For the record, this isn't a nodeshell rescue.

Okay, first some background. Mini-Hercules is one of my goldfish (one of eight) that resides in the large aquarium in my room at my parents house. Originally I had a goldfish called Hercules who was a big bruiser that lived for ages, and mini-Hercules looked almost identical, only smaller - hence the name.

Despite my best efforts, mini-H had been looking a bit sickly in recent weeks, not moving about as much as usual, but with no physical signs of illness.

Then, last night (sometime between ten and eleven) mini-H did his lap of honour, and went belly up. I'd gotten kinda attached to the little guy over the two years or so that I'd had him, so I was understandably sad at this.

But practicality demanded that I fish him out, before he ruined the water. So I netted him, and made my way to the toilet. As much as I would prefer there to be a more dignified way to dispose of a dead goldfish, at eleven at night, I had no other practical options. I flushed.

I went back to my room, and checked that the other guys were doing okay. None of the others seemed in any way unusual.

So I clambered into bed, and fell asleep following a thought trail that started with the recently deceased mini-H.

Early this morning I got up (it being a workday) and got ready for work. I got dressed, fed the fish, and got breakfast. It wasn't until I went back in my room to fetch my keys that I noticed that the aquarium had one more fish than the previous night.

Mini-H was back, swimming around as if he'd never been gone.

I double checked. I triple checked. I rubbed my eyes, pinched myself and re-examined the evidence.

He was definately back.

I'm not the kind of person who would see this as some kind of spiritual event or miracle, if I'm a man of anything, I'm a man of science. Indeed my initial reaction was 'This is some weird ass shit'.

So I sat there on the train this morning trying to figure out what the fuck happened. The only thing I know for sure, is that mini-H is now in the aquarium. I know this because I saw that before I left the house, and unless this is a particularly detailed and shitty dream, it's reality. I don't know for a fact that my recollection of mini-H's death wasn't a dream.

But I don't usually remember my dreams, and in fact I've never really understood the whole 'dreaming' thing. Some people get really freaked out by their dreams, and bad shit happens - others interpret their dreams in all sorts of weird ways. To me, it's just 'that thing that happens when I sleep'. I don't even consider it most of the time.

Now I'm being forced to consider it, not because mini-H was some big part of my life (he is after all, only a goldfish) but because this is the first time I can recollect when I couldn't understand something. Normally if something puzzles me I can think about it and at least get some insight into it.

But this one confuses me. I am sure (but I cannot prove) that mini-H died, and I flushed him down the toilet. I am at least sure that I flushed a very dead looking mini-H away. But even if he wasn't dead, he was flushed - and I don't really see how he got from that state of affairs to being back in the aquarium.

Basically, it's got me stumped. The only theory I have is that he wasn't dead, didn't flush away, and one of my parents rescued him. Without telling me. At some ungodly hour in the morning when I doubt they'd notice if the house was on fire, let alone if there was a fish in the toilet.

Whatever happened, I'm glad mini-H is back.

Update: Neither of my parents had anything to do with it, and to add to my problems, they now think I'm slightly mad. I'm still no closer to figuring out what happened to mini-H. He's remaining silent on the matter.

I had to chuckle when I looked in the softlinks for this writeup and saw act of god.

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