Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another one bites the dust

On Wednesday, Katie's final guppy died. We started with five, and they had passed one by one, until this one was left. Of course he was the ugliest, most beat-up looking one of them all. He was called SpongeBob (by her because he was yellow/orange, by me because, even for a fish, he was pretty stupid). Katie was broken hearted. It took me off gaurd, because she's never cried over a fish, frog or snail before. And we've had quite a few.

We said our goodbyes, declared Wednesday a day of morning for him and sent SpongeBob via the porcelain express to fish heaven. Every hour or two after that Katie informed me that she really, really missed her fish. And that Gary, the snail, was lonely. Each time I'd confirm that it was OK to feel sad, and said that, when she felt like it, we could go get a new one. She said, "Maybe someday, Mommy. But right now I'm too sad." Well, someday arrived on Friday.

Friday morning arrived and Katie informed me she was ready for a new finned friend. At PetSmart she found a Betta that had escaped from it's little cubby into the big fish tank. She loved him, and wouldn't even consider another. He did still have color to him (as opposed to most who looked pretty white) and seemed active, so I finally caved.

Katie was thrilled over her new fish. She made phone calls. She made plans for show and tell. She told everyone she saw. That night the fish had kisses showered upon him (blown through the glass). I was told that in the morning, I would learn of the fish's new name.

Morning came, and the fish was not only alive (I breathed a huge sigh of relief), but had been named... Hokie Swimmy. Swimmy is her last name (don't try to tell Katie it's a male). Day 2 came and went, and the fish had a steady stream of conversation coming its way. In fact, that may be why the next day, she found him, laying on the bottom, belly up. Ahhh, Hokie Swimmy. Such a short life in our home.

Hokie Swimmy was the "bestest fish that was most ever loved ever." Yes, she was a "very, very special buddy." Thus, when the funeral arrangements were being planned, it was decided that the toilet just did not provide the appropriate reverence required for this mournful event. A coffin was thus fashioned from a toilet paper tube, and decorated with a snail (so he'd never forget Gary), a happy face (for fish heaven) and a butterfly. A tombstone was also crafted with his name and a heart. The burial took place behind the play area, under an oak tree, and Katie dug the grave herself. She wanted him near her swing, so she could always remember what a good fish he was. She said goodbye, then sat down in the grass and had another good cry. Sadly, I found myself tearing up just a little to see such a display of affection for a $3.42 fish.

So, we're off to Petsmart again tomorrow. I hope I can convince her to get a few goldfish. They're easier to replace without her knowledge.


  1. Holy cow, this so like the scene in "Poltergeist" where they bury the little girl's fish in a cigar box. She puts a blanket and snacks and a picture of herself inside the box.

    Now watch out; don't leave your TV on a night.

  2. Evelyn4:06 PM

    Hey Kim,
    Amanda gave me the link to your blog. What a great story! I was laughing out loud alone in my office. Having been through a few bettas I can agree that they are hard to replace without being noticed.
    Will you be at the Amos prom? If so, I'll see you there.