This school gave its two goldfish a viking funeral

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Gary Ogden

A goldfish is a great first pet. It’s extremely easy to keep, fosters little emotional attachment and it teaches children how to deal with death – nobody is too upset when a goldfish dies, really, are they? Life carries on in almost exactly the same way. The lack of respect shown by humans towards goldfish is keenly displayed by the fact that when any other animal dies, chances are it doesn’t then get flushed down the toilet.

Still, it’s possible to become fond of any animal – we’re all God’s creatures, after all – and this primary school in Orkney, Scotland were firmly in that camp. Just before Christmas they bought two goldfish as class pets – one named Bubbles, presumably because it’s a fish; the other named Freddy, presumably because it haunts your dreams and kills you in your sleep.

Unfortunately, because goldfish are shit, they fucking died and ruined everything. Seeing as the kids were currently learning about vikings, they felt it only right to do justice to the fish with a traditional send-off to Valhalla. As such, they wrote down their memories of the two fish, which doubtlessly consisted of “That time I looked at the fish” and “That time I looked at the fish”, then popped them on a viking burial boat, set fire to it and pushed it out onto a lake.

Of course, it was a very sad affair, as most fish funerals often are, but as we said – goldfish teach children about death. And about what happens after death. Mainly that you are put on a boat, set on fire and pushed into the sea.


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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the screaming thing though. @garyblogden

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