I wrote this three years ago in an eggnog-induced haze - (that's my alibi, and I'm sticking with it!
) It's dedicated to a firemouth cichlid I once had who delighted in terrorizing his tankmates out of the tank and onto the floor until I shipped him off to somebody with a bigger tank and bigger tankmates.
'Twas the night before Fishmas, and all through the aquarium, not a creature was stirring, not even a severum; The water was changed, and the filter was clean. No patches of diatoms could even be seen.
The corys were nestled in their java moss beds,
While visions of spirulina danced in their heads;
I turned off the tank lights and booted up my Dell,
logged onto AA, and everything seemed well.
When out in the livingroom there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
The moon on the surface of the rippling H2O
cast reflections and shadows on the carpet below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should I see,
but my psychotic FIREMOUTH, on the floor by my feet,
That clever little rascal, so lively and quick,
I tried to catch him by hand, but his scales were too slick.
More rapid than eagles his followers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, CORY! now, ANCISTRUS! now, ACARA and BETTA! On, JEWEL! on BRISTLENOSE! on TIGER BARB, and TETRA! To the top of the filter! to the top of the wall! Now carpet surf! carpet surf! carpet surf all!"
"As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
so up to the surface my fish they all flew,
Out of the tank and straight across the room.
And then, in a moment, I saw on the ground
my fish were all splashing and flapping around.
As I reached for my net, and was turning about,
my psychotic FIREMOUTH launched himself onto the couch.
He was dressed all in lint, from his head to his foot,
and his scales were all tarnished with fish food and dirt.
I spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
netting my fish as I thought, “What a jerk”.
For after the tank was gravel vac’d and algae scraped,
I had left the lid open, which caused this mass escape.
I caught all my fish and returned them to the tank
Rinsed off my FIREMOUTH quite annoyed with his prank
But I heard him exclaim, as he dove out of sight, "HAPPY FISHMAS TO ALL, AND MAKE SURE YOUR TANK LIDS ARE TIGHT."