Monday, February 18, 2008

Eulogy for the Unnamed Goldfish

He was a good fish
He was an old fish
He is a dead fish
We commend his scaly soul to Heaven
And consign his earthly remains to Werribee

As I waited to ensure he made it around the S-bend I couldn’t help but compare his passing to that of Gil, one of his forerunners.
Gil, also orange and of carp ancestry, merited the full state funeral. When he was found ‘sleeping funny’ and the nature of his posture explained there was much weeping and heartfelt sorrow. He was buried in an oversized match box out under the grape vine and prayers were mumbled by the mourners as he was laid to rest.
That was around seven years ago. It doesn’t seem like such a long time past. Yet today those same children who wore black arm bands at Gil’s funeral are practically teenagers and noted this latest loss with a simple “Mum, I think the orange fish is dead.”
While I am glad they can accept that death has its place, and I do appreciate that fish don’t really lend themselves to attachment (they aren’t exactly the cutest or cuddliest of pets, be honest) part of me laments the maturing of the compassion and innocence displayed in the outpouring at Gil’s funeral.
Goodbye Unnamed Goldfish. I hope your life with us was as happy as any goldfish could expect.