A Brave and Loyal Fish

Year after year, we receive hundreds of stories in which people say they have experienced richer, fuller, more compassionate, and loving relationships due to the bond they feel with a beloved pet. We’ve concluded that experiencing the unconditional love of a pet helps people become better human beings.

A fifth grader in a middle school where we spoke about our Angel Animals books demonstrated an important aspect of deepening relationships by coming to the aid of a friend in trouble.

At the school presentation we had invited the children to share animal stories. It was so much fun to watch their faces light up as they told about special pets. They also asked good writing questions such as, “What is your favorite genre?”

One little girl came up to the front of the room to tell a story that illustrated what she had learned about relationships by observing the family’s pet fishes. The fishes’ caretaker had made a mistake by placing a predatory fish in the tank. The big fish had eaten all but a few of the smaller fish by the time the humans had discovered the tragedy.

This fifth grader had watched in awe as one of the medium-sized fish nudged the tiniest fish to the bottom of the tank where he hid him behind a clump of algae. Then the protector fish used his body as a shield to keep the big fish from finding the littler one.

We noticed that in the theatre-style hall where we were speaking, the one hundred middle-grade students had become very quiet. The girl’s experience with her fish had struck a chord. Many of them liked the idea of being protected or serving as the protector for those who are smaller or weaker. The relationships of the girl’s fishes swimming in a tank and looking out for one another had helped bring a message to the children about bravery and loyalty.

When have you seen one animal protect another animal?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network