This story starts back in fifth grade when my teacher told our class that we were getting a gecko. That day never came. I told my students that I'd consider getting a fish this year since our classroom theme is "Under the Sea." I didn't want my kiddos to remember me as the teacher who didn't keep her word.
On Labor Day, I headed off to PetSmart to buy some fish. I decided on a red platy and a yellow platy. They were super cute (about as cute as fish can get) and they were a dollar. I also got two mollies. They were all black, and just neat looking fish. Sure enough, our tank looked fabulous!!!
The next morning, my students came into the classroom and were surprised to find four fish in our room!!! I was on cloud nine. :) Not even five minutes later, one of my new parents came in. She took a look in the tank and said to me, "Oh, are those black mollies?" I smiled and said, "Sure thing! I thought they were cute!" She then informed me that I had purchased two fish that were known for breeding. Great. But it gets worse. After they breed, they eat their babies. Winner. I hurried the kiddos off to their seats and tried to distract them from the tank. I checked the tank a few minutes later, and sure enough... There were about a half dozen fish babies swimming around. I had bought a pregnant fish. For the win.
I panicked and thought through all the options. Leave them and teach my students about the reproductive and life cycles of molly fish? No thanks. Get one out and flush him? Uhh... I don't do pets. There was NO way my arm was going in there. A friend of mine came in after school and took one of my molly fish up to a different classroom that has a bigger fish tank, so they would be separated.
I was down to three fish. And four babies. But we could cross that bridge when we came to it. If
we came to it... But, alas, there are no babies left...
I decided that my class would vote on fish names. They were HILARIOUS. Our red fish was Captain America. Our yellow fish was Johnny on the Spot. And our black one was Mustang Sally (our mascot is the Mustang). I just thought my kids were the greatest!!!
About a week later, one of my kids came up to me and very calmly stated, "Captain's tail is all messed up." I told them that he was missing part of his tail when we got him, and that he would be okay. They seemed a little concerned still, so I looked closer. Sure enough. Most of his tail was missing. When teachers don't have the answers, they turn to google. So I did. Google (or possibly yahoo answers) let me know that sometimes mollies are very territorial and will attack other fish. Awesome. My first issue of severe bullying and injuries as a result. :(
The next day, I checked to see if the situation had gotten any worse. Indeed, Mustang was chasing Johnny around and nipping at his tail. I decided that was it. I got one of the junior high girls (with a prior history of animal control) out of class to come to my (and Captain's) rescue. I told her that she could either flush it or take it upstairs, but that I didn't want to know so I didn't have to tell the kids. So, during recess, Mustang joined Nemo... out at sea. And now I'm on the hunt for a nicer fish.
This concludes my episode of fishy drama in second grade... at least for now...