I haven't written about the "fourth" boy here much but for the past three years, Bucky the betafish greeted me every day at work with a wiggle. He'd get all excited and swim quickly toward the top of his tank every time he saw me lift the lid to drop in some food. He'd wiggle when he saw me put on my jacket at the end of the day.
Yesterday, when I got to work, I found Bucky lying still on his side in the bottom corner of his tank. For the past month or so, I knew given his age, and given that he had started swimming on his side, that something wasn't right. The last few days he seemed to be having difficulty breathing.
I wish I had been with Bucky during the last moments of his life. I didn't want him to die alone. I wasn't sure how to properly honor him in his death. Flushing him down the toilet (a la that episode of "The Cosby Show" where Rudy's fish died) didn't seem appropriate. So I gathered up his little body and brought him out back of our building where there is a little pond. I said a few words of thanks and poured his body into the pond.