Last night, as kids were just settling into bed, the doorbell rang. What met us on the doorstep, was, to our surprise, not a human – no neighbor, ward member or late-night family visitor -- rather a small goldfish swimming about (quiet and lonesome-like) in a water-filled Ziploc baggy. (Artistic depictions done by myself and Abe – respectively)
We have no fish food. No fish bowl. No colorful little fish rocks. And . . . I’ve never wanted a fish. Yet, there the fish was. On our front porch. And there our kids were, peering out of bedroom doors, peeking heads down the stairs, and whispering in wonderment about such a strange offering left on our front step.
We couldn’t very well let the poor thing die – loathe though I was to let it in – so we got out a big glass dish for the fish (ooh, rhymey) and shooed kids and all their speculating back to bed.
By morning the poor little swimmer was hardly swimming at all. In fact, I was quite sure he had gone on to that big fish pond in the sky, but the kids insisted he was moving from one part of the bowl to the other. I wasn’t certain if it was swimming or floating, but Goldie particularly was in great agitation about getting it fed and cared for so it’s life might be spared.
So, I did the only valiant thing a mother could. . . .
I told them to carry it to the neighbors and ask if it could live in their fish pond where it would surely flourish, and thrive, and live in great happiness. (With nary a bit of work or trouble on my part.)
Off the girls went with the fish. And back they came – fishless; our kind neighbor having agreed to take on fishykins (particularly kind of her since I don’t think it could have taken much looking to deduce that our fish was likely not long for this world).
But that is that. Perhaps it was a bit shameless (though maybe not so shameless as leaving it wholly unannounced on their doorstep). I very well may have looked this gift fish in the mouth, but . . . so be it.