How it all began...

A picture of our tank from the beginning

It all started when we were in the second grade. We had gotten some sad news. Mr Smith (the third grade teacher) was very ill.. It was very sad when Mr. Smith passed away. This meant that we had to get a new teacher when we got to third grade.. Then the next week, Mr. Hughes took the job.

When the day came for me to step into the third grade classroom, I thought, Boy, I wonder what Mr. Hughes will be like: mean, funny, or just a plain teacher? He was better than all of those. He was very funny and interested in fishing.

Then, about three weeks into the year, we got a bundle of salmon eggs from the DNR. Mr.Hughes was so excited he was saying "shree" instead of "three". We had to keep the temperature of the water lower than I ever thought! We had gotten a tank twice the size of me! There were more than 60 eggs. Then, the day we had been waiting for came. The eggs were turning into alevin! "Whoopee!" we shouted in delight. When they finally looked like fish, steam never left the tank from our little breath. The air in the room was warm, but the fish tank had to be kept cold.

There was one fish that the whole class loved. His name was Ralphie. You could tell him apart from the others by his spine. Ralphie's spine was crooked, which meant that he swam crooked. Some fish just jumped out of the tank! We had called them "cool fish". Now, I would call them "kamikazes". Then, the day we hadn't been looking forward to came. Ralphie had died. We were all sad that morning. Jon Baron and I made a coffin for the poor little fella. Then about four weeks later after the sad death of Ralphie, we had to dump out the salmon that survived into Bowen Creek by Arcadia. As we waved good-bye to them I wondered, Will I ever see them again? Or maybe catch one when I go fishing? I hope I will see them again.

I have not seen them yet, but hopefully some day, I will. Maybe in two or three years.

by Kellen Story, written when he was in the fifth grade.

February 1997

This story was in memory of Ralphie.

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