– Tori Hamlin found son’s fish tank with the lid off as she checked on him at night
– She couldn’t see the fish anywhere until she noticed Everett was holding it
– Tori and husband Corey woke the boy up and broke the news that he had killed it
– Parents have bought him more fish but explained they have to live in water
A shocked mother has explained how her son killed his pet goldfish with kindness after taking it out of its tank for a hug.
Tori Hamlin, from Georgia, told how she found four-year-old son Everett asleep and cradling his fish after going in to check on him while he was asleep.
The boy was devastated when his mom woke him up and told him that the fish, who had multiple names but was usually referred to as ‘Nemo’, had ρɑꜱꜱεɖ ɑωɑყ.
Everett revealed he had got up and fished Nemo out of the tank because he ‘just wanted to pet it’ – not realizing that the little creature would die out of water.
Tori 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.
‘Maybe the fish was just so used to seeing him that he was comfortable with him next to the tank.
‘He loved the goldfish. It’s always been in his bedroom. He loved looking at it.
‘His tank had different colour lights so he loved looking at the different coloured light and picking out different things to put in the tank.
‘He’s never tried to get it before it happened that night.’
Tori said that she and 29-year-old husband Corey had put Everett to bed just like they do every night, by reading him a bedtime story.
The pair then went to the living room to watch a movie when they heard a noise from his bedroom.
She continued: ‘We called him in and asked him what happened, and he said it was nothing. We told him to just go lay down and make sure he goes to sleep.
‘I got up to go [to the toilet] and I checked on him on the way past. He has a little chair that sits in his corner always, and I noticed that it was right by his dresser which was by his door.
‘I saw this light – which changes colours and usually sits on top of the lid – was in the water and the lid was nowhere to be found.
‘I called my husband and I was like, ‘Corey, I don’t see the fish in there and I can’t find the lid, but the light is in the tank. Come in here’.
‘Corey looked at him and was like ‘oh my gosh, he is holding the fish’. We woke him up and asked him why he was holding his fish.
‘He said, I just wanted to pet it. So we were like, ‘buddy, you killed your fish. Fish can’t live out of water’.
‘We explained it to him and he got upset and said, ‘I didn’t want to kill my fish’ and got upset.
‘He was fine the next morning. When we asked him about it again he said, ‘I just wanted to pet it’.
‘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’. I said, ‘yep, that’s right’.’
‘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.’
She and Corey had bought the fish for Everett when he was just a few months old and enjoyed watching the bubbles and lights in the tank.
Tori shared the story online where it received more than 65,000 comments, likes and shares, and the family were inundated with sympathetic offers to buy Everett a new fish.
Luckily his parents gave him a gift card to pick out a new fish at the pet store – and Everett promised he wouldn’t touch the new goldfish.
Tori, who is a stay at home mum, said: ‘We told him we would get him a new tank and some more fish for his birthday so we’re hoping to do that in the next few days.
‘I’ve had people from all over the place getting in touch asking if they could buy him a new fish. I don’t want to take other people’s money – that was not the point in the story.
‘We’ll get him a new fish. This time he can help to pick it out.
‘We always loved fish. When we were engaged we had four or five tanks – we got really into the fish tanks. So when he was little we couldn’t wait to give him a fish.
‘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..’
Tori and Cory have now bought Everett some new goldfish – though he plans to leave them in the tank at night.