Thursday, September 27, 2012

RIP Reddie the Fish

Liam's little beta fish Red, "Reddie for short, Mommy" died yesterday.   We made the unfortunate discovery, unfortunately, very near bedtime, resulting in a rather late evening.

Once we were sure (by shaking the tank) that Reddie was gone we brought his tank into the kitchen and made him a burial box out of a cardboard berry pint.  We put Reddie's body in the bottom with some of his rocks, and then a layer of cotton, and then his fish tank plants.  Another layer of cotton.  Liam chose a spot in the yard next to some Japanese anemones and we dug Reddie a small grave.

Liam and I held hands and we said a few words about Reddie.  Then we covered the box and that was it.  Liam sobbed and sobbed, but seems to be recovering.   Reddie was, of course, Liam's "replacement pet" recommended by the counselor when we had to re-home Mollie the dog.  I guess nothing stays.  This transition seems to be made easier by the fact that sudden fish death is a pretty common occurrence among the 4, 5, and 6 year old set.  Liam described to me two other children at his tiny school who have had fish die on them, plus the neighbor-girl, who was just here the other day looking at Reddie and explaining how her beta fish had died.

Still, it was sad.  He wanted to color a picture of Reddie in his tank "So we can remember him always, Mommy" and so I drew the outlines and he colored, and we taped it up near where Reddie and his tank used to be.  And today after school he painted some flat rocks to mark Reddie's little grave.

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