Bemused today realizing a single beta fish at Selah House has 1) survived; 2) provided so much interest, amusement, work; and 3) become a social media star.  Yep, this flashy teal-finned fishy photo bomber has had 6 postings in three months. Staff were approached and a recent regional conference and complimented about the savvy use of pet fish photos. The thrilled marketing team learned that other centers were now trying to compete. Can you believe that a beta fish from a barrel now has established social media name recognition as Frederick the Fish?

Freddie wasn’t “all that” when he arrived in water filled plastic bag. None the less the girls were thrilled. His sequined skin and feathered fins were pretty.  I really didn’t anticipate a great survival rate for him. My prior pet fish experiences were of the church carnival or county fair variety where ping pong balls targeted your selection. You know, the goldfish you bring home in a bowl or plastic bag who dies within 48 hours or sooner if you took it on the midway rides. Frederick’s housing was a starter model, a modest plastic semi-circle with about a quart of water capacity.  A tacky image of foliage was included for a backdrop for the little bug-eyed guy.

Over time the tiny cold-blooded fish with peacock plumes inspired stories, listened to words meant for no else’s ears yes, he listened deeply and never judged. He companioned many a young woman as she spoke to family, wrote letters or journaled, never once editing their words. Frederick, was encouraged by the girls to find his voice, and as they found their own, he had no words, only thought bubbles. Can a pet fish become beloved?

But what irks me his rise to social media fame. He entertains by simply living. Meanwhile I try to entertain with meandering thoughts and stories.  Frederick the Fish easily outpaced my word count with flashy flips of his fins.

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