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You know the games at county fairs, the ones that sell 15 ping pong balls for $1.00 as hopeful kids wait their turn to win a new goldfish? That fever hit our house this past weekend. But instead of 15 ping pong balls for $1.00, it turned out to be 100 ping pong balls for $5.00.

Apparently a sale THIS good was sure to lure some unsuspecting parents who thought, “These games are so rigged, there’s not a way we will win, but this will be GREAT fun for the kids!”
100 ping pong balls, 10 goldfish and 2 carry crates later, we walked away from the county fair as my daughters beamed ear to ear with their very first pet (the ladybug they had before had now been trumped by goldfish)

Now, knowing all too well that these goldfish may have the lifespan on a gnat, I wasn’t sure how my daughters were going to react in the event any had to be taken to the porcelain grave. So here is a short (fish) tale on how we ended up with Marshmallow.

• 100 ping pong balls for $5.00; money we thought was pretty well spent
• 2 daughters walking proudly carrying their new pets
• Ebony, Ivory, Tangerine, Sunset, Chocolate Milk, Cocoa; the list of names went on, but we couldn’t remember who was who!
• Fish food, check. Changed the water, check. Day 1 comes to a close and all 10 fish still alive, check.
• Good morning day 2! There is a white goldfish doing nose dives in the tank. I contemplate extraditing him so he doesn’t contaminate the rest, thinking he may be ill, but instead send him a little prayer to please hang on.
• Leave for a while and come back to 9 goldfish, surprisingly the one doing nose dives is still with us. The girls were more interested in seeing me scoop out the deceased and watching it get flushed down the toilet than saddened…
• Mid-day check and 2 more have bit the dust. Our little white one is still nose diving, but perky.
• Goodnight dear fish, a bit more food and lights out.
• Good morning day 3; oh no, 2 more have bit the dust. Water change and a sprinkling of food. We are all amazed that the white one is still here!
• You are starting to see the end of the story here. Through the rest of the day, 3 more fish float away. Google has been no help today! Other than knowing we need to get to the store to buy a bigger tank.
• Dinner time with Chocolate Milk and Marshmallow as they have been affectionately named. Mind you we are out to dinner and our companions joined us at the table. Marshmallow seems genuinely happy to see the food delivered. Chocolate Milk is surprisingly still…Chocolate Milk has curdled…

As we walked out of the restaurant, I passed a small table where the owners placed magazines for their patrons to read. One the table was a stack of CD’s from an artist promoting their music. The name of the band was none other than “My LUCKY FISH.” The whole family stopped and paused and then quietly walked out. The one fish that I almost got rid of, but instead said a prayer to, was our LUCKY FISH. He or she was our survivor. We listened to “My Lucky Fish” CD all the way home, it seemed inappropriate not to.

Fish

When we got home, we put Marshmallow on the counter and smiled. We wished the fish a very good night but in the back of my mind I sent another secret wish to Marshmallow…”You have made it this far little one, keep on trucking.” Each morning I walk downstairs and optimistically glance into Marshmallow’s fish tank. Each morning the fish has greeted me with a wag of the tail and a dart around the tank.

Each morning I bid the fish adieu as I walk out the door, gently whispering positive thoughts for the day.

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