Trent Ling’s retrospective story of his famous goldfish, Spotty, comes to the website today.  Penciled upon an index card, Trent’s account of Spotty’s inauspicious arrival and ultimate advancement reveals some flavor and perspective from Trent’s childhood.

“I loved that fish,” Trent reminisces 42 years after procuring the golden wonder. “He was the perfect pet for a five-year-old: healthy, hungry, colorful, and fully viewable. After a couple of years, I was so heartbroken when he got sick and did not look like he would pull through. After dreaming that he had recovered, I awoke hopeful.  But, he did not make it.  With today’s technologies, we probably could have rescued him.  My son’s remarkable 11-year-old goldfish (featured on the feed picture for this website post) always reminds me of good old Spotty.”

After getting Spotty at age five (in the Summer of 1970), scoring upgraded aquarium supplies for his sixth birthday, and enjoying Spotty’s legendary two-and-a-half-year run, Trent eulogized his beloved fish during Christmas break of Second Grade.  Beyond the ironic misspelling of “Spotty” himself, Trent’s efforts to write “Hawaii” and “decoration” should both amuse and inspire the spelling-challenged.

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Spotty — 8 Comments

  1. Mila hit on what came to mind when reading this posting; tenderness. The tenderness teaching that God has provided us with is truly like finding gold in a field. Unlike so many young children these days (because of the lack of tender parents), you were so tender and sweet at the age of five as you should have been. I know everyone’s background is different but I do believe that God has put people in our lives at various times to help us become more than we are. Your Grandma gives you a goldfish and it turns out to spiritually feed yourself and others 40+ years later. Clearly orchestrated by the Lord!

  2. Your childhood was full of enrichment, thanks to your parents and God.

    Your example today is great for us parents with little ones to provide great opportunities, events and possibilities for our kids. We reap the benefit of your work, insight and love. Thanks. Love you.

  3. Oh, so cute! I’m not surprise you still have the letter from when you’re 6-year-old! That’s amazing. No wonder you’re now so in love with Goldy 🙂 And I like how you spelled Hawaii with “ey” – precious!

  4. I read this and imagine when your grandchildren read this, this alone will already give them a lot of mileage about having and treasuring a tender heart. Thanks, Om Trent!

  5. Trent, thank you for sharing this story. It brought back fond memories of my first pet, a little dog named Benji. Tears came to my eyes when I remembered holding him as a puppy. Love you.

  6. This is adorable! Pets are the best 🙂 I remember Vanessa being afraid of even grass – we get her a fish and she’s conquers fears like grass – whenever we visit the Ling house she’s thrown into a jungle of sorts and she comes out like Jack Hannah and can pet about almost anything! Once Vanessa became the caretaker rather than the one to be taken care of, it helped Vanessa’s confidence and it help grow her heart..

    Children and pet stories always helps put into perspective how the pure in heart are used to fulfill scriptures no matter how big or small. God used a 6 year old to help fulfill scripture regarding Matthew 6:26 in how God provides for even the birds in the air, in that it inspires out of nowhere a 6 year old to be geeked out about getting a bowl, and a larger bowl if possible for a goldfish. So much more can be done if we all surrender to that pure, do-good, and serving heart.

    love you and thank you for sharing!

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