It gives me great pleasure to upload this particular episode because itís one of the first ideas I came up when I decided to go ahead and launch Sheepcomics.com Inc. several years ago. I had this idea of a "world within a world" which would be the fish in Lionelís fish tank. The problem is that is took until very recently for me to come up with a good script idea to introduce the fish characters.
I really owe my wife for this idea. She had been a fish keeper for years before we met. The typical population of her tank was several "tetras" and an algae eater. The only thing tetras and algae eaters have in common is that they are both fish; thatís where the similarity ends.
Tetras, like most aquarium fish, swim back and forth all day and hover right above the floor of the tank at night. The only break in the seeming monotony in their lives is when the "fish flakes" hit the surface of the water. Then these fish go into a fierce feeding frenzy. A minute later, and their life has returned to normal.
On the other hand, algae eaters are continually at work. They never let up. They keep going and going and going. Iíve never seen an algae eater take a break. When he gets done scouring the tank, he starts over and does it again.
Tetras are schooling fish. Itís typically not a good idea to buy one tetra. They need to school with each other to maintain their mental health. Sometimes they wonít even eat if they are in a tank by themselves.
Algae eaters donít seem to need the company of other fish. These fish go it alone. As long as there is the promise of algae on the next rock, the algae eater will look for it. Iíve wondered what an algae eater would think if you could tell him that his whole world is really just a small container of water that existed for the amusement of a huge mammal, and that his real purpose was to keep it clean for the other fish. Would he believe it? Algae eaters seem completely self-centered.
So, it occurred to me that even in a little five-gallon aquarium, there are fish who lead very different lives and probably have very different views of reality; kind of like we humans. With that Iíll end my commentary, because if I go much further Iíll just end up giving away the plot.