Sylvie has been interested in the underwater world for quite some time and her fascination with fish and her desire to have a pet inevidably crossed paths. These two became also a source of all kinds of projects. Her mind was working on how to make, earn or catch a pet and it was busy with questions like: what’s inside a fish? Is she pregnant? Can we hatch the eggs?…
She wanted to have a fish, specifically a Beta fish. The problem with fish pets is that you can’t touch and pet them, so she thought that better than a Beta fish would be a fish you can actually play with. Isn’t this why we have pets on the first place?
This weekend Sylvie’s long lasting interest bloomed in a project, provoked by her earlier questions about stuffing animals.
Sylvie came to the conclusion that she will have to do one thing to have the fish pet she wanted – taxidermy. She’ll have to stuff a real fish.
She drew a picture sequel about it and she wrinkled it purposely, so it looks like an old map- as she explained to me. It’s a simple thing to do. Just follow her “Plan”.
Decoding the Master plan:
This is the way Sylvie decoded her drawing for me: First you catch the fish with a long fishing poll among other fish. (green drawing on the plan). When you have the fish, just take out its intestines and stuff it with cotton balls (black and red pictures on the plan). You have to leave it to dry on a table (the orange) and then you can take it with you and go and play with it in the water – last picture on the plan.
After some research on YouTube how a real taxidermy of a fish is done – she is with mixed feelings about the process and I thought to go to the grocery store and buy a whole raw fish. While I’m reviewing recipes for the Sunday lunch, Sylvie is impatient to wash and play with the fish. Washing turns out not to be too much fun but then Sylvie came out with another idea – to reconstruct the bones of the fish and keep its skeleton! We baked the red snapper in the oven and she wanted to collect all bones from the meal. Big and small, we found ourselves picking carefully the bones of the fish and mainly the pieces from the spine bone, the tail and the head. I had to wash them so the glue actually works. Sylvie was very determined to have them all, as she wanted to put them together and have the skeleton reconstructed. And she began trying to solve the puzzle-
This red snapper was literaly used till the last bone- a project for couple of days, subject of enthusiastic talk and learning and it was a delicious meal. Sylvie brought the assembled spine bone to her pre-school class to share. It was an interesting scene for me to watch- she was carrying around kind of smelly, sharp fish bone, excitedly explaining what is this, as this is the coolest thing on Earth. Then she took the rest of the bones out of a zip log bag as a treasure and many of her friends, especially boys gathered around her and her bones. How excited and proud she was- While looking at her I was only wishing she stays always so curious and imaginative about the ways she explores the world around her- her way.