Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Gold Fish of Doom

There comes a time in every child's life when they learn the hardest lesson of all, gold fish either thrive or float fairly quickly.  I can distinctly remember the aquarium in the bedroom my brother and I shared as small kids;  we once went away for a Shabbat weekend and when we returned, the fish had somehow jumped out of the tank, must have flown gloriously for one brief moment, and then realized that there might be more oxygen outside, but there is NO water.  

Raphaela loves animals and a new pet store just opened near our house and the library.  Today we went to the store, checked out the hamsters and the birds, and took home four sprightly gold fish and a cleaner fish, to slightly increase the chances that they might live more than one month.  In fact, the owner told me quietly that they sell at the price of four fish for ten NIS, and that if one of the original four should be found napping, I am more than welcome to replace it, hopefully before Raphaela notices.

I feel conflicted, a part of me knows that Raphaela can learn the lesson of life and death in a soft way, via the doomed fish experiment. After all, their fates are sealed pretty much from the start.  On the other hand, as her mother I want to protect her from repetitive sadness.

In that case, I probably should not have gotten gold fish...

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