Yes, believe it or not, there is a part three to our fishy tale. As you may recall, several weeks ago our pet fish Vlad died. We mourned his loss for a while (by mourn, I mean, we did not run out and get another pet, nor did we order sushi for a few weeks – you know; out of respect). But then one fine, fall day, our town’s street fair rolled around again, and wouldn’t you know it … the “Win a Fish” stand was back.

Yes, believe it or not, there is a part three to our fishy tale.

As you may recall, several weeks ago our pet fish Vlad died. We mourned his loss for a while (by mourn, I mean, we did not run out and get another pet, nor did we order sushi for a few weeks – you know; out of respect). But then one fine, fall day, our town’s street fair rolled around again, and wouldn’t you know it … the “Win a Fish” stand was back.

Last time, my son had played and won. This time my daughter played. She did not win a fish. She won two fish.

“This one is Jacques and this one is Luigi,” she said, introducing me to the two newest tenants of the Beckerman Hotel for Wayward Fish.  

“Bonjour Jacques; Buon giorno Luigi,” I greeted them.

“It’s OK, Mom, they speak English,” she assured me.

“Good. ‘Cuz that’s all the French and Italian I know,” I said with relief. I cleaned out the old tank, got some fresh plants and fish accoutrement, and set up the new digs for Jacques and Luigi.

A week later we came downstairs for breakfast. My son peered into the fish tank and then looked at me and rolled his eyes.

“We got a floater!” he shouted. My daughter came bounding down the stairs and surveyed the scene. 

“Another burial at sea?” she asked.

“Looks that way,” I said solemnly.

“Au revoir Jacques,” she said as we flushed our second fish in as many weeks.

The next day, Luigi joined his brethren fish in that great fishbowl in the sky.

“What are you, like, poisoning the fish food?” asked my husband.

“It’s not me … it’s the fish!” I insisted.

“Honey, you’re a fish killer,” said my husband.

“Whaaa? I am not!” I protested. “I gave those fish a good life … short though it was. It’s not my fault they croaked. They were faulty fish.”

“Fish killer, fish killer,” he chanted.

I was incensed. I was not a fish killer. I can’t even bait a hook. I realized I needed to clear my good name. So the next day I went out at bought two new fish.

“This is Wolfgang Amadeus Goldfish and Ludwig Von Beckerfish,” I said, introducing the new goldfish to my family that night. “They are good, strong, hearty fish, and they will be around for a long time.”

My husband peeled off a five-dollar bill and slapped it on the counter. “Five bucks says the fish is belly up in three days,” he said. My son dug out five bucks from the pocket of his jeans. “Two,” he countered.

“I hate you both,” I said.

The next day I was pleased to see both fish doing well. Day two came and went and Wolfgang and Ludwig were thriving. On day three, Ludwig bit the big one.

As I got out the fish net and started to scoop the lifeless Ludwig from the tank, I saw something tiny shoot past the net. Then another. And another. Little black fish that looked like Ludwig were emerging from the gravel and swimming frenetically all around the tank. I realized then that Ludwig had probably died in childbirth. I also realized that Ludwig probably should have been named Ludwena.

“Ha!” I crowed victoriously to the naysayers. “I’m down one fish but up three! This is a joyous occasion. My reputation has been restored.”

“Not so fast there, Fish Lady,” said my husband. “Technically you’re down four and up three.”

He turned to the dog. “If I were you, I’d watch my back!”

Tracy Beckerman’s book, “Rebel without a Minivan” is available online at www.rebelwithoutaminivan.com and Amazon. Read Tracy’s blog at www.lostinsuburbia.net.