Mari and Dot stood watching some very long, lazy-looking fish move slowly through the water. They were strange fish. Their tail parts seemed to take up most of their long bodies.
The girls were close enough to touch one. But they couldn’t because there was a glass wall between them and the fish. Mari and Dot were in an aquarium, which is place that might be called a zoo for fish. Instead of cages with bars, in an aquarium there are glass tanks full of water.
An attendant a man who takes care of the aquarium moved close. ” That’s a funny looking fish, isn’t it?It really a fish though. It’s called electric eel.”
“Electric?” Mari said.”Is there really electricity in it?”
“There so much electricity in it,” attendant said,” that if it touched you it could shock you hard enough to knock you down. A big one might even knock down a horse!”
“Wow!How does the electricity get inside the fish?”
“The fish makes its own electricity. Some of the muscles in its long tail are like batteries.”
“Could its electricity work our electric toaster?” Dot asked.
“No, its electric charges come and go too quickly. But it could light a neon lamp. A neon lamp needs only a short charge of electricity.
Dot shivered. “Doesn’t the electricity hurt the eel?”
“No, the attendant told her,” and it won’t hurt other electric eels either. But when an eel comes close to fish that it wants to eat, it gives the fish an electric shock so it can’t move. Then it’s easy for the eel to catch the fish. Electric eels swallow their food whole because they have no teeth. They have no scales either. How would you like one for a pet?”
Dot shivered again.”I wouldn’t,” she said. Not even a little one.”