5.04.2009

"Miss R. I think Bob's dead..."

We lost Bob the Fish over the weekend. As a tribute to him, I thought I'd tell his story...
I bought Bob the Fish from a local pet store at the beginning of last school year. My students voted on his name on the first day of school and somehow "Bob" won out. Not too long after, Bob developed a sort of tumor looking growth on the right side of his body. How does a fish get a tumor, you ask? I don't know. Why does the one fish I pick out for my new class have to be the one that develops said tumor, you ask? I don't know. All I could think at the time was "this fish can not die or these children will be devestated". So of course, lifesaver that I am, I bought drops for his water, special food, tablets, the works. And what does Bob's tumor do? It spreads. All over his backside. However, Bob doesn't seem to mind it. He swims happily in his small, medicine infested tank all year long without a care in the world.
Skip forward a year and a half to last Friday when I walk past Bob's tank and he looks as if he's sunbathing. He's still breathing, but he's resting his hind fin on the rocks and looking straight towards the ceiling like he's suddenly too heavy to swim anywhere. The tumor had finally gotten too heavy.
Oh NO. The End is Near.
One of my students noticed the concerned look I was trying to hide and I proceeded to go to great lengths to prove how healthy Bob was. I dropped food in his tank to show them he'd swim to get it and he literally fought his way to the top, ate the food and sank, bottom first, down to the ground. "He's just resting", I lie, "fish can't always swim around- it's tiring!"
Over the weekend I left Bob here, hoping he'd recover and win the record for "Longest living fish with a tumor". However, this morning I had a meeting in another area of the building so I arrived to my classroom as my students were walking in- which was NOT early enough to check on Bob before they spotted him FLOATING AT THE TOP OF THE TANK. Nataly, his biggest fan, screamed "Miss R!!! I think Bob's dead!!"
The next 5 minutes unfolded like I have always dreaded they would- in slow motion complete and utter hysteria. The students swarmed like bees, staring, waiting for me to do something. I picked up Bob's tank while attempting to calm everyone down. "Noooo, nooo he's fine!!" (purposely jostling the tank) "Look! He's swimming!" Before everyone in the room could get a good look at his lifeless body I whisked him away to a room down the hall to "get some rest." I told my students I'd check on him after school and I'm not sure what I'll say to them tomorrow.
I have already spread the word to my adult circle and there were a few people who were not sad to hear of Bob's death, mainly my brother Jason. In fact, his exact text to me was "I'm mad at you for reminding me of his existence". He thought Bob's tumor was absolutely disgusting and has been begging me for months to flush him and get a new Class Fish. For that reason I dedicate this tumor-filled entry to him.
Bob was such a trooper and I'll remember him fondly. Wish me luck breaking the news to his 27 eight year old friends...

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