In moving into the sixth stage of my grieving process, hope, I decided to wander back into the pet store in hopes of finding a replacement for my dear lost friend, Fiddle.
You may remember my tragic story of loss with Fiddle, details of which I am not yet comfortable with, nor able to recount at this time… dramatic pause and moment of silence before moving onto next paragraph please.
I slowly worked my way past the cute hamsters and creepy reptiles, working on my courage to brave into the aquarium section. After fifteen minutes, I finally mustered up the cahones to stop looking at the horny toads and ball pythons and decided to turn the corner into the fish department.
As I rounded the end cap, a rush of emotions filled my soul: loss, sorry, and maybe even… anticipation? I did have a good run with Fiddle, and maybe, just maybe, I could love again.
As the enormous wall of aquariums and their aquatic guests stared down at me, my attention was immediately diverted when the teenage employee lifted a five gallon clear plastic bag from a shopping cart.
The bag held in it several hundred gold fish… for about three seconds!
As the girl lifted the bag from the cart, the bottom seam split open and 300+ tiny gold fish and five gallons of water introduced themselves to the floor.
The girl turned to me, a clear look of panic on her face. I calmly reached into the “employees only” area and withdrew two little green fish nets and offered them to the girl along with my assistance. She gladly accepted both.
We started scooping and plopping. More scooping, more plopping. Fish after net-full of fish. Finally, some backup arrived and we had some help cleaning up the floor of all those flappin’ fish.
Looking back, I am proud to say that I single-handedly rescued over 150 fish that day. Fish that will be eagerly purchased by mom and her 6 year old daughter. Fish that will all die next week in the small bowl left too close to bedroom window in the heat of summer.
Some would call me a hero, but not me. I would call my self, well, angry. Angry because all I really want is some free fish from the pet store. Is that too much to ask from a hero?