It's entrepreneurs day at Anna's junior school. The pre primary class are too young to participate fully, but are told to each bring R20 to school to buy something from the older children. "Buy mama something nice," I say to Anna as I kiss her goodbye.
I'm expecting her to return with a packet of fudge, or a slice of chocolate cake. But no; she brings home a goldfish in a jam jar. "It's for us to share," she proudly announces." His name is Shiny Goldie."
Ouma's pantry is a den of treasures and tucked away in the corner of a dusty shelf we find an old fish bowl. Shiny Goldie is introduced to his new home. "How can we tell if he's happy or not?" Anna wants to know. I gaze into his bulgy little eyes, and watch his mouth open and close, as goldfish mouths do, and suggest that he looks perfectly happy. Anna persists. "Dogs wag their tails, and people smile, what do goldfish do?" I'm stumped. I suggest we feed him his sprinkles. We watch him gulp his food and decide he must be happy.