Death at the high school

Oh it sounds like I’m introducing you to my first novel! I’m not. That one’s still a little ways off yet.

Instead I want to tell you of a tragedy that occurred recently at my son’s high school. Ok, so maybe I’m being a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ – just a little over dramatic. Alright, seeing as you’re pushing me, the story is about a goldfish.

Here’s how it went down:

In the tech class two of the students were making interesting goldfish bowls. They decided that it would be fun to buy a class goldfish and keep it in the common room. They used the goldfish bowl made from a gum ball machine and hence the fish was named ‘Gummy’.

The year 12 class became quite attached to little Gummy. They decided that if he survived to the end of the year he would some how be part of the Thanksgiving Service – the graduation ceremony for the grade 12s.

Then one day, things went wrong!

DH (a teacher at that self same school) was on playground duty when a student raced up to him, ‘I need the key to the store room! We need the other fish tank!’

The gum ball fish tank had struck a leak and poor Gummy’s life was in danger!

Fortunately, DH had the key to the store room and the crisis was averted. The new fish tank was installed and Gummy was installed in the new fish tank, with no loss of health (as far as we know).

Life went on as usual, homework was completed, games of werewolf were noisily played around Gummy’s new home. Students sat and poured out their troubles to his open ears. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating there.

But last Monday, when the students arrived back at school after the weekend, the tragedy had occurred. Gummy was no more.

What were they to do? How to commemorate their little friend?

Now this part I’m not making up. These were actually the suggestions made by students for Gummy’s funeral:

  • Cremate him in the microwave.
  • Cook him in the toasted sandwich maker.
  • And, (get this), make fish soup and pass around the cup so that everyone can have a sip! Yuck!!

But sense prevailed.

One of the students made a tiny black coffin in his free lessons and Gummy was buried in the flower garden with full honours. Two students gave eulogies (I wish I was there to hear what they said) and then each person attending the funeral put a tiny pinch of dirt onto the tiny teensy coffin in the teeny weeny grave. Gummy was gone, but he wouldn’t be forgotten.

Unfortunately, as far as we know, no-one had taken any photos of the little fish, so there’s no way that a memorial can be published in the school magazine.

I tell you something though – these students heal fast! Yesterday DS told me that there were now two new goldfish swimming in the little tank. They’ve been named Jaws, and Bear Gills, and we shall see whether they will make it to the end of the year, to graduation, and maybe even into the school magazine.

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