In Swim: A Note from Norty

By: Norton von Spudley


Hi there readers! This is Norton von Spudley, flitting in for my mommy, Miss Jamie Lynn Ryan, famed columnist and editor extraordinaire {she made me write that}. You may recall my name being mentioned from time to time in a handful of articles, but I’ve never been given the opportunity to put fin to keyboard and “step in” for In Step – until today.

From what I hear, my predecessor, the beloved Buddy the Betta, was quite the regular contributor, even having his name grace the staff box as a guest columnist for a period of time. While I’m certainly no Buddy, I’d like to think I have my own unique charm to bring to the paper. Still a baby by betta fish standards, I’ve resided with my human for nearly two years already, and still going strong!

Our story began back in November of 2016, following the passing of Buddy just a few days prior to Thanksgiving. As I darted to and fro in my tiny betta bowl at the local pet store, a mere speck of a fish, I spotted the girl who would come to adopt me. As she peered through the plastic, fascinated by my deep blue hue and pointy nose, I waved my sheer fins ecstatically and stared intently into her face. It was love at first sight.

Fast forward approximately one year, eight months, one week and four days later {fish keep impeccable time}, and our lives have been enriched by each other’s company – well, on the rare occasions she’s actually home of course. Most days have been spent examining my mini-thermometer {still waiting on a replacement for that, by the way}, combing the gravel for rogue bits of food and lunging out of the water at any who dare peer too closely into my bowl.

And then there’s bath time, the dreaded uprooting of my dear plant and redecorating of my abode. As soon as I see the big yellow scoop come out, I flatten myself against the side of the container and refuse to budge. Feeding times are another nuisance, as my human still insists on crushing my pellets into bits, forcing me to chase my tail for crumbs before they settle on the bottom, never to be seen again.

But alas, I’m just a tiny curmudgeon of a fish, always looking for something to gripe about. Truth is, we are a match made in heaven, both preferring our solitude and possessing a bit of that OCD need to clean up our surroundings constantly. At the end of the day, she waves goodnight and turns off my desk lamp, and we part as friends . . . until the morning comes, and sleepyhead decides to hit snooze a few too many times, delaying my breakfast.

Ah, the life of a fish. Eat, sleep, swim laps. Repeat. And on Fridays in August when my mommy dearest is drained of ideas for her column, I write. Pleasure to make your acquaintance, dear readers. Hope the rest of your summer goes swimmingly.

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