Carol Foss


Harriman Nelson

4th Grade, Mrs. Peterson's class

What I Did For The Holidays

Well, since I didn't get the new chemistry set I wanted, was it my fault Dad used my tube of cordite instead of toothpaste?- I went fishing, but it was kinda hard, as the pond was frozen over. But I nailed him, and was going to take him home for Mom to cook. I was tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, but then he looked at me, still gasping for air, so I put him in a bucket of water and took him home alive.

Mom said there was no way in hell that he could live in the bathtub, I'm sorry Mrs. Peterson, that's what she said, so I put him in the toilet, the part that doesn't go down the drain, I don't know what it's called. Anyway, he seemed happy enough until that terrible day after Christmas when Aunt Peggy from Pawtucket put a thing in the tank that makes the water blue. She'd only tried to be helpful.

It's not really her fault, you know, she's nearsighted and must have thought Old Crap, that was what Dad called him, was some kind of mechanical thingamajig. Anyway, poor Old Crap was dyed blue, gasping and gasping and his eyes were bulging when I found him, near death, almost floating near the top of the tank. There was no way I was going to flush Old Crap down the toilet like Mom wanted, and soon enough she decided to let me try to save his life.

We filled the bathtub with cool water, put a strainer over the drain, and kept the water running. I thought that maybe that would help him get that blue stuff that had poisoned him out of his system that way. But Dad was pretty doubtful that anything could help. Poor old Aunt Peg was beside herself. I mean, she would be, wouldn’t she, how would you feel if you murdered someone, even if it was a fish. She still has nightmares about it.

Anyway, Old Crap just floated in the tub, gasping for air, while the blue stuff streaked out from his gills and scales while the water kept filling and draining.

Mom was more upset that I couldn't eat or sleep, than over him, but sat down on the floor by the tub with me as we talked to him, stroked him gently, and urged him to fight it, and to stay alive. Dad even called the vet, but he said we were doing what he'd do and the rest was up to fate.

For two days, poor Old Crap just lay there in the water. But there wasn't as much blue stuff draining from his gills anymore, and his eyes and scales weren't all that blue anymore either. So I gave him some worms my Aunt had brought over from the fishing store, thinking they might help. And you know, Old Crap did manage to swallow a few down. He even began to move a bit. Pretty soon, he seemed almost normal again, but he still looked a bit funny to me, I couldn't figure out how though. Mom said I was imagining things, but you know how Mom's are.

The next day, when I woke up- Mom had allowed me to sleep on the bathroom floor- he wasn't in the tub. I looked in the toilet, in the sinks. He was gone. I was pretty upset, you can imagine. I didn't want him to die! But when I ran into the kitchen where my Mom and Dad were, there, on the kitchen table was a huge goldfish bowl and Old Crap was swimming around in it, happy as a clam.

Then Dad pointed to the living room, and there against the wall was the biggest, most wonderful aquarium you ever saw. It was full of water and had rocks, and bubbles from the thing that puts oxygen in it, a figurine of a sea monster, yeah sure, Dad, and a great big light on top to light it up at night. Mom carried the fishbowl over to it, and we put him into his new home.

Old Crap had a surprise for us though. It turned out he's a she! There are babies all over the aquarium. Fry they're called. I know cause I checked at the library and am learning all about them. I think I'm going to have to get some more aquariums just to house them, but I don't think Mom and Dad will object. Kind of hard to blow up the house with water.


get this gear!