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DEAR ABBY: I felt so sorry for 11-year-old Jeremy Schwartz who had a pair of goldfish named Ike and Mike, and Mike died. I also had two goldfish as pets, so I know how he felt when Mike died. My goldfish were rescued from an outdoor pond at the synagogue where I worked, or they probably would have frozen over the winter. I brought them home and named them Mahzel and Brocha.

Unfortunately, one of them didn't even last the first night. I wasn't even sure if it was Mahzel or Brocha who died, so I named the survivor Goldie (not knowing if it was male or female, it's a most appropriate name) because of his/her beautiful color. That was in 1990.Goldie is still alive and doing well, and he/she now has a place of honor in my apartment. If Jeremy ever comes to Southfield, Mich., he is welcome to visit us.

I'm a "Bubbie" (grandmother), so in addition to the pictures of my children and grandchildren, I keep a picture of Goldie in my wallet, too. - ROSALIE SPARR

DEAR ROSALIE: Thanks for a lovely fish story. Goldfish make wonderful pets. They're easy to feed, require no license and you always know where they are.

DEAR ABBY: What is the correct thing to do when you have visitors and the phone rings?

Is it OK to say, "May I call you back? I have visitors now"? My sister-in-law had that happen to her, and the party who called her just blessed her out something terrible, saying, "That's the rudest thing I have ever heard of anyone doing!" Then she slammed down the telephone receiver and hasn't spoken to her since.

Abby, I have done the same thing several times, thinking it wasn't fair to leave the visitor just sitting there while I talked on the telephone. (To my way of thinking that would be even more rude.) The person who called and blessed my sister-in-law out professes to be a great Christian.

Thank you for your answer. Sign this . . . WONDERING IN CONYERS, GA.

DEAR WONDERING: It would be unspeakably rude to leave a guest sitting alone while the host or hostess carried on a long-winded conversation on the telephone. No reasonable person would take offense to being told, "I have company now; may I call you back?"


Some good advice

From one who knows:

Take twice the cash

And half the clothes. - Forbes Magazine

By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prize-winning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)