A Fish Called Fatty

A Fish Called Fatty

I am called upon by friends & family to do many things.  Babysit kids?  No problem.  Help you move?  Done.  Organise weddings?  Sure.  Drive you to the airport?  Absolutely.  I’m happy to help, if I can.

One of the more out there requests I have had in recent years was to write a poem for a friend’s little girl, regarding the death of her beloved goldfish, Fatty.  I’d forgotten all about this until I found the poem, hidden in a stack of papers-to-be-sorted in my office (yep, I’m still tidying and clearing!).  My friend’s daughter, Katie*, was sad about her little friend, Fatty, dying, as goldfish are wont to do with alarming regularity (well, obviously the one goldfish can only die once…but if you have a few of them, well, you get what I’m saying!) and was having a bit of trouble getting over it.  So my friend asked me to write a little something that would make her smile again and feel comforted.  The resulting poem was written very hastily and while I was supposed to be finishing off a budget report, so please excuse any misuse of iambic pentameter, grammar or other rhyming conventions…

A Fish Called Fatty

There was a fish called Fatty
Who Katie loved a lot
She’d would never fry him up
Or cook him in a pot

A happy little goldfish
Fatty would swim around
He’d go “Bloop, Bloop” with his fishy mouth
But hardly make a sound

He wanted to be a rock star
But couldn’t really sing
Plus he couldn’t play guitar
Which was the annoying thing

So Fatty was content
To swim about all day
He liked to make Katie smile
And watch her as she played

“I am so lucky” he said one day
Whilst swimming and blooping about
“That Katie is mine and I am hers.
Why would I want to go out?”

Fatty lived a happy life
With never any sadness
He felt safe with Katie about
She filled his heart with gladness

Fatty is no longer with us
He had to pass away
But if he could talk to Katie now
This is what he’d say:

“Thank you for looking after me
and making my life great
I’ll miss you lots, now that I’ve gone
You were my bestest mate!

Now don’t be sad
And please don’t cry
I’m having fun
That’s not a lie

I get to play guitar now
And boy I’m getting good
I play for all the Angel Fish
In my neighbourhood!”

Apparently, the poem did the trick and cheered Katie up.  I think it is sometimes easy to dismiss a child’s sadness as something they’ll “get over” and, particularly with the loss of a beloved pet, that’s quite often just not the case.  They don’t always have the capacity to think beyond what is “here and now” and need some comfort that things are ok and that death isn’t an ending, it’s the beginning of something else and something that we all have to face.  I kinda liked to think of Fatty rocking out in Heaven with all his fishy little friends and I’m glad Katie felt better thinking about it too.

Here’s to all our very-much-loved-and-adored pets that have passed on to the great kennel, stable, fish bowl or chicken coop in the sky.  May we see them again some day.  🙂

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