I have been wanting to buy a classroom pet for a long time. Finally I decided the time had come. My district has a “No fur. No feathers policy”. I am a fur and feathers kind of person. I currently have four cats and a dog. In the recent past there has also been a Chinchilla in the mix. I think the perfect class pet would be a dog. Or a cat. Or a Chinchilla. Or maybe a Parakeet. A “No fur, no feathers” policy leaves me with fish, Hermit Crabs, Geckos or snakes. I have nothing against these options except that I do have a problem with crickets. So that leaves fish. I’ve always had a prejudice against Beta fish. Are they even real fish? I mean Really. Aren’t they part of the designer pets craze? But, they are super low maintenance. One more tally mark in the “Get A Beta Fish” column. And it was on sale. So, I’m sold. I bought a male Beta, food, live plants, blue gravel, the food, and the water treatment stuff, and the combination fish tank/aerator system at PetSmart. After chatting my way through the check-out lane I walked out to my car in the parking lot. Then it suddenly dawned on me: I was alone. The Beta was in a small plastic cup of water with a hole in the top. No problem. The Beta cup fit in my cup holder almost perfectly. I pulled out onto 28th Street, a busy bumper to bumper east-west road that is lined with restaurants, gas stations and strip malls. It was Saturday afternoon. Lots of stop and go traffic. It was also winter. And, as I said, the Beta cup fit into my cup holder almost perfectly. My attention was focused on my driving and not on the fish. Suddenly, I realized the Beta cups had sloshed over so I instinctively reached over and uprighted it. Only, there was some water missing. I held it up to my eye level to see just how much water had sloshed out. Luckily, not much. Unluckily, just enough so that the fish escaped. He apparently saw his chance at freedom and swam for it. I looked down and noticed some water sloshing in my cup holder. Originally my cup holder had contained dried up coffee that I dribble as I drink and drive myself to school every morning. Yikes! There is only one place the Beta could’ve gone – he was swimming at the bottom of my cup holder! What??!! I called my son in a panic. “Maxson, you’re never gonna believe this but I NEED your help!” So I completed my drive down 28th Street with the Beta fish in my cup holder. I was very worried because I didn’t want him to have a coronary infarction caused by the concentration of caffeine in my cup holder. I pulled in the garage at home and my Boy Scout came to the rescue armed with a flashlight. He located the Beta, quickly scooped him up and replaced him in the remaining Beta cup of water. Whew! No lives were lost in the original version or retold version of this story. Speedy, the Beta, lives on in my classroom. He is resilient! And thank goodness for good cup holders.