So long, Cookie
The eulogy was short, just like Cookie’s time with us.
It went something like, “Those hours you spent in our house were among our brightest. You lit up that tank like no other fish in the sea. You fought valiantly with your one fin, and didn’t even complain. You are an inspiration to all of us, and we will never forget you. Go bravely into the sewage.”
Flush. So long, Cookie.
My daughter had awoken to our worst fears: Cookie floating on the top of the tank. The other two fish seemed nonplussed, and swam on their merry way in and out through the plants and rocks. One down, two to go, I couldn’t help thinking.
Her tears were plentiful and anguished. I felt horrible, but of course was thinking in my head, “See? this is why I didn’t want to go down this road.” My instincts are always dead on, sorry for the pun. Yet even the doubting Thomasina I was expected at least a week of uninterrupted bliss before something hit the fan. Cookie was only with us thirty-six hours.
I am guilt ridden, both for poor Cookie’s plight and for my daughter’s tears. Naturally, I blame my husband, who was in charge of the treacherous transfer (“Didn’t they tell you how to do it properly?”) It relieves the burden of responsibility somewhat from my shoulders; yet my daughter does not fall prey to these tricks we learn as we age; who is responsible for this tragedy is of no significance to her, she just dwells with its aftermath. There is no bringing back Cookie.
But luckily, there are many more fish at the store, so they have traipsed back to where it all began, to find a replacement Cookie. As well as a state of the art heater, just in case cool water temperature had anything to do with Cookie’s failings. You see where we’re going with this. Broke.