The Burial

As you know, I implemented a no-pet clause many years ago.  Save for the occasional imaginary pet, brothers who think they are a dog, or hapless captured frog (which was an outdoor pet until his untimely demise) the only living creature I’ve allowed to reside with us has been those of the fish variety.

We recently downsized our aquarium from 37 gallons to a lovely counter top 6-gallon Fluval aquarium.  Which worked out fine, since we were down to only 4 hearty fish, and one very lively algae eater.

All the fish have adjusted fairly well, save for the algae eater.  Who voices his displeasure by throwing the larger of the aquarium rocks against the side of the tank.   Usually while I’m engrossed in a scary movie.  And alone.

The other 4 fish I’ve had for a number of years.  They are a pair of Serpae Tetras, and a pair of Black Skirted Tetras, which resemble the two angel fish that I grew up with, Angela and Timothy.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but Angela ate Timothy right before my 8 year old eyes.  A trauma I have yet to recover from.

To say that I’m unhealthily attached to my fish, is an understatement.  Which is why I have discontinued naming them.  It only adds to my neuroses.

To my horror, I noticed today that one of my beloved Black Skirted Tetras was looking rather sluggish.  Periodically I would check on him/her/whatever and finally I noticed that the fish was stuck in an artificial plant, upside down, not moving.

That’s just never a good sign.

The children took note of my anguish as I retrieved the net to check for a pulse.  Emme and Cailey understandably comforted me with kind words of reassurance.  Jensen, on the other hand, began dancing around the room.

IS IT DEAD?  IS IT DEAD?  OH BOY, I GET TO SEE IT GETTING FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET.  I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT GET FLUSHED DOWN THE TOILET!  HURRY UP, MOM!

Through tears, I captured the unmoving fish in my net and withdrew the lifeless body from the tank.  I noticed the other Black Skirted Tetra watching my every move.  I’m pretty sure he/she/it was crying tiny fish tears.

Meanwhile, I heard a flush from the toilet in the bathroom as the lid was forced into the wide open position.  Wherein Jensen offered loudly:

MOM, THE TOILET IS ALL READY!  LET’S FLUSH IT DOWN!  AND I’M GOING TO WATCH.  OH BOY, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE FISHY GO DOWN THE TOILET!

With a sigh, I moved slowly on one crutch, the other hand holding the net, toward the bathroom.  The other two mourners followed behind me in procession, heads bowed.  Jensen awaited us in the bathroom, eyes shining.  I deposited the fish into the toilet bowl.

“Jensen, you may do the honors.” While jumping up and down, he flushed the toilet with gusto.  After he was satisfied that it wasn’t going to come back up, he skipped away into the family room, stopping to eye the aquarium.

I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT FISH TO DIE!

I’m thinking I may need to work on the virtue of EMPATHY with one five year old boy.  And in the meantime, I’ll be keeping the survivors of the aquarium under lock and key.

9 Responses to The Burial

  • Charlie (5) has been asking for a pet for several months now. We’ve managed to put him off but now he’s asking my sister & BIL who are exactly the sort to get a large puppy for Christmas for their nephew, just to annoy me. *sigh* I’m thinking we may start with a goldfish in a bowl when Charlie starts kindergarten next month.

  • Awesome post! Made me laugh.

  • True story. I used to have VERY AGGRESSIVE fish. I don’t know what my deal was back then. I’m just weird. Anyway, I came home from work one day and all my fish had been eaten by the big one. I was so mad I told him he was getting the death penalty for 1st degree fish murder. (Evidently, he was a serial killer fish because he ate like 3 others that day!) I, like Jenson, was going to take this fish and flush him. Now, keep in mind this fish was about the size of my hand. I flushed. And I flushed again. The stinkin’ thing swam against the current. He was a fighter. It took 5 flushes and he FINALLY went down. Then I spent the rest of the week worried that he would pop up in someones toilet somewhere in the apt. complex. I would have denied having anything to do with it. Just sayin’.

  • The dead fish part is one of my favorite The Cosby Show episodes. But this is funny too!! 🙂

  • Need A Nap2 stole my line! LOL I was going to say the same thing. Every time one of my fish dies, I always think of the Cosby Show episode as I flush my sweet fish goodbye.

    Hugs,
    Kat

  • I loved your post. So true how something you think will be tramatic to a child ends up and is an adventure. Such as watching a fishy go down the drain……………..

  • I am sorry for you loss (fish and meds). I was also wondering, What are the chances that our beloved fish (named Rocky) will survive the journey from CO to Armpit, FL? Probably only slightly lower chances than mine- I hear that it is unbearable HOT and HUMID! Tell me it isn’t so…lie to me! P.S. Be looking for a little humor in the mail- I actually wrote a real note with a stamp and everything.

    • RockyMomma,
      Actually, it’s a lovely 78 degrees. I’m sitting here enjoying an iced tea right now. IN THE AIR CONDITIONING. Actually, I refuse to step outside until the temperature drops below 90. I send my minions to the mailbox for me. I do hope your fish makes the trip. But if not, I have a 5 year old that will happily handle the funeral arrangements. Can’t wait until you get here!!!

  • We used to have a cat, but my daughter has always wanted a dog. I had told her that we weren’t going to have both at the same time (the cat was already old by the time she was old enough to start wanting a dog) so she used to regularly interject “When Missy dies, can we get a dog?” into the pet conversations. Sigh.

    Yep, that empathy thing. I finally had to lay down the law and forbid her from saying such a thing! LOL