"  One Eye  "                         by J.S. Bucholtz 

It had been several hours after I had added half a dozen
little orange mollies to my 35 gallon aquarium. It was picture
perfect until I noticed one little orange molly floundering on
his side and tangled among the plants.   He was a baby and
less than one inch long and there was a good possibility, as
with all newly induced fish, that he would not be able to adapt. 
It’s a high tank, and my arms are not the longest,  but I was
able, with the water up to my shoulder, to reach in and gently
free the little guy. It was then I saw that he had only one eye. 
Not a pretty picture...he was only able to see out of one side
and that caused him to swim with his body at a sideways angle.
Where his eye should have been there was a dark pink empty
indentation.    I did not think he would make it ‘till morning.
It became an early morning  ritual to check the fish, straighten
out One-Eye and make sure he got to eat...and hope he would
somehow live another day. I had removed the plants from the
aquarium but every morning I would still find One-Eye on his
side at the bottom waiting for me to get him going. . I watched
every day to be sure he found some food.
I finally tried a tiny night light just outside a corner of the tank
to help him see at night without disturbing the other fish and
luckily it worked. Now he began to grow and swam almost as
well as the rest. I was even able to replace the plants. 
Night after night without fail, he would have his very own
guiding light and he quickly became my favorite maybe
because he really needed me more than the rest. Listen to
me.  How could I become attached to a little fish who now,
but the way, had grown to almost and inch and a half.. 
I often laughed at myself.
Then one morning and without warning, the worst happened.
I found One-Eye lifeless at the bottom of the tank . 
I cried for him.   He had lived for six years. One-Eye had out
lived most of his companions who were all stronger and bigger.
He had fought every day of his life to survive. 
He was the littlest hero. He was my hero. 
I loved him and miss him still.