Everett Hamlin climbed up on a chair to reach the tank because he wanted to give Nemo a cuddle, but his parents had no idea where the fish had gone
A little boy accidentally killed his pet goldfish when he took him out of the tank to give him a cuddle.
Everett Hamlin, four, used a chair to climb up to the tank because he wanted to pet Nemo.
He managed to catch him and took him to bed for a cuddle, and he was still holding to dead fish when his confused mum found him.
The youngster was completely heartbroken when his parents Tori and Corey explained what he had done.
Tori, 29, 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.”
When Tori went to check on Everett she was confused when she saw the chair next to the tank and quickly realised Nemo was missing
She called Corey and the couple started to search for the missing fish.
After a long search they spotted Nemo in Everett’s hands.
They woke him up to ask what happened and to explain Nemo has passed away.
Everett revealed he had got up and fished Nemo out of the tank because he ‘just wanted to pet’ his beloved fish – not realising that the little creature would die out of water.
Tori, from Bonaire, Georgia in the US, said: “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.”
Tori and Corey bought the fish for Everett when he was just a few months old and the little boy 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.