All Creatures Great And Small

I once had a blue fish named Sam. He was a cheery, happy little fellow and I took him everywhere with me. I’d go away for a week with his little “travel” tank under my arm. He was the last one I said goodnight to and the first one I said hello to in the morning.

He was a smart little fellow. Once I dropped his tank while cleaning it and it shattered to pieces. As I helplessly watched him flop around in broken glass I said “Stop moving Sam!” and he did. He laid quietly on a piece of broken glass until I picked him up and put him in another tank.

I think he liked to travel with me. He’d always get a little more spunky with a change of scenery now and then. He would get mad when I was gone too much and turn away from me when I went to feed him.

And years went by for Sam and I. Years of “Hello Sam!” Years watching him flip around and play.

And then he got sick, did little Sam. It was hard to watch him sit for days at the bottom of the tank or hiding away. I think I knew it was his time so I turned on some music and held his tank in my arms for the afternoon. For the first time in weeks, he danced around in his tank like he did when he was young. I thought maybe he would get better. But now I know he was saying goodbye.

I took him to the fish doctor the next day. Even sent him in to get surgery hoping to save the little guy. I’ll never forget when I got the call from the vet that he was too sick to keep going. I didn’t take it well. Shortly thereafter, I received a card in the mail “So sorry for your loss” signed by the entire vet’s office. I’m sitting here writing this with tears streaming down my face just thinking about it and it’s been over a year.

I know he was just a little fellow and I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking me a bit strange.

But he was a very important little fellow, at least to me.

And I think of all of the living beings in the world, all different shapes and sizes. Some very big and others very small. And I think of what a miracle life is in all of it’s forms, if we would only take a little time to notice. The ant working hard to help build for it’s fellow ants. The warmth of a baby calf. The wind blowing through feathers of a chicken. The squirrels that chase each other outside my window. The blue jay that likes to plant seeds in my potted plants. And all the people I see around me are somebody’s baby, maybe young, maybe all grown up.

Sam reminded me how precious life is, regardless of size, shape or degree of so-called importance. We are all precious, all of us, all creatures great and small.

P.S. Except for snakes. I don’t care for them at all 😉

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