August 05, 2007

Dennis the Fish, R.I.P.

The seven year old made the tearful discovery this morning that Dennis, the blue beta who served as her class pet at St. Marie of the Blessed Educational Method, and of whom we've been taking care this summer, had shuffled off this mortal coil some time in the night. Poor thing (the Llama-ette, I mean, not the fish). But I suppose part of the function of having pets as a child is that they teach one to come to grips with death as part of the cycle of life.

The Missus was very quick to point out that this kind of fish only lasts about a year, that Dennis had a long and happy life, that the seven year old had been a good steward and that he died peacefully. Whether the Missus was correct about the lifespan of a beta or whether we, in fact, had put too much cleaner into his water yesterday, I dunno, but her quick thinking did much to cut short the seven year old's grief, grief that vanished almost entirely when she learned that she would be the one who got to pick out and name Dennis' replacement. Nonetheless, the seven year old felt compelled to hold a short memorial service after church, in which she said a few suitable words about "her favorite pet fish in the whole world."

Meanwhile, the remains, in time honored fashion, were committed to the deep via the upstairs potty, much to the delight of the nine and five year olds, for whom the spectacle seemed well worth the sacrifice.

Posted by Robert at August 5, 2007 01:12 PM | TrackBack

"her favorite pet fish in the whole world."

Every once in a great while I wish I had a child - especially a daughter - and that would be an example of one of those times. I love little kids, I just have doubts about my abilities to deal with other aspects of parenting reality. Beautiful.

Posted by: Hucbald at August 5, 2007 05:11 PM

You simply must cherish these moments...
Thank you so much for letting us share!

I am reminded of when we had a puppy (our trusty dog Babs that just a few weeks ago went to her reward.) She was losing her teeth. My son Nick collected her teeth and put them under his pillow to get Babs some attention from the tooth fairy. Well, the stupid fairy forgot (was too tired and spaced it) so, the teeth stayed there. I told Nick that the tooth fairy had a rather demanding schedule collecting teeth from good boys and girls and the pick up of dog teeth takes place only on slow nights.... He wrote the most beautiful letter to the fairy extolling the virtues of Babs. To this day I cherish this letter. It is so innocent and beautiful. Well... sniff.

Posted by: Babs at August 5, 2007 09:11 PM

Just so you know, betas will always do better in brackish water. I used to breed them, well I did until our power went out one day and they all died from the cold. They like the water about 75 degrees. I don't know why they display them in brandy glasses in the stores. They really don't like that at all.

Posted by: Denise at August 6, 2007 01:16 AM