Apparently, it was a most interesting evening at the parental home last night.
Mum decided it best to tell the truth and waited for an opportune moment to announce the fish's demise. After the telling, which took place out of Ryan's earshot, everyone went to Siobhan's house--it adjoins my parents--but still my mother could not see Princess. My sister found her. She was staring at them open-mouthed and belly-up from one of the turrets uppermost windows.
The party removed back soon thereafter to my mother's house while Michael, my sister's husband, fished Princess out of her bowl, told Ryan who was naturally very sad, and the two disposed of the body in the garden
After a few hours, my sister came back in to Mum who began to apologize further as she is prone to do, though she informed me she also took great care to re-emphasize it was not anything she had done. Apparently, my sister stood and left the room leaving my mother as open-mouthed as her last vision of Princess. She heard Siobhan shut the back door quite hard before she returned to the parlor and proceeded to tell her she'd just gone out to check Ryan wasn't about and eavesdropping (he's a very intelligent child) and she wasn't to fret anymore about the fish.
It turns out it wasn't Princess who'd died. Princess had in fact died months ago, as had another subsequent fish, and Siobhan had replaced these fishes with very similar ones on two occasions. She hadn't told Mum about them in case she'd inadvertently tell Ryan. In fact, Siobhan admitted to being so tired of the fickle fishes that Michael and she decided to tell Ryan that Princess had indeed died. And moreover, my sister informed Mother that, after the last remaining one departs, there will be no pets of any description forming part of the Florida-James/McNicholl household.
[technorati: goldfish, mothers and daughters, family, pets]