Saving Private Gill (a Captain Jack Adventure)

Originally posted on 3 January 2022 on Monty’s Scribbles

Yesterday, my friend Captain Jack and I saved a life. True story. Here’s how it went down.

Captain Jack, or more informally Jack, is my rescue puppy. He arrived outside of our home about four months ago. He needed a home. We didn’t know it at the time, but we needed a captain. So we took him in. He was about two months old according to the vet, so that would make him about six months old now. Still a pup.

Jack usually hangs out with me so when he went missing for a little while in the house I got curious. He came prancing around the corner when I called and looked at me. But then he pranced away again. Strange. I decided to investigate.

I found him in the back corner of our sun veranda. The corner where the laundry sits. He was nudging something on the floor with his nose. I leaned over and was very confused to see a fish on the floor. It didn’t seem to be moving, but it looked wet (i.e. not a dried fish snack or something). Then it moved!

Suspending my disbelief about finding a live fish randomly in the house, I jumped into gear and got it into a big bowl of water as fast as I could. It didn’t swim but it moved it’s gills a bit. The fish was about 5 inches long. Darkish grey/green. With a wide mouth. Kinda like the fish that often comes in a bowl of soup, but a baby. While it was located near the kitchen it didn’t make sense that we would have a baby fish for soup. And how the heck did it get into the laundry area?

For a moment I thought Jack might have “borrowed” the fish from our outside fish pond. While it was a logical thought, I feel guilty for ever thinking Jack was a potential murderer. And this fish didn’t look like any of the fish in our pond so even the logic didn’t quite add up. The truth is Jack might have saved the life of this fish! Shame on me for thinking otherwise. But then again, the fish didn’t look like it was doing so well. Perhaps we failed it?

Giving the fish a little time to gather it’s powers back (or float) I went in search for answers. I woke up my wife and explained the situation. She was confused as well at first, but then she asked me more details. Exactly where did Jack find this fish? What does it look like? She was a real detective grilling me for all the facts. That’s when it all clicked into place.

Turns out my brother-in-law started raising this fish at our place when he was house (and dog) sitting during our US trip. It had been outside, but he brought it into the house due to the cold weather.  Into our laundry room area. Right where Jack found him! Except on the floor. Apparently it made a jump for it. Poor guy/gal.

I went back to check on the fish. It was still slightly moving but it didn’t look promising. I found the bowl that had been his home (for some reason I’d never noticed it before) and poured him back in. Perhaps he would survive, but I didn’t have much hope.

A bit later I checked on him. He was gone! I searched the floor and thought he had jumped again but nothing. Then “swish!”. It had been hiding below the greenery in his bowl. He was alive!

That’s the (true) fish story and any fish that makes it into a story deserves a name. Meet Private Gill.

Be well Private Gill and keep being a hero Captain Jack.


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