I had to write this story down because I never want to forget it. 🙂
On Thursday, I took the girls the Wilderness Park for the afternoon. It’s our little urban get-away – which is more Park than Wilderness. But well, it’s one of the few places in our area where the girls can pretend they are lost in the big woods (if they squint their eyes just so).
We have had many adventures in this park – and Thursday was no exception! The girls had a great time feeding the ducks, running through the woods, and exploring the pond.
When we got to the upper pond, there was a giant carp fish about 2 feet long floating in the water. The fish was obviously not living, and when I saw it, I looked away quickly. It made me squirm.
But…well, of course Paprika (age 7) saw it. And do you know what she did? She held a Memorial Service for that fish. I am not kidding.
She looked right at the fish, and said: Oh, Fish has passed. We must hold a Memorial Service for Fish’s friends to celebrate his long and undoubtedly interesting life.
She drew these flowers in the sand for Fish. She gathered Fish’s friends around by feeding them fish food (thank goodness I brought quarters!), and asked each fish to say goodbye to Fish. She even invited her sisters to sing a song to remember Fish.
We were there for half an hour with this dead fish, I am not joking. I did not want to hurry her along, though. She was very serious about it – not sad, just matter-of-fact and determined to send Fish off properly.
She gave a Eulogy for Fish – it went something like this:
Dearly Beloved, we are here today to celebrate the life of Fish. I didn’t know Fish very well, but from what I can tell, he lived a long life, surrounded by friends. I also think he ate very well. Fish woke up each morning to the bright sun shining on his little pond, and he spent his days swimming in the cool waters with his fish family, and of course the turtles and tadpoles. Now Fish has crossed into Heaven to greet his friends and family members. So long, Fish. You will be missed.
Then she placed flowers in the water near Fish and said goodbye.
It was beautiful and heartbreaking and hopeful, all at the same time. I will never look at a carp the same way again. 😉
Thankfully, we discovered Fish at the END of our visit to the Wilderness Park – otherwise we might have spent ALL day with Fish. 😉 Prior to that, the girls ran their hearts out and I spent my time chasing them down from trees, and keeping an eye on them as they raced in opposite directions.
Violet (in her last days as a one year old):
Running down the trails:
Ginger (age 4) exploring the “grasslands” – she wanted to explore on her own. Oh boy!
So, that was our day at the Wilderness Park! Never a dull moment! 🙂