100 betta's sat in a pet store, flashing their bright colors at each other, spinning and fluttering fins and tails to proclaim themselves the moste pretty. that is, all but one. he was charcoal grey and not the prettiest fish in a cup. this little fish was depressed.
in three days, all the prettiest bettas has been purchased, leaving 20.
these 20 were the most common or ugly of the group. Some went belly up, others were gotten by children to go belly up within a week.
yet this little charcoal colored Betta was never chosen.
The store employee grew slightly attached to the Betta, as he followed her finger every time she walked by and played with him.
as he grew more and more sickly, she decided to purchase him.
She took himhome and placedhim in a tank beside her mollies and Koi and angelfish. A large Oscar scorned the Betta, laughing at his puny size.
the Koi and mollies laughed at him for his droll color.
Days went by, then weeks, and he became healthy.
One day she noticed her mollies had had babies, but they were eating them!
So she took a chance and put them in with the charcoal Betta.
He nurtured and raised them, helping her cull out the sick and unfit Mollies. This made the woman very happy. when the fry were big enough, she moved them to another tank.
this made the Betta sad. He had finally been loved and been a father and now his babies were going to new homes.
He sat sadly in the corner of the tank, watching them swim happily. All but one little albino molly. she was far too small and had escaped the net, but hid from the Betta. He might eat her!
As she grew bigger and healthy, the betta noticed her in his tank. He cared for her for a couple more months. finally, when he was nearly dead, he could now die happy. He had raised one daughter who had taken the human's fancy, and would be used to breed.
when he went belly up, the molly mourned him. The Oscar laughed. "Puny fish dont survive." This made the Molly very angry. She decided that she would make the oscar pay for his foolishness.
She jumped from her tank into the Oscar's, and when he chased her they leapt from the tank. she made it ibnto her tank, but the oscar hit the ground and became cat food.
the Angelfish laughed at her for being mad about the Betta.
"Out of all of you, he was the best parent. He made sure I ate but was not eaten. he made sure my fins were kept clean. He made our breeder smile when he cared for me. What have YOU done? With all your pretty colors, your vanity kept you from bringing true joy. Maybe color has nothing to do with quality.
the other fish laughed, but the white molly ignored them.
When the human came home to the dead fish, she cried over the Betta, but shrugged over the oscar.
she left the white molly in the tank alone for several days, until she found a golden molly. She bred the two, and the white molly cared for her young as she had been cared for.
As for the grey Betta, he was buried in the back yard by a rose bush that blumed silver and blue every time the white molly finished raising her brood.