was on the fritz. As I walked in I noticed that the whole school of fish (big and small) was swimming toward me! There they were swimming in formation directly for my feet!

As I worked on the pump, I had the magical experience of having little baby goldfish, as well as the adult goldfish that are about 5-6 inches long, swim around my feet as if they were kitty cats swirling and rubbing on their human's feet and legs. I could feel the cool soft velvet of their goldfish bodies brush up against me, while the babies enjoyed "kissing" the inner arches of my feet as I stood in the water.

This is a first for me. I've never liked touching fish, particularly live ones. I always avoid it as much as possible--choosing to net them without touching them if I need to move them. But I didn't even freak out or feel the need to scream as they swam around my feet. It was such a peaceful and serene moment.

I guess goldfish aren't quite as dumb as they are believed to be. They have enough intelligence to recognize me and know that I'm not a raccoon or a white egret.
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  1. My boys keep asking for fish and a tank, but as long as I have to care for it, I refuse! They would go nuts over your pond.

  2. That was a lovely post Cindy. I've always had a garden pond but was never brave enough to put fish in it for fear of them being eaten by the neighbourhood cats. I think it's just goldfish in glass bowls that are stupid as they have nothing to stimulate the brain.If your fish are producing young it's safe to assume they are happy in their environment - and your looking after them exceedingly well!

  3. are right...the goldfish have been charmed by you! Isn't it such a sweet feeling to be accepted by fish?
    Out pond has goldfush and shubunkin also. I have made them a little tunnel to hide under in times of danger or extreme heat. I placed a large slate slab on top of 4 rounded is sort of a Flintstones cottage LOL! They love it.
    Thank you for your kind words about my kitty photos...I admire your work and this is such sweet praise for me.
    You said the coffee mug comes in two sizes? I really like the brown and the pink colors you have on it. How large is the largest? I drink from a big coffee mug, but only twice a day:)
    Have a wonderful Sunday and keep the Victoria spirit alive....
    Karla & Miss Peach

  4. I have no doubt that they recognize you.

    I have owned several Betta fish over the years, and these fish have such a personality!

    I hand feed them, and everytime he sees me eating, he is right over to the side of the bowl begging like a dog would.

    One of life's small, sweet pleasures to be accepted by another creature!

  5. What a neat story! I think the goldfish are your friends, now. They seem like better pets than my Sea Monkeys, too.

    I been wondering about whether goldfish go to the Rainbow Bridge after their lives are over. They might live in the water beneath the Bridge.

    I really like the picture of the fish with his mouth open. He has a big mouth. I like that in a fish.

  6. What a great photo and story! I wish we could have fish in our new pond (maybe next year), but I worry that the cats will eat them. Should I worry about that?

  7. I once went to a big Koi farm around here and the owner showed me how his fish would jump up on the side of the pond so he could hold them in a wet towel and pet them! I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. So I guess they can become pets if you work at it.

  8. Cindy, is there something you don't have at Rosehaven Cottage lol, this is so cool. I often see these in the Mandarin, chinese buffet restaurant, they have them as a decor. I also see Caspian Tern on our local park fishing for them all the time, or even Osprey. It is sad on one part, but then this is a way of survival. I am not really a pet person, but I have two Beta's and you are correct fish are intelligent, they actually greet me every morning or when I come home, they swim excited, and I know because they don't even eat at that time, but when they do they crunch their food, which is so cool to hear. Another great post, Anna :)

  9. I am so happy to know more things about gold fish. I have some when I was little. But I didn't pay so much attention.

    IF I have chance to pet, I will check more detail.

  10. Hello Cindy, I hope you don't mind but I tagged you :) ! Just check out my blog for instructions on what to do when tagged.....

  11. Hello Cindy! My post today was done in the spirit of Victoria...and I was thinking about you...come for tea and meetsome creatures!
    Miss Peach

  12. That must have been a wonderful experience! We've been afraid to add fish to our pond as we have lots of cats in the neighborhood and heron landed in our yard last year (looking for a snack I assume).


  13. This was cool to read. I've never done a pond - or fish! Well, I have a large pond with tons of fish, but you know what I mean! :) I bet it's interesting to be a part of this interaction.


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