Obituary: Podrick and Pedro

By Moriah Story

It all began when I found an aquarium at a church yard sale. There it sat, unused in the box, collecting dust, waiting for me to snatch it up. For only a dollar, I purchased the little tank that would soon house my first pets of my very own.

Photo of Podrick, provided by Moriah Story

On August 20th, in the year of the pandemic, I browsed the brightly colored fish in tiny cups along the pet store walls. My eyes rested on the most flamboyant betta and I knew he was the one. He had big, swishy fins of red and blue and an air of intelligence, even for a fish. I named him Podrick (yes, from Game of Thrones) and I carried him home in a plastic baggie along with a plant and a little brown snail named Pedro, the perfect companion for a betta. 

I was surprised to find that Pedro was equally as entertaining as Podrick. Where would he be when I got home? Perched in the little teacup? Eating a cucumber? Stuck to the side of the tank? I never knew. And I could watch Pod swim for hours, his fins rippling as he dove for food or explored the plants. 

I’ll admit, there were times I dragged my family out of bed to behold the activities of my tiny friends. My camera roll has no shortage of blurry pictures of a swimming betta and a climbing snail. 

Photo of Pedro provided by Moriah Story

Was cleaning the tank gross? Yes, and if you ever ask me nicely, I’ll tell you about the time I accidentally sucked tank water into my mouth. Did caring for them turn into an expensive and time-consuming hobby? Yes! But I would do it again in a heartbeat. Pets are a comfort, no matter their size.

Two weeks ago, when I returned to my dorm after work, I found Podrick floating at an odd angle. My heart dropped. I wasn’t expecting to cry over the death of a two-inch-long fish, but I’ll admit the tears flowed freely. It wasn’t until I began cleaning the tank to rescue my snails (Yes, plural. I added Frostine to the family a few months ago.) that I was saddened to find Pedro was dead as well. I still don’t know why they passed away, but it was probably a combination of factors. Fish are, unfortunately, very easy to murder.

Frostine still lives on in my tank, but it isn’t quite the same. However, despite the sadness of their loss, I believe the six months of enjoyment I had with them was worth it. Podrick and Pedro were the first of many pets I hope will accompany me over the years. Hold your furry or scaly friends tight, because you never know when the time will come for them to go.

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