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Cleaning up my daughter’s murder most foul

Whenever my in-laws tried to take my daughter fishing this summer it bucketed with rain.

She eventually solved the problem herself by fishing one of the guppies out of my parents' fish pond with her bare hands.

I discovered its little guppy head squashed under the lens of her new microscope.

The microscope came with lots of nice clean slides of apple seeds and ants. But now, my little Marie Curie was on to bigger, more disgusting things. When I was a kid I hated fishing, because I always felt sorry for the poor fish dangling on the line. Clearly, my daughter didn't have such issues.

“Don't worry, it was already dead,” she said when she saw my face. “At least I think it was.”

“Well, it's definitely dead now,” I said. The other half of the little fish, and some of its guts, was sitting on the tablecloth near her elbow.

The murder weapon, a blunt knife, was also there; it must have been a job to hack the little thing apart. I felt a moment of panic thinking, did I have an axe murderer in the making? Was hacking up guppies with a butter knife the first sign?

“I can't really see anything,” she muttered looking into the microscope. Then she ran off leaving the entire mess on the kitchen table.

I pondered my options here. I could just leave everything for a couple of hours, so she could smell the results of her labour. But then I'd have to smell it too.

I followed her into her room.

“Sweetie, can you guess what happens to a dead fish when you leave it out in a hot kitchen?”

“Uh, no,” she said, puzzled. “What happens?”

“It stinks! I'm not cleaning that up. You are!”

Suddenly she had a squeamish side. She cringed as she carried the fish bits outside with an outstretched arm.

Me: “No, don't toss them on the front step! I said AWAY from the house!”

“Why do you always have to be so mean?” she muttered.

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Published August 20, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 20, 2015 at 12:22 am)

Cleaning up my daughter’s murder most foul

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