I swore I'd never buy another petstore betta again--haven't we all? Every one of us has a tale why we quit breeding (if we ever did quit!), but we never really get over being bitten by the betta bug. Well, that promise held for eight years until I walked into my favorite local freshwater specialist shop, intent on supplies for my preschooler's goldfish and loach tanks. (They're really mine, but she'll tell you they are hers.) I saw a flash of movement, and walked past the dwarf puffers, mollys, gouramis, and other excited happy fish, to the back.
There it was again! A bright flash of lavender. I peeked in a temporary 1 gallon home to see what on earth it was. Two black eyes peered back at me, and I kid you not, a betta waved at me. His front fins are enormously long, perhaps 1/2 an inch, certainly longer than 1/4 inch at the very least. (It's not like they hold still to measure... :/ ) He's just a cherry red VT, with an extreme iridescent layer of lavender. I blinked, waved back, and he waved again. With one fin. I boggled, called my husband-to-be over, and asked him to look at the betta.
"He's an awesome color, but I thought you vowed no more betta fish?"
Before I could answer, the betta turned, and waved at him with his other fin. We both waved back, and he flared and started doing excited circles. It was worth it to see his jaw drop. "Did.... That fish just wave at me???"
Mr. Personality is now resident in his own personal abode of 5 gallons that the goldfish outgrew years ago (yes, I added a marineland preset heater). He waves at me with his right fin, my fiancÚ with his left, and my daughter (or anyone holding food) with two fins. He doesn't seem particularly caring that he has a tank of comets to one side, and fancy finned underwater pigs to the other side. Not even the cat phases him. He just likes people.
Got a call this morning, my mother decided to drop in on my house while I was out. "There's something wrong with /that weird red fish/!" "What's wrong with him? Don't feed any fish, Mom. They aren't starved. They lie!" "His fin is moving funny." "Is he still red and active?" "Yes, he's following me like a dog." "Does it look like he's waving?" "Yes." "He's waving at you, Mom. Wave back." "... Your weird red fish waved back at me... How on earth.. You know, you have the weirdest pets!"
Mr. Personality's name suits him perfectly.