The goldfish gave Bud a black eye today.
Well, okay, not directly. But I hold them responsible anyway.
Bud didn't really want to go to the grocery store with me. I was going to the far-away grocery store that requires a 30-minute car trip, instead of the preferred nearby grocery store that offers free cookies and half the travel time. But, as I reminded Bud, the nearby grocery store only carries the SMALL Pepperidge Farm goldfish, but the far-away grocery store has the BIG giant goldfish that Bud has been wanting for weeks. So, with his mind focused on goldfish with all the taste in a bigger, flatter, smilier cracker, Bud climbed happily into the car to make the long journey with me.
He was patient through the drive, through aisle after aisle of the store, and through a long wait at the deli counter, but by the time we got to the cracker aisle his patience had worn thin. He spied the big goldfish on the bottom shelf, but somehow neglected to see the shopping cart that someone had parked directly in front of the big goldfish boxes. Bud dove for the crackers - and his eye flew straight into the rounded corner of the abandoned cart's handle. I heard the loud SMACK as Bud went down, then saw him stagger to his feet, his face red, his eyes streaming, his mouth yowling, and his arms tightly clutching a box of giant goldfish.
He was inconsolable as we sat together on the floor in the middle of the cracker aisle, his face buried against my chest. When I could finally pull his face far enough away from me to get a look at it I could see that it was starting to swell. I handed him some sausages to lay against his eye until we could make it to the frozen foods section and upgrade to a bag of peas. Bud whimpered through the checkout aisle and held the peas tightly to his face, offering them up for just a moment so the clerk could ring them through. He remained pea-faced through the long ride home, and then declared that he was feeling better and banished the peas to the freezer. I could see the swelling start to return, and detected a faint reddish purple that I'm guessing will be a much lovelier and deeper shade by morning.
Bud had only one request before bed. He wanted a snack: Goldfish. Big ones.
He never was one to hold a grudge.