Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fish Kiss


Twelve years ago I was starting a new job at the school down the street and wanted to get a goldfish for my desk. I went into the local Walmart and bought a round glass bowl, some pretty marbles, and a 7 cent feeder fish. It was a whitish clear colored fish with a big orange spot on its head. The guy that I bought it from told me I really should get a plain orange one because then if it died I could just replace it without telling the kids. That's not my style. I would never lie to a child. I learned that from Mr. Rogers.
I put that fish on the corner of my desk. A boy named Justin came up with her name, Slick he called her. Perfect name for a fish. How do we know she's a she?.....she has laid eggs twice.
Over the years many a child has fed her and many a child has dipped the tip of their finger in the bowl for a fish kiss. You see that's what is special about Slick, she gives kisses. If you touch your finger in the water ever so slightly Slick will come up and kiss your finger. Now I know that she is just looking for food but the kids don't. They are thrilled to have been kissed by a fish. They love Slick. They fight over who is going to feed her. Every day it goes like this...Can I feed Slick?.....He got to feed Slick yesterday!.....You told ME I could feed Slick!
They never lose interest or forget to feed her.

Slick died today.

I cried...like a baby...over a fish.

18 comments:

Tracey said...

Awww, I am so sorry about Slick!
My goodness you took awesome care of her...she lived a long time!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww, so very sorry for your loss of Slick. I bet that the kids were devastated, too.
I once had a Siamese Fighting Fish with a huge personality, that died and I, too, cried like a baby.
Fish or mammal, it's still a living creature and it's sad when they pass on..

Hugs,
Lisa

Esther Garvi said...

What a wonderful tribute you gave her! The fact that you mourn her only speaks volume about how appreciated she was! I think you were both lucky - you guys to enjoy her, but also she to have such tending humans!

Big hug from Africa!
Esther

Pamela said...

Thank you so much for sharing Slick's story.

She may have only been a little feeder fish, but in her twelve years, she must have touched the hearts and fingers of hundreds of children. Can't you picture them way into the future telling their grandchildren how they were once kissed by a fish?

Bringing smiles to that many little faces is legacy any would be proud of. Good job, Slick.

Pat said...

awwww, my eyes teared up just reading about that.
You are so sweet to have a heart so full of love that you would cry for a fish.

Clare said...

What a sweet story, with a natural ending. She enriched your lives and you hers.

Hugs to you and the fish loving kiddos.

Holly said...

Ooooooo, she was 12 years old, why wouldn't you cry? Heavens, I've never known a fish to live so long in captivity.

God speed Slick!

You never know how you and that little fish might have shaped some lives. The teacher I remember best was my fourth grade teacher who had a host of guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice. We were allowed to sign them out and take them home for the weekend with permission. That one year I must have brought Charlie Brown the hamster home a bazillion times and from him (?) I learned how to care for pets, be gentle with them and my lifelong interest in animals blossomed. I will never ever ever forget those times or that teacher. I bet there are some kids lives that you and Slick touched that will become zoo keepers, animal handlers, breeders, conservationists etc.

hugs to you!

sugarcreekstuff said...

We never had a feeder fish live longer than a year.
So sorry for your loss.

Wrensong Farm said...

That was one long lived, well loved fish! Thanks for sharing Slick's story.

frugalmom said...

Oh dear. Im so sorry that you lost Slick.

She sounds like she was a really big part of your classroom....for you and the kids.

Everyone should listen to Mr Rogers.

Beth said...

What a great pic and story about Slick! I bet many of your students will remember her! I'm very sorry for your loss - amazing she lived such a long life!

FoxMeadowsFarmgirl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Slick!! Its INCREDIBLE that you had a feeder fish for that long!!! Amazing fish indeed- all of those kisses must've been good for her! Sounds like Slick was a great little Big Friend, and a great personality! Many hugs!

Mindy said...

Wow! You all must be really proud of yourselves for having her for so long! That has GOT to be a record!

PS I read your story really fast after the first couple of sentences because I didn't want to be bawling at the end!

goatgirl said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words about a fish. We were always in awe of how long she lived. I contribute that to using our well water (I brought water from home to clean her bowl as the school water is treated) and we never overfed her.
She was a good fish so I have her in my freezer now because the ground is frozen and I just can't flush her. I want to bury her...I know I'm crazy but she was a special fish. Don't tell Hubby she's in the freezer...I kind of hid her. Shhhhhhh.
And I am getting another fish over Christmas break. What would the kids argue about if I didn't?

Heidi said...

I am so sorry about Slick - isnt it amazing what a 7 sent fish did for so many people? And people question Gods ability to use animals for his work....What a great lesson for the kids in respect and responsibility. rest in piece Slick... I hope you are feeling better today than Tuesday...thinking about you! :)

Joanna said...

for me, anything with a face. Sounded like Slick brought a lot of joy and taught some children to respect all of God's critters.

ga.farmwoman said...

I am so sorry about Slick.
She certainly lived a wonderful life! Just think of all the children that when they are adults will remember those special fish kisses by Slick.

Pam

Nancy said...

see I knew fish could live a long, our fish Finny is 9 years old and no one believes us!
I'm sorry to hear Slick died, I would've cried too.