Boy, 4, devastated after taking goldfish Nemo out of tank to cuddle as he slept

A young boy who loved his fish so much he wanted to cuddle it as he slept has been given an early lesson in grieving.

After being put into bed, Everett Hamlin, 4, climbed onto a chair to get Nemo the goldfish out of the tank in his room.

But then his mum Tori went to check on him and noticed Nemo’s lifeless body in Everett’s hand.

Everett Hamlin, four, accidentally killed his fish Nemo by taking him out of his tank for a cuddle (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)
Everett’s fish tank is his pride and joy (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

She said that he was devastated when she and his father Corey told him what had happened.

He said he had just wanted to pet the fish and didn’t realise it wouldn’t live long out of its tank. |

Toni, from Bonaire, Georgia, said: ‘I was shocked at first, but then when he said he just wanted to pet it I was thinking, “oh my god, that’s so sad”. I didn’t think it was funny that he killed it.

‘He had no understanding of what he was doing. Honestly, I’m surprised he caught it. He’s got some good skills there.

‘He said: “I just wanted to pet it.” So we were like, “buddy, you killed your fish. Fish can’t live out of water”.’

Mum Tori and dad Corey made the discovery while he was asleep  (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)
He has since been taken to buy a new fish  (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

She added: ‘He was fine the next morning. I explained it to him again and he said, “that’s alright. We’ll have to get another fish and I won’t touch it. I’m only allowed to touch fish when I go fishing”.’

But as upsetting as it is for Everett, Tori thinks this could be a valuable learning experience for him.

She said: ‘Everett has to do stuff like that to learn. Not every kid listens to their parent and learns from that.

‘Sometimes they have to make mistakes to learn from them. It’s part of parenting and growing up.’

Since Nemo’s death Everett has been inundated with offers to buy him a new fish.

But Tori insists the family does not want to take other people’s money, and took Everett to the pet shop to pick a new one out for himself – although he promises not to touch this one.

Tori added: ‘He’s always loved it. The fish was bought specifically for him. When we got it for him, he could look into the tank and enjoy looking at the bubbles and the lights.

‘We had that goldfish for so long that when we bought it he was orange and by the time he died he had outgrown all the orange. It was so crazy.

‘Most people don’t have goldfish for that long. We’ve always been big fish people.

‘We take care of our fish. He lived a longer life than most goldfish.’


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