Love in cold blood

A healing embrace
The gift of a loving soul
Wears many faces
A burden borne for others
Lightening the heart of both


What I had observed in my fish tank with my little dying fish, I was privileged to see again in my son’s pond. His sick fish had been at death’s door for several days, floating on its side, unable to swim upright and becoming weaker by the day. The poor orfe had no quality of life at all and spent all its time hiding under leaves, floatng on its side. How it had survived for so long, we did not know. We had medicated the pond, inadvertently changed most of the water with the filter debacle, and improved the water quality with a heavy-duty dose of beneficial bacteria.

There was nothing else we could do/. Then the fish developed an ulcer on its side from exposure to the sun, and even my son was discussing terminal possibilities.

But we are reluctant to go down that route. Hope is always possible, and even the most slender hope is a sliver of possibility. My son is a living example of that, coming back from the dead to a remarkable recovery. And so did his fish. The ulcer began to heal, the fish began to swim and even managed to stay upright.

He gets stronger by the day, even though we can see that there is still a problem and he is far from his usual slender self. He may, or may not live; the underlying issue may only have retreated, not been healed, but in the meantime, he is not alone.

As soon as he came out of hiding and back into the life of the pond, he had a companion. Just like my little gorami, whose mate stayed by his side until the end, the ailing orfe has a friend. He swims beside his sick pond-mate, hovers around him and presses his body against that of the sick fish. I am not ashamed of the tears as I watch them. Love wears many faces and even though sometimes its blood runs cold, it always warms the heart.

Tanka for Colleen’s poetry challenge.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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20 Responses to Love in cold blood

  1. willowdot21 says:

    This is beautiful Sue, you are right the power of love can be amazing.💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jenanita01 says:

    Nature, and all its inhabitants, can teach us a thing or two…


  3. Amazing aren’t they?


  4. Pingback: Love in cold blood – The Militant Negro™

  5. Adele Marie says:

    A beautiful friendship and I hope the little one gets well. xxx


  6. I’m so glad the fish are feeling better, Sue. The fish-love made me a little weepy too. All the work and dealing with the leeches paid off. ❤


  7. It really is quite incredible to think of a fish having friends. Nature is really magnificent.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I see it in the fish tank, but I have never seen it in the pond until now, apart from when we had one fish dying and all the fish came and swam into its corner, one by one, as if saying goodbye.


  8. Widdershins says:

    Fishie lessons on life … how wonderful is that! 😀


  9. Anne Copeland says:

    I wish that all folks would recognize how precious life is and not hurt the creatures in some of the horrible ways they do, and I am not talking here of hunting, which is in its own category. I have rescued so many from such terrible treatment. I am just glad that the creatures show us always how they treat each other.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      Human beings do terrible things to other creatures, it is true. But we too are animals, and animals are not always kind to each other. Even in my little fish tank, there are the bad-tempered and the bullies, the defensers of territory and, the unseen parasite and predator. Life finds its own leve and serves its purpose… but sometimes we have a choice in how to behave.


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