January 4, 2007

Goodbye Tilapia

Filed under: Life — dakidog @ 5:13 am

In my whole life I have never experienced my place being swamped with water and mud. But a time came when the place we were renting went under during a typhoon. We live near a river, hence, floods aren’t unusual. It’s weird though when you watch your house submerge in water.

When the river was not very swollen yet, Tiya Charit, our landlady, told me that our place has never been flooded so I better not worry a lot. But she was wrong because I really saw with my own eyes how the water rose and inched its way into the house. You can imagine how I tried frantically to save our things. It’s kind of funny when you see small creatures and other things enter your house. I was even imagining snakes swimming under the water, seeking for someone’s legs to bite! Thanks God there were none.

All of a sudden something fluttered near the bathroom. It scared me for a moment but then my husband said it was just a fish- a tilapia fish. I chuckled when I heard what it was. I asked my husband in jest to catch it so we will have something for dinner. My husband tried to put the poor fish inside a pail to keep it safe from the intense flood. But the fish took itself to the air and plunged straight down to the wet floor and vomited what looked like muck. Strange because the muck was actually tiny bits of shaking and twittering live fry.

This tilapia must be a glutton! Imagine devouring so much fingerlings. Made it throw up instead. Nevertheless, I asked my husband to save the glutton to be safely returned to the river after the flood. The tilapia seemed relieved and happy to swim inside the pail. A moment later and the tilapia threw up again. This time the half-full pail teemed with live fingerlings cramming delightfully around the big tilapia.

And then I realized that the tilapia was not a glutton but a mother to these thousands of fingerlings. She gobbled the fingerlings to save them from the flood and to prevent them from scattering. Must have been very hard to gather and keep fingerlings in your mouth without swallowing them. I couldn’t help but admire the motherly instinct of this tilapia.

I was enjoying the glorious display when the bubbly and energetic fingerlings started to become drowsy. They turned dull and some just broke the surface- dead! It must be the lack of air that caused it. How on earth am I going to instruct the mother tilapia to gather her fry again and save them from asphyxiating inside the pail? Even the mother tilapia was losing her strength.

I should not have put the fish in the pail and made it look safe for the fish and the fingerlings. I had no other choice but to let go of the tilapia and the fingerlings. I let them out of the pail- the mother tilapia and the fingerlings- into the river. Chances for them to reunite were nil.

Goodbye tilapia!



  1. hmm… how sad.. 😦

    Comment by kiih — January 5, 2007 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

  2. sometimes our actions affect others negatively in spite of our best intentions.

    Comment by dakidog — January 5, 2007 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

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