Our poor betta fish, Sam, passed away unexpectedly on Friday evening. He was fine all day, but when we got home from WCK’s drama club play he was swimming funny. Not “Ha Ha” funny — more like, “Oh, crap” funny. It was pretty obvious that a host of fish angels were beckoning him toward The Light. When the end came, we wrapped him in a paper-towel shroud and buried him in the back yard next to our first ill-fated betta fish, Jimmy John. WCK found a rock to mark the grave.
I do appreciate Sam choosing such a convenient time to die, as I won’t have to find fish sitters all summer, but I will miss the little guy. He was the crankiest fish I’ve ever seen. Whenever you looked at him, he’d puff up his gills and try to attack you. He was like a grumpy old man fish. He was awesome.
Sunday morning, I stepped outside onto our deck for a second to check on our bird feeder, and I saw a horrible/miraculous sight in the yard. Sam’s grave was empty. The paper towel shroud lay on the grass. The rock had been pushed away.
Was this the work of a neighborhood cat or some kind of a fish miracle? I would like to point out that he did die on a Friday night.
Whatever the cause of the open grave, I knew I had to run out there and fix it before WCK found out, not necessarily because I didn’t think she could handle the truth, but more because I didn’t want to spend the next day/weeks/months re-explaining and re-explaining and re-explaining what had probably happened to Sam. (Those of you with five-year-olds know exactly what I mean.)
I ran across the yard in my church clothes, snatched up the paper-towel shroud, and fixed the grave as well as I could. I threw the shroud in the garbage, and I’m not 100 percent sure that his little carcass was gone from the inside of the shroud. I didn’t check, because I was a little creeped out. WCK was none the wiser. Now we can officially add “Covering up defiled graves” to my long list of Mom Duties.